Sept. 30, 2012
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The men’s and women’s Florida State swimming teams finished second out of eight teams in their first invitational the year. The Seminoles debuted their 2012-13 season at the All-Florida Invite, in Gainesville, Fla. this past weekend.
Both squads finished the meet behind The University of Florida, with the men scoring 919 points on the weekend and the women posting a total of 763.5 points.
“We performed with such a high level of energy,” head coach Neil Harper said. “In that regard we were the best team out there. Our kids were performing well considering that we’ve been training pretty hard. We’ve been challenging them in practice every day and we didn’t expect them to swim that fast. I was happy with the fact that they got after it this weekend and didn’t make excuses for being tired. I loved the attitude and I thought that our team was proud to be Seminoles in hostile territory. It was a great meet for everyone to come together and get behind one another and race as a team.”
The prelim/ final formatted three-day competition began on Friday, Sept. 29 with a strong showing from the Seminoles with the sprinters leading the way with a trio of first places. For the men, the session began with a win in the 200 free relay as the team of junior Paul Murray and seniors Trice Bailey, David Sanders and Mark Weber turned in a time of 1:20.09, edging out two teams from the University of Florida.
Weber would go on to win the 50 free later in the session, posting a time of 20.18 after a 20.03 showing in prelims. Murray followed in third with a mark of 20.64, while Bailey was fourth touching at 20.66.
“I’m really excited about where he as well as the rest of the sprint group is,” Harper said. “For him to be that low this early on is great. I know he’s pushing himself and he comes back every year, along with the rest of those returning All-Americans on our sprint relays and they just get after it.”
Three Seminoles were in the top heat of the 200 IM as senior Danny Nguyen led the way with a fifth place finish at a time of 1:53.76. Freshman Nicholas Brown followed in fifth with a mark of 1:55.08 and junior Mike Thomas was eighth at 1:56.29.
The women had an individual first place effort as sophomore Kaitlyn Dressel tied for the win in the 50 free with Natalie Hinds of Florida with a time of 23.19. Junior Tiffany Oliver was third at 23.26 and sophomore Katie Cook placed eighth, touching the wall at 24.50.
A pair of Seminoles were in the top heat of the 500 free as freshman Madison Jacobi placed fifth with a time of 4:58. 42. She was followed by junior Julia Henkel in seventh touching with a time of 4:59.80.
On Saturday, Sept. 30, the men loaded the top heats of every event, placing 16 different swimmers in ‘A’ finals of the five individual events of the session.
Starting with the 400 IM, the Seminoles finished fifth, sixth and seventh. Thomas led the way in fifth with a time of 4:02.51, while Brown was sixth at 4:04.19. Freshman Kyle Doxtater placed seventh with a time of 4:10.31.
Sophomore Connor Knight placed third in the 100 fly, swimming the same time of 49.33 in both prelims and finals. Following in fourth was Weber at 49.68, while Ngyuen took fifth at 49.82. Junior Max Mitchell was the fourth Seminole in the top heat, placing eighth with a time of 51.28.
Florida State turned in another fifth, sixth and seventh place showing in the 200 free as sophomore Kevin Rogers led the way in fifth with a time of 1:42.29. Bailey was sixth with a mark of 1:43.38 and junior Robert Swanbeck placed seventh at 1:44.21.
In the 100 back, sophomore Harrison Brogden led the way with a fifth place, touching with a time of 51.18. Following in sixth was senior Brad Morrison with a mark of 51.58 and sophomore Josh Friedel placed seventh at 52.15.
The ladies team also had numbers in the top heats, as Barrett, Henkel and Jacobi began the session in the top heat of the 400 IM. Barrett placed fifth at 4:27.02, while Henkel took seventh with a time of 4:27.33. Jacobi touched in eighth with a mark of 4:32.41.
In the 100 fly, sophomore Elizabeth Pepper turned in a sixth place showing with a time of 56.68, while freshmen Mary Elizabeth King and Bianca Spinazzola were seventh and eighth respectively with times of 56.79 and 58.01.
Oliver and Dressel put together a fourth and fifth place effort as Oliver took fourth in the 200 free with a 1:51.36, while Dressel followed in fifth at mark of 1:51.91.
Freshman Samantha Pochowski earned third place in the 100 breast with a time of 1:04.27 and Polley was eighth at 1:06.11.
In the 100 back, junior Ashley Hicks finished fourth with a time of 56.40, while Spinazzola competed in her second final of the session, taking sixth with a time of 57.31.
On the final day of competition for the men, Thomas placed fifth at 1:51.25 while Friedel followed in sixth place with a time of 1:51.33. Morrison rounded out the field in eighth, touching the wall at 1:56.46 after posting a 1:53.23 in prelims.
The sprinters delivered a three, four, five punch in the 100 free as Murray led the way in third with a time of 45.15. Bailey touched in fourth at 45.45 and Weber followed in fifth with a time of 45.50.
In the 200 breast, Rodriguez swam to a fifth place finish with a time of 2:07.32 while Brown took with a time of 2:07.92.
Knight swam a 1:51.21 in the 200 fly taking fourth in the event while Nguyen swam a 1:51.99 placing fifth. Freshman Cole Hensley touched the wall in sixth, posting a time of 1:53.23.
Pridemore added an eighth place in the 1650 free with a time of 16:04.95.
The ladies left the final session with two individual first places, as Oliver won the 100 free with a time of 49.91 and Pepper took the 200 fly with a time of 2:02.32.
“There’s a difference with our younger kids from last year to this season,” Harper said. “With Connor (Knight) and (Elizabeth) Pepper they amped up their expectations. With our underclassmen, they’re used to being the fastest on their high school or club teams. That’s not the case here, so now, practice is competitive and we’re getting after it every day you can see the improvement.”
Starting off the session, Hicks placed fourth in the 200 back with a time of 2:02.38, while Jacobi finished her meet with a sixth place at a mark of 2:04.70. Senior Caroline Smith was eighth with a time of 2:09.59.
In addition to Oliver’s victory, Dressel picked up a third place finish in the 100 free with a time of 50.25 and freshman Kelsey Buckley swam to a sixth place at 52.18.
“Both Tiffany (Oliver) and Pepper are returning NCAA qualifiers and this year, they want to not only get back there, but they’re looking to make an impact and be All-Americans and I thought they got off to a great start.” Harper said.
Barrett swam in two finals on the evening. In the 200 breast, the Billings, Mo. native placed seventh with a time of 2:24.23. Later, she joined Pepper in her second final of the day in the 200 fly, taking eighth with a time of 2:07.92.
The Seminoles had two ladies place in the top eight of the mile, with Henkel finishing in fifth with a time of 16:59.57 and freshman Lauren Hine touched the wall in eighth, posting a time of 17:18.96.
“We swam fast this weekend for training as hard as we are and for it being this early in the season,” Harper said. “Hopefully we can keep this energy up, working and competing as hard as we did this weekend for the rest of the season.”
The women will travel to Fort Myers, Fla. for their first dual meet of the season against Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday, Oct.6 at 11 a.m. For updates and more information, check back to Seminoles.com, Twitter (@FSU_Swimming) and Facebook.