Florida State Sweeps Georgia Tech in Tight Dual Meet Showdown

Florida State's Peter Varjasi -- Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

Florida State Sweeps Georgia Tech in Tight Dual Meet Showdown

Two of the ACC’s strong swimming programs met in Atlanta at the site of this year’s NCAA Championships, the McAuley Aquatic Center, and the visiting Florida State Seminoles took down the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in both the women’s and men’s meet. Florida State’s women won by a score of 159-141, and senior Nina Kucheran led the way for the Seminole women with wins in the 100 breast (1:01.44), 200 breast (2:12.71) and 200 IM (2:02.78).

On the men’s side, junior sprinter Peter Varjasi took first place in the 50 free (20.26) and 100 free (44.49), the later by just 0.12, and the Seminoles won the 200 medley relay and went 2-3 in the 400 free relay, just enough to secure a 150-148 win. Georgia Tech made a real run with Caio Pumputis winning the 100 breast (52.96), 200 breast (1:55.32) and 200 IM (1:49.44), and teammate Christian Ferraro won the 200 fly (1:45.05) and 100 fly (47.71), but the Jackets finished just off the pace.

Check out full results from the meet here.

Read the press release from Florida State below:

The No.15/RV Florida State swimming and diving teams defeated ACC foe No. 19/NR Georgia Tech on the road on Saturday at the McAuley Aquatics Center.

Both meets were close contests, as the 15th-ranked men (2-0, 1-0 ACC) edged No. 19 GT 150-148 and the RV women (1-1, 1-0 ACC) prevailed 159-141.

“It’s great to get two wins on the road,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “It’s always tougher when you travel and we’re really excited about how they fought after a really hard week of work,

“It was a team effort from top to bottom,” Studd added. “When Georgia Tech won an event, we went two, three, four, which is great.”

In the 42 meetings in the series, the two-point win for the men’s team was the closest in program history over the Yellow Jackets. FSU won six events on the day, but it was the depth in five races where the Noles placed second, third and fourth that secured the victory.

The men’s team started off with a win in the 200 medley relay behind the team of Mason Herbet, Izaak Bastian, Max McCusker and Jakub Ksiazek with a time of 1:27.89

Georgia Tech won the 1000 free and 200 free but FSU grabbed second, third and fourth place in both races, limiting the Yellow Jackets to gain two points on the Noles in the team scores.

Herbet took gold in the 100 back (47.81) and but Georgia Tech answered with wins in the 100 breast and 200 fly. But a two-three-four showing in the 200 fly, led by Zach Smith in second (1:49.41), followed by Brennan Hammond in third (1:50.41) and Rush Clark in fourth (1:52.65), kept FSU in front.

The sprinters added to the lead by sweeping the 50 free, led by Peter Varjasi in first (20.26), Ksiazek in second (20.63) and Domen Demsar in third (20.81).

On the boards, the divers picked up a big one-two, dominating finish on 3-meter, led by Jesco Helling in first (360.30) and Darwin Nolasco (341.33) in second.

Varjasi added another win in the 100 free out of the break, touching with a time of 44.49.

Georgia Tech won the 200 back, but FSU’s depth secured second, third and fourth, but the Yellow Jackets gained ground with a win the 200 breast and a one-two finish in the 500 free.

McCusker led the two, three, four charge in the 100 fly, touching with a time of 47.71, just ahead Demsar in third (49.75) and Clark in fourth (49.78).

Helling came up big on 1-meter, winning the event by 37.13 points and Nolasco added valuable third place points (262.58).

“It was a really good team effort today,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “Our guys are really banged up. Darwin battled through his injuries and did a 1-meter list when we didn’t think he could even compete and that was the difference today. Jesco really stepped up.”

“I was really excited for our divers today,” Studd added. “They did awesome. Darwin persevered through an injury and scored huge points for the team. That’s what it’s all about.”

Off the break, Georgia Tech answered with a big one-two finish in the 200 IM, putting the pressure on the Noles in the final event.

Needing both relays to contribute points, the Seminoles sealed the win by taking second and third place in the 400 free relay.

The team of Adrian Aguilar, McCusker, Ksiazek and Varjasi took second with a time of 2:59.17.

Demsar dropped a big anchor-leg for the Noles, helping FSU ‘B’ team of Blake Moran, Aziz Ghaffari and Clark to a third-place finish over Georgia Tech’s ‘B’ team (3:02.75) with a time of 3:02.29, sealing the win for the Noles.

The women’s team won eight of the 16 events, including two sweeps and two one-two finishes.

