TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On a perfect afternoon, the Florida State swimming and diving team posted four wins against Florida Southern and Emory at the Morcom Aquatics Center as the team celebrated its ‘Paint it Pink’ event.
“We’ve been swimming indoors for a few days and our kids were pumped to be outside and racing,” head coach Neil Harper said. “There was a lot to be happy about today – it was our first home meet on top of it was Paint it Pink and we were swimming in front of a lot of family member today. We got on a roll early and we took advantage of the majority of the opportunities.”
The 22nd ranked women moved to 9-0, 3-0 ACC behind wins of 185-102 against Emory and 179.50-91.50 against Florida Southern. The No. 15 men’s team is now 5-1, 1-1 ACC after beating the Eagles 222 – 70 and the Mocs by the score of 186-106.
Madison Jacobi started things off with a very consistent effort in the 1000 free. She posted a time of 10:12.16 in front of the second place finisher in freshman Lauren Hine (10:18.57). Senior Corey Allison was third with a mark of 10:19.49.
Making her case in the 200 free was sophomore Kaitlyn Dressel who swam a season best time of 1:50.66 en route to a first place finish.
The Seminoles followed with a sweep in one of their stronger races in the 100 back. Touching in first was junior Ashley Hicks with a time of 56.39 just in front of junior McKayla Lightbourn who touched with a 56.69. Freshman Bianca Spinazzola rounded out in third at 57.85.
Freshman Samantha Pochowski fought back on the last 25 yards of the 100 breast to tie for first place with a time of 1:04.37. Senior Kristine Polley followed just behind in third with a time of 1:05.01.
In the 200 Fly, the Seminoles flew to another sweep with sophomore Elizabeth Pepper in front touching with a time of 2:02.41. In second was freshman Josie Cuda swimming a career best in the event at 2:06.70. Third place went to freshman Mary Elizabeth King with a mark of 2:08.79.
Junior Tiffany Oliver led the charge in the 50 free as she broke the 23-second barrier for the first time this season at 22.97. Freshman Kelsey Buckley placed second with a time of 24.13 and sophomore Katie Cook was third with a 24.14 read out.
Dressel came back with a season-best time of 50.01 in the 100 free en route to a first place finish. Oliver followed right behind in second touching with a mark of 50.25.
The Seminoles took the top four spots in the 200 back with Lightbourn winning the race at 2:02.80. Hicks was second posting a mark of 2:03.79, while Jacobi touched in third at 2:04.44. Senior Caroline Smith placed fourth with a time of 2:05.34.
The Seminoles added another sweep in the 200 breast as Polley cruised to victory with a time of 2:18.76. Senior Jamie Barrett placed second with a time of 2:23.77 and sophomore Laure Flewelling took third with a mark of 2:24.08.
Pepper added another victory on the day in the 500 free with a time of 5:03.05.
In the 100 fly, freshman Mary Elizabeth King took first with a time of 57.35 while Barrett followed in second with a time of 57.73.
Lightbourn won the 200 IM with a time of 2:06.56 and Polley followed in second with a mark of 2:07.65.
On the boards senior Ariel Rittenhouse contributed two wins as she dove a score of 321.83 on 1-meter and 355.80 on 3-meter. Junior Kelsey Goodman took second on both boards, posting a 310.73 on 1-meter and 321.60 on 3-meter. Both scores were season highs for Goodman.
The Seminoles posted a one-two punch in the 200 free, with sophomore Kevin Rogers taking first with a time of 1:40.76. Following behind in second was senior Trice Bailey touching in at 1:40.95.
Florida State took the top four spots in the 50 free with the first three places swimming times in the 20 –second range. Coming in first was senior Mark Weber with a time of 20.11 while Bailey touching in second at 20.35. Following in third was junior Paul Murray with a mark of 20.45 and placing fourth was David Sanders at 21.07.
“The sprinters are performing very well,” Harper said. “They’re getting after it and they’re on a mission. I’m excited with the direction of this team. They’re not lining up excuses.”
Sophomore Connor Knight continued to get faster in the 200 fly. In the past three meets, Knight has bettered his career-best time each race as he put up a 1:48.22 today for the win. Following in second was freshman Cole Hensley, who also swam a season best mark.
In his third race on the day, Bailey came back to win the 100 free with a time of 44.60. Weber took second with a mark of 44.76 and Murray was third at 45.85.
Sophomore Josh Friedel won the 200 back and posted a season best time of 1:47.59.
In the 500 free, freshman Derek Pridemore swam a time of 4:37.50 winning the event, just ahead of freshman Dylan Marsolek who touched in second with a mark of 4:37.64. Junior Jack Deedrick was third with a 4:38.23.
Knight added another win and career best in the 100 fly with a time of 48.13. With that mark, Knight posted the eighth fastest time in the NCAA this season. Sanders followed in second with a time of 50.45.
“Connor is just getting fired up about how hard he’s training,” Harper said. “He’s still able to compete at the end of the week. They’re all doing well. I think when one of your teammates does that it, they realize that they all can do that too. He’s like a lightning rod for the team.”
The Seminole divers swept both boards, with junior Tom Neubacher taking first on 1-meter with a score of 326.40 and senior Nick Klein won the 3-meter board with a 327.75.
The team of Murray, Bailey, Sanders and Weber posted a mark of 2:58.23 in the 400 free relay, turning in a season best time in the event and the fourth fastest in the NCAA this year.
“These guys handle pressure well,” Harper said. “We know we have guys in the 50 and the 100 and that allows our younger kids to take care of their business, knowing that we’ve got those sprint relays handled by veterans. We’re seeing that our kids are enjoying competing with no strings attached. They’re just racing. It’s just been a fun day and I look forward to the next one.”
Florida State will have one more home meet this season on Nov. 15 as the Seminoles will host the Florida Gators at 4 p.m