TALLAHASSEE, FLA, September 25. FLORIDA State announced the opening of its home season with a conference foe, the Clemson Tigers, at 10 am today at the Bobby E. Leach Center on the Tallahassee campus. The meet is the overall season opener for both squads.
Seminole coach Neil Harper starts his sixth season at the helm after garnering ACC Women’s Coach of the Year honors last season. While the Seminoles have accomplished a lot in Coach Harper’s first five seasons, the one corner they haven’t turned is beating Clemson. The men’s squad is 0-2 and the women 0-1 under his tutelage against the Tigers.
Last season the FSU men dropped a 137-106 decision in Clemson. During the 2001-02 season, the women dropped a last-relay heartbreaker, 122-121. The men didn’t fair as well, dropping a 156-85 decision.
Pair of All-Americans Lead Women’s Squad in 2004-05
Gone is ACC Swimmer of the Year Emma Dutton, but the women’s team does bring back two All-Americans from last year’s team. Senior captains Emily Breen (Savannah, Ga.) and Lisa How (Preston, England) grabbed national recognition for their work on the relays last year and are now trying to add individual accolades. Breen placed second in both the 100 backstroke and 100 free at the ACC Championships, while How took third in the 200 butterfly.
Men’s Team Strong Across The Board This Season
The stockpile of young talent on the men’s side has turned into a valuable asset this year. At the top is junior Joel Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.) as he defends his ACC title in the 100 fly. Classmate Chris Vythoulkas (Nassau, Bahamas) will try to move to the top step this year after a second-place finish in the 100 backstroke. Sophomores Thomas Bishop (Houston, Texas) and Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio) put the Seminole distance program back on the map last year.
Divers Look to Continue Their View from the Top of the ACC
Losing two All-Americans would left the cupboard bare for most programs, but diving coach Patrick Jeffrey has a pair of All-ACC performers ready to step up. Senior Courtney McClow (Jacksonville, Fla.) returns as the top diver in the conference and is looking for her second ACC title after winning the one-meter as a freshman. Sophomore Brittany Lerew (Orlando, Fla.) placed second on the three-meter board at last year’s meet.
On the men’s side, the Seminoles have the deepest diving squad in the league. FSU’s ten top-16 finishes in both the one and three-meter competitions are more than double any ACC squad. Junior Stuart de la Rosa (Erdenhiem, Pa.) had the best finish with his sixth-place mark of 282.55 on the one-meter board.
Vythoulkas and Marcus Return After Fulfilling Olympic Dreams
The opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games is a dream that very few athletes get to fulfill, but a pair of Seminoles lived those dreams this summer. Chris Vythoulkas won his heat of the 100m backstroke for the Bahamas with a time of 58.31. Golda Marcus (Coral Springs, Fla.) swam for her native El Salvador and won her heat of the 400m free with a 4:22.27, while placing 21st in the 800m free at 8:59.81.