Dec. 6, 2004
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Two of the more dominating performances at this weekend's Georgia Fall Invitational turned into a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference Performer of the Week honors for the Florida State University swimming and diving teams. For the second time in school history, the Seminoles swept both the men's and women's honors with the awards going to Billy Jamerson and Courtney McClow.
This is the first weekly honor from the ACC for both student-athletes and the first accolades for Florida State this season. Jamerson (Savannah, Ga.) is the first freshman to receive the men's award and breaks a string of three-straight awards for Virginia. McClow (Jacksonville, Fla.) is the first diver to win women's award this season.
"It's a really great honor and we're excited for the both of them," FSU head coach Neil Harper said. "This really reflects how well they've been competing all season and it culminated this weekend at the Georgia Invite. This also represents the entire team and the success we've had this semester."
Swimming in his ninth collegiate meet, Jamerson turned heads at the UGA Invitational when he won both breaststroke events. He started with a 0.02 victory against Michigan State's Ian Clutten in the 100 breast, taking the event in an NCAA "B" cut time of 54.49, second fastest in the league this year. The mark is the fastest in school history by a freshman and rates him fifth on the all-time charts.
"The different between a good swimmer and a great swimmer is that the great ones take what you say and practice and practice it, but then actually perform like that in a meet," Harper noted. "When we watched him swim the 200 it was almost perfect. Potential is a dangerous word, but when you watch it day in and day and then you watch it get execute it reinforces what we're doing here."
Where Jamerson surprised many was in his performance at the 200-yard distance. The top freshman in the country in the 100 breaststroke, he is still learning how to swim the 200-yard race. Jamerson is apparently a quick learner as he posted an NCAA "B" cut time of 1:58.74 that is 0.44 off the school record and second in the ACC. The third freshman in school history to win ACC weekly honors - joining Michael Averett and Louie Gagnet --- he cruised to the victory by almost two seconds.
"Billy's not a talker, he's a doer," Harper added. "He's hungry for success; he feeds off it and knows he has to get back to work and that there is always room for improvement. There are a lot of people on the team that you look forward to watching and Billy's one of them. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't like Billy, he's got nothing to hide, he's just a good guy."
In addition to his individual swims, he was a major contributor to both Florida State medley relays. His split of 54.35 in the 400 relay was the fastest of all breaststroke splits and propelled the Seminoles to an NCAA "B" time of 3:17.16, the fastest time in the ACC this season. His 24.53 in the 200 medley was also the fastest at the meet and helped FSU to a second-place 1:29.95.
Joining Jamerson as the only Seminole to pick up a victory at the Georgia Invite was McClow. The senior finished no lower than third on all of the three boards and moved up one spot in the finals of the one-meter and three-meter. Second after the prelims of the one-meter, she put together a final round score of 282.65 to win the event.
During her first event, the team captain moved up from third to second with an 11-dive total of 473.65 on the three-meter board. She ended the competition with a career-high 412.60 to take third on the platform. All three of her totals qualify her for the NCAA Zone Championships in March.
Florida State is finished with the fall portion of its schedule. The Tribe resumes action on January 2 against Penn State in the Florida Keys. The Seminoles next dual meet is January 29 against NCAA defending national champion Auburn.