Alabama Swimming and Diving Sweeps Florida State on Road; Kensey McMahon Wins Three

Kensey McMahon won three events for the Tide. Photo Courtesy: Robert Sutton/Alabama Athletics

The Alabama swimming and diving teams swept the Florida State Seminoles Saturday morning in Tallahassee, Fla., in the Crimson Tide’s first dual meet of the new year.

Team Scores:

  • Women: Alabama 180, Florida State 120
  • Men: Alabama 156, Florida State 138

Alabama Swimming and Diving Press Release

After winning both relays and eight individual events, including going 1-2-3 in the 50 and 100 freestyles, the Alabama women came away with a 180-120 win. The men also opened and closed the meet with relay wins, posting nine individual wins in between to beat the Seminoles 156-138.

Sophomores Kensey McMahon and Rhyan White led the women’s team with three individual wins each, with McMahon taking top honors in the 200, 500 and 1,650 freestyle and White winning the 100 and 200 backstrokes and the 100 butterfly.

Sophomore Nico Hernandez-Tome, senior Zane Waddell and freshman Derek Maas each won a pair of individual events. Hernandez-Tome won the 500 and 1,650 freestyles, Waddell nabbed the 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle and Maas picked up victories in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes.

Head Coach Coley Stickels Says

“We had a good day. It was definitely a strong showing after the hard work we put in between the semesters. The women had several events where we took the top two or three spots and that’s a testament to our depth right now. For the men, that was definitely a total team win, with a lot of guys stepping up and contributing. We’re at the point in the year where we have to hone in on the details that will help us be successful as we ramp up for the postseason.”

The Women’s Meet

  • White, juniors Kaila Wong and Flora Molnar and senior Allie Surrency opened the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay (1:39.22)
  • McMahon (16:24.00) and freshman Polina Rukosuev (17:03.64) went 1-2 in the women’s 1650 freestyle
  • McMahon also won the 200 freestyle (1:49.25) and 500 freestyle (4:47.31)
  • White (53.92) and freshman Abigail Koczo (55.22) took the top-two spots in the 100 backstroke, with White adding wins in the 200 backstroke (1:55.74) and 100 butterfly (54.10)
  • Sophomore Kalia Antoniou, Molnar and Surrency swept the top-three spots in both the women’s 50 and 100 freestyles, with Antoniou winning both after going 22.77 in the 50 and 49.73 in the 100
  • Antoniou, sophomore Morgan Scott, Surrency and sophomore Julia Wolf closed the meet by winning the 200 freestyle relay in a time of 1:31.95

The Men’s Meet

  • Waddell, freshman Liam Bell, junior Tyler Sesvold and sophomore Jonathan Berneburg won the 200 medley relay with a 1:28.64 to open the meet
  • Hernandez-Tome won the men’s 500 and 1,650 freestyles, posting a 4:30.86 in the 500 and going 15:38.90 to win the 1,650 by 13 seconds
  • Waddell won the men’s 100 backstroke by two seconds after touching the wall with a 48.02 and the 50 freestyle with a 20.15
  • The freshman duo of Maas (54.91) and Bell (54.99) led the pack in the 100 breaststroke, taking first and second, while Maas added a win in the 200 breaststroke (2:00.66)
  • Sophomore Nicholas Perera won the 200 butterfly with a 1:49.06, while Sesvold won the 100 butterfly with a 48.14
  • Sophomore Kevin Li tallied 364.10 points to win the men’s 3-meter springboard event by nearly 60 points
  • Sesvold, junior Sam DiSette, Berneburg and freshman Cam Auerbach closed the meet with a 1:20.06 in the 200 freestyle relay, getting the win by more than a second

Florida State Press Release

The No. 14/RV Florida State swimming and diving teams fell to RV/17 Alabama on a windy Saturday afternoon at the Morcom Aquatics Center.

The 14th-ranked men (4-3, 2-1 ACC) dropped a close decision to the RV Crimson Tide, 138-156, while the RV women (5-4, 1-2 ACC) fell 120-180.

“We had some good spots and some bad spots,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “We were rusty in parts, but we had some really good highlights. I saw a great team attitude, they were screaming for each other but maybe that slow start was the difference in the day and we just couldn’t get there in the end.”

In the men’s meet, the Crimson Tide opened the meet with wins in the 200 medley relay and 1650 free.

Florida State followed with a strong showing in the 200 free, sweeping the event led by freshman Aziz Ghaffari in first (1:38.23), followed by seniors Rudo Loock (1:38.38), Vladimir Stefanik (1:40.08) and sophomore Max McCusker (1:40.63).

But Alabama answered by winning the next four races. In that stretch, the Seminoles swam a close 200 fly, but finished second, third and fourth behind senior Max Polianksi (1:39.15), freshman Nick Vance (1:49.78) and rookie Maurice Ingenrieth (1:49.97).

Off the first break, FSU found a little momentum as freshman Peter Varjasi won the 100 free (44.26) by one one-hundredth of a second after finishing second in the 50 free (20.26).

The Seminoles cruised to first and second place in the 200 back, led by Vance in first at 1:48.25, followed by sophomore Jackson Lucas in second (1:49.75).

FSU would finish second in the next three events, which were all tight races. Sophomore Izaak Bastian was the runner up in the 200 breast (2:00.91) and Ghaffari swam a strong last 50 yards in the 500 free, but also finished second at 4:31.31. McCusker added a second place finish in the 100 fly (48.29).

“There were some areas on where we got out-touched which changes the whole meet,” Studd added. “Those races give us the victory instead of them. That’s something we’ve talked about, we just didn’t execute it today.”

Varjasi picked up his second win of the day in the 200 IM, clocking a time of 1:49.02.

In diving, seniors Cam Thatcher and Aidan Faminoff dominated 1-meter, with Thatcher winning with a total of 369.90 ahead of Faminoff in second (290.25). The pair placed second and third on 3-meter as Thatcher took second (315.68) and Faminoff finishing third (301.05).

“The conditions weren’t great,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “But they did a pretty good job. I don’t know what’s worse, golfing in this weather or diving in it. Overall, for where we are in the season, I thought we did a good job.”

Florida State closed the meet by taking second, third and fourth in the 200 free relay, led by the team of freshman Ian Cooper, McCusker, sophomore Kuba Ksiazek and freshman Domen Demsar at 1:21.07.

The women were led by sophomore Nina Kucheran, who won three individual events on the day. Kucheran clocked a 1:01.79 for the victory in the 100 breast, before leading a one-two charge in the 200 breast (2:14.67) and held on to take the 200 IM (2:03.14).

Florida State added wins in the 200 fly, behind sophomore Aryanna Fernandes (2:00.23) as well as both springboard diving events.

Senior Molly Carlson posted her personal best score of 363.90 for the win, which was just 7.95 points off the school record set by Kelsey Goodman (373.05) back in 2013. Her classmate, Ayla Bonniwell was the winner on 1-meter (284.55) after taking third on 3-meter (323.25).

Sophomore Kertu Alnek was the runner-up in the 200 free (1:49.86) and her classmate Maddie McDonald also took second in the 200 back (2:00.39).

Freshman Sydney VanOvermeiren followed Kucheran in second in the 200 breast at 2:18.78 and Fernades added a second place finish in the 100 fly (54.36).

“It’s the first meet after a long (training) break and Christmas,” Studd said. “We got some of that rust off and we’ll be ready to go to LSU next week.”

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