TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s swimming and diving team captured the Georgia Tech Invite on Sunday for the second consecutive year. The 20th-ranked men scored 1398 points while the women earned an impressive second-place showing with 1045.5 points.
“We did really well and responded well to a little rest,” head coach Neil Harper said. “There was great competition here and I’m really pleased with the way our team got up to race,”
Senior Rob Holderness proved that he will be a major player at the NCAA meet this spring after dominating his best event, the 200 breast. The honorable mention All-American in the event finished in a NCAA provisional time of 1:56.00, which is the fastest time in the NCAA this season. Senior Matt Shead earned fifth-place with a time of 2:03.39.
“Rob looked really good,” Harper said. “It was a great swim coming back from the Commonwealth Games. You always wonder what his focus would be like for the season, I’m glad he was inspired to swim so well for the team.”
The Garnet and Gold’s other event winner was Junior Mateo DeAngulo who capped off his stellar meet with another victory, this time in the 1650 free. DeAngulo touched in a NCAA provisional time of 15:01.92. Two more Seminoles earned two eight finishes in the event. Freshman Tyler Sell (15:35.32) was fourth and freshman Jack Deedrick placed sixth (15:38.76).
“Our experienced kids did what we’re used to them doing,” Harper said. “They took the lead, but the freshman stepped up as well. You never know if (the freshmen) would be confident and everyday we came to the pool to race and compete.”
Once again the men’s sprint group showed their muscle with four swimmer cracking the top six led by senior Robby Hayes. Hayes earned a NCAA provisional mark of 43. 86 to earn the win. Sophomore Mark Weber placed third (44.63), freshman Paul Murray was fifth (45.14) and sophomore Trice Bailey earned sixth (45.15).
Sophomore Brad Morrison finished a breakout meet for him with a second-place showing in the 200 back (1:47.19). Senior Ian Rowed finished sixth (1:47.43) and freshman Mike Thomas placed seventh (1:50.40).
In the final individual event of the meet, sophomore Danny Nguen earned second in the 200 fly with a time of 1:48.35. Fellow sophomore Mark Cox placed third (1:48.52) and DeAngulo finished fourth (1:48.53).
FSU wrapped up the men’s meet with a second-place finish in the 400 free relay. Hayes, Weber, Murray and Bailey finished with a NCAA provisional time of 2:57.63
In their first platform competition of the season the Seminole divers placed three men in the top eight led by senior Mike Neubacher who finished third (352.20). His freshman brother Tom placed fifth (344.30) and senior Landon Marzullo was seventh (303.95). On the women’s platform senior Jaq Horner was the teams highest finisher placing 10th (203.55).
Freshman Tiffany Oliver earned the highest finish of the day for the Florida State women in the 100 free. Oliver touched in second-place with a NCAA provisional time of 49.54. Senior Holly Mills earned a top 10 finish as well finishing in a time of 51.19, good enough for 10th.
“I think everyone looks really good for this time of the season and Tiffany is one of those who responded so well to a little rest,” Harper said. “It makes me feel confident that the work we’re doing and every thing about our program.”
The Seminole women placed three swimmers in the top 10 of the 1650 free led by junior Charlotte Broadbent. The All-ACC swimmer posted a 16:41.86 to take home fourth. Sophomore Caroline smith touched the wall in sixth (16:44.86) and sophomore Corey Allison placed ninth (16:51.11).
Junior Stephanie Sarandos earned a third-place finish in her signature event the 200 back. The honorable mention All-American earned a NCAA provisional time of 1:56.61. Mills also made the top eight touching in 1:59.20.
Sophomore Kristine Polley earned sixth in the 200 breast with her own NCAA provisional time of 2:14.90. In the 200 fly, senior C.J. Hendry placed sixth (2:00.21) which was another NCAA provisional time, and sophomore Katie Coleman finished 10th (2:02.28).
The women wrapped up the meet with a second-place finish and a school record in the 400 free relay as Oliver, Mills, senior Brittany Selts and Hendry combined for a NCAA provisional time of 3:19.67.
“I think it’s great to get that record at this time of year,” Harper said. “I’m proud of our team and they way we handled this meet.”