AUBURN, Ala.- On the first night of competition at the Auburn invite, sophomore Madison Jacobi set a new school record in the 500 free with a time of 4:40.18, while helping the 22nd-ranked FSU women’s swimming and diving team to finish the session in second place.
In addition to Jacobi’s record, the men’s 400 medley relay team earned an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 3:09.93 and took second place. The team of Pavel Sankovich, Jared Pike, Connor Knight and Paul Murray have punched their tickets to Austin, Texas for the NCAA Championships on March 27-29 after that race.
“Madison had a heck of a swim,” head coach Frank Bradley said. “I thought tonight our 500 free and 200 IM swimmers were outstanding. Those guys at the end came together very nice and swam well - that’s the trick to all of it. I know that relay is going to drop time at the end of the year in and I’m pretty happy with it.”
After posting a time of 4:43.63 in prelims, Jacobi eclipsed her 2013 ACC Championships time of 4:41.85 in order to better her own FSU record. The Acworth, Ga. native was fourth in the race.
Senior Julia Henkel also made the top heat of the 500 free where she placed eighth with a time of 4:48.93.
In the 200 IM senior McKayla Lightbourn swam a career best time of 1:59.43, good enough for fourth place. With little rest, Henkel dove right back into action in the top heat, placing eighth with a final time of 2:04.08 after swimming a 2:01.98 in prelims.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Dressel led the way for the Seminoles in the 50 free, posting a career best time of 22.64, tying for fourth. Senior Tiffany Oliver followed in sixth with a time of 22.82.
In diving, redshirt junior Katrina Young posted the lone victory on the night for the Noles, taking the 1-meter event with a score of 309. 80. Senior Kelsey Goodman followed closely with a score of 303.90, placing third. Senior Ariel Rittenhouse was fourth with a total of 292.85.
The Seminoles began the night with a fifth place finish in the 200 free relay. Oliver, Dressel, Sami Pochowski and Haley Powell posted a time of 1:32.23. Lightbourn, Pochowski, Chelsea Britt and Oliver closed the session in the 400 medley relay in sixth place with a time of 3:41.29.
The defending national champions (No. 2) Georgia are in first place with a total of 461, followed by FSU (266.5) who is slightly ahead of (No. 15) Auburn who has 240.5. The 18th-ranked Crimson Tide is in fourth with a total of 124.
The men’s session started with an unfortunate disqualification in the 200 free relay, however the Seminoles moved on from the mishap and finished the evening in third place as team.
Junior Kevin Rogers had a breakout swim in the 500 free dropping six-seconds from his previous career best (4:27.42), posting a time of 4:21.00 in order to win the B final.
“What a swim by Kevin Rogers,” Bradley said. “He did a great job of being aggressive. He got up and went after it.”
In the 200 IM, Sankovich led the way for the Noles by taking seventh with a time of 1:47.47, just ahead of freshman Jason Coombs, who was eighth at 1:49.30.
Murray finished third in the 50 free with a time of 19.68.
The Seminoles had three divers in the top heat, with senior Tom Neubacher finishing in third with a score of 375.55. His classmate Mikey Lewark followed in fifth with a mark of 353.55 and freshman Dominic Giordano took eighth, scoring 324.10.
The 17th-ranked Tigers lead the meet with a score of 334 and are followed closely by the 7th-ranked Bulldogs who have 321. The 11th-ranked Seminoles are in third with 250, well ahead of No. 24 Alabama, who has 137.
Competition resumes Saturday at 9:30 a.m. (CT) at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center. Finals will start at 5 p.m. (CT)
“The biggest thing as the day went on we got better,” Bradley said. “The tough competition isn’t phasing our kids and we’re getting up and competing and not putting any limitations on ourselves. I thought everyone swam pretty well this morning and we made adjustments and swam even faster at finals. We had a ton of best times today and we just need to keep getting stronger throughout each session.”
Live results can be found through auburntigers.com as well as a live video feed of the meet on Auburn All-Access.
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