March 24, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Without the advantage of having an experienced member of the team at the meet, a trio of Florida State University swimmers took the plunge together for the first time at the NCAA Championships on Thursday (March 24). Taking its largest group of student-athletes to the meet since the 1999 season, the Seminoles had three swimmers in the preliminary heats of the 500 freestyle.
"We did pretty good today for three guys who are swimming in this meet for the first time," FSU head coach Neil Harper said. "It's one of those things were the 500 is pretty much a paced sprint, but they weren't too far off and we're still very confident about the mile."
Leading the charge on day one of the three-day event, junior Thomas Bishop (Houston, Texas) posted a time of 4:27.17 for 41st. Finishing just five one-hundredths of a second behind him was classmate Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio) as he touched in a spot back at 4:27.22. Rounding out FSU's first day entries was rookie Kyle Young (Oviedo, Fla.) as he hit the wall in 4:30.94 to take 46th.
"I would say that the guys were a little tentative, but that's to be expected," Harper noted. "This is one of the fastest meets in the world and when you swim in your first event you want to do so well for your teammates here and everyone back home. You tend to not be as confident about your game plan, but once you get into the race the nerves subside a bit."
Only one Seminole will be in the water on Friday's second day as rookie Billy Jamerson (Savannah, Ga.) competes in the 100-yard breaststroke. The freshman has a shot at earning All-America honors as he goes into the race seeded 15th.