Feb. 23, 2005
ATLANTA, Ga. - With high expectations for the Atlantic Coast Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, the Florida State University men's team wanted to come away from the first day of competition with a relay tile. Despite not producing a gold medal, the Seminoles are still in a good position after Thursday's (February 23) first day.
After two events, Florida State finds itself in second place with 64 points. The Tribe trails first-place Virginia by eight points, while holding a two-point advantage over NC State and Virginia Tech.
"It's always good to get the first swims out of the way," FSU head coach Neil Harper said. "Our guys are very confident and we're excited to get everyone going tomorrow, but it's one of those things where were not going to hoop and holler about ourselves; we're just going to show everyone what we can do and let our performances speak for themselves."
Florida State moved itself into second place thanks to the efforts of the 200 medley relay. The quartet of Ian Powell (Guernsey, Channel Islands), Billy Jamerson (Savannah, Ga.), Joel Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.) and Michael Averett (Davie, Fla.) swam to an NCAA "B" Cut time of 1:27.89, besting FSU's season-low by two seconds and producing the fastest 200 medley time during Harper's tenure.
Florida State, rated second in the event coming into the meet, beat Virginia Tech - which had the fastest time in the league prior to the championships - by over a second. Beating the Seminoles was an NC State team that broke Florida State's conference record in the event. Stephen Parry, Brett Petersen, Keam Ang and Brendon Dedekind held the old record of 1:27.49 for seven years.
"That's the fastest 200 medley we've had here during my time so we're really pleased with that," Harper noted. "We were a bit safe on our exchanges; I think we may have been spooked by last week. I think if we pushed it on the exchanges that we would have been right in the thick of things, but you can't take anything away from NC State, they swam a great race."
Opening the meet was the 800 freestyle relay in which the Seminoles placed fourth. Florida State dropped its season-best time by more than seven seconds with an NCAA "B" Cut time of 6:34.20 - another ACC-best during the Harper era. Getting things started for FSU was the quartet of Ed Denton (Maidenhead, England), Stephan Connor (Burr Ridge, Ill.), Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio) and Alan Ribeiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).
During the lead-off leg, Denton put his name down on the FSU all-time top ten. The rookie started the relay with a split of 1:38.10 that rates as the second-fastest 200-yard freestyle time in FSU lore. The only Florida State swimmer to post a faster time is Olympic Bronze Medalist, All-American and NCAA Champion Parry during the 1997 with his record of 1:36.18. Denton's time is faster Dedekind, an Olympian and NCAA Champion.
"The 800 free relay did really well getting the "B" cut and fourth place in this conference is by no means a poor performance," Harper added. "Ed did a great job getting us started, to be sandwiched in between Stephen Parry and Brendon Dedekind is pretty good company."
The first individual events will be held Thursday (February 24) morning at 11 a.m. with the prelims of the 500 free, 200 Individual medley, 50 free and one-meter diving. Finals of those events, plus the 200 freestyle relay will be held at 7 p.m. at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.