Florida State’s ‘B’ 200 medley relay took the win behind Maddie McDonald, Maddy Huggins, Aryanna Fernandes and Zsofia Kurdi with a time of 1:42.74 after FSU’s and GT’s top teams were disqualified for early relay exchanges.

The Seminoles followed with a sweep of the 1000 free, led by Ginevra Molino with a time of 10:19.01. Ella Dyjak (10:20.85) followed just behind in second place and Emily Trieschmann placed third (10:27.11).

Georgia Tech answered with a victory in the 200 free, but the Seminoles had the top four times in the 100 back, led by McDonald in first (55.94), Tania Quaglieri in second (55.96), Jaden Herbet in third (57.09) and Pia Murray in fourth (57.41).

Nina Kucheran picked up her first of three victories on the day in the 100 breast, touching with a time of 1:01.44.

However, the Yellow Jackets gained ground by winning the next five events.

The Noles stopped the streak with a one-two finish in the 200 back, led by Murray in first (2:00.84) followed by McDonald in second (2:01.25).

Kucheran won the 200 breast by nearly four seconds, touching with a time of 2:12.71.

Georgia Tech won the 500 free, but rookie Edith Jernstedt touched first in the 100 fly at 54.16.

After the break, Kucheran (2:02.78) and Jernstedt (2:04.17) placed first and second in the 200 IM, sealing the win.

On the board, the Noles were led by Samantha Vear, who finished second on 1-meter with a score of 286.05 and third on 3-meter at 308.10.  Freshman Victoria Cervantes added fourth place points on both 1-meter (267.98) and 3-meter (300.30).

“The ladies did really well today too,” Proctor added. “We got some zone scores and that was one of our goals today.”

Read the full press release from Georgia Tech below:

Georgia Tech swimming and diving lost a hard-fought meet against Florida State. The No. 19 men’s side fell 150-148 to the No. 15 men’s side of Florida State and the women’s side lost 159-141. Freshman Defne Tacyildiz set a new freshman record in the 200 fly (1:59.14) while earning a B cut in the event.

“I set a goal to get the freshman record and when I saw I got the record I was happy. It was good the finish first and second in the event with McKenzie,” Tacyildiz said on her performance.

The men’s side took the lead after event 10 when Caio Pumputis won the 100 breaststroke (52.96), good for a B cut. Pumputis would later earn a B cut in the 200 breaststroke as well. Daniel Kertesz and Matt Steele finished third and fourth in the event to give Tech a 47-46 lead. Christian Ferraro took the next event on the men’s side with a 1:45.05 time in the 200 butterfly, good for a B cut. David Gapinski turned in a 1:53.56 time in the event to keep tech up 57-55.

Tech lost the lead after that event but kept it close only being behind seven points going into the final event. It came down to the final event, the 400 free relay. The White and Gold would need to win the event and place either second or third as well to win the meet. Kertesz, Batur Ünlü, Ferraro and Pumputis won the event but the Jackets fell 0.46 seconds shy of touching in third in the event therefore losing the meet to Florida State.

The women’s side took an 87-82 lead in event 17 when Sophie Murphy won the 100 free (51.34) but would not see the lead for the rest of the meet. The Yellow Jackets finished strong in the final event when Rachel Fulton, Murphy, Zora Ripkova and Brooke Switzer took the 400 free relay by 1.51 seconds.

Diving competed on the 1-meter and 3-meter boards. On the women’s side, Camryn Hidalgo was the top diver on the day with a score of 362.55 on the 3-meter board and a score of 307.35 on the 1-meter board. Captain Carmen Woodruff had the second best score on the 3-meter board (314.63) and was proud of her team’s performance.

“I think that, as a team, we started off at a way higher place than we started off last year. We have really improved. Thinking about where we were compared to last year makes me really excited for the rest of the meets,” Woodruff said.

The men’s divers were led by freshman Allen Mann who had the top scores for Tech on the 3-meter board (333.08) and 1-meter board (298.80).

“This was my first meet with Georgia Tech. You see your teammates diving in practice and you can have mock meet scenarios but I have never seen them in a meet. Getting to see everybody hit their dives was super motivating for the future meets,” Mann said on his first experience diving for the Jackets.

Berke Saka took first in the 200 back (1:46.66), Ünlü won the 200 free (1:36.54) and Mert Kilavuz finished first in the 500 free (4:27.59) and 1000 free (9:07.83).

“The event went very well. I put in a lot of hard work for this and set some target times. Thank you to Angie [Nicolletta]. She always believes in me and thank you to all of my teammates,” Kilavuz said after the meet.

Switzer touched first in the 200 free (1:50.77), Fulton took home first in the 50 free (23.33) and Tacyildiz secured the top spot in the 500 free (4:58.84).