Feb. 26, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. - The No. 15 Florida State men's swimming and diving team will be honored by the entire Seminole family with the lighting of the torch on the "Unconquered" statue on Monday, February 26, 2007 at 6:30 pm for winning the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference Swimming and Diving Championship title. FSU adopted a policy in March 2006 increasing the frequency of the lighting of the spear acknowledging events of great significance and accomplishment on the FSU campus.
The ACC men's title is the first in the program's rich history. The squad knocked off eight-time defending champion Virginia to clinch the championship. The Seminoles clinched six individual event titles, two relay gold medals. In addition, six swimmers and divers claimed All-ACC honors by placing in the medals.
Junior Kyle Young (Oviedo, Fla.) claimed meet MVP honors by winning the 1650 and 500-yard freestyle events. In his third event, he took second place All-ACC honors in the 200-yard freestyle. Junior Jarryd Botha (Worchester, South Africa) won six medals in the meet. He took gold in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke events as well as the 200 and 400-yard medley relay events. Botha also was a strong part of the 200 and 400-yard freestyle relay events that took the silver medal.
Senior captain Alex Kennon (Winter Haven, Fla.) won his first individual meet of his career in taking the 50-yard freestyle. Kennon also claimed gold in the 400-yard medley relay by swimming the butterfly leg. He also collected the bronze medal in the 200-yard freestyle and silver medals in the 200, 400 and 800-yard freestyle events. Junior Ed Denton (Maidenhead, England) won the 100-yard freestyle and took the bronze medal in the 200-yard individual medley. Denton also swam anchor on the gold medal winning 400-yard medley relay and was a part of the 200, 400 and 800-yard freestyle relay teams that took silver medals.
Unconquered, a 31-foot high sculpture that depicts a spear-brandishing Seminole astride a rearing horse, was designed by Fritz White to capture the indomitable spirit of the Seminole people and those who have adopted that spirit as a symbol for their university.
Since its 2003 dedication, the spear has been set ablaze at sunset before FSU home football games only and it burns until sunrise the morning after the game. The new policy means the spear will be lit when FSU wins an Atlantic Coast Conference team championship in any sport, or an NCAA individual championship in any sport. In addition, the spear would be lit the night an FSU team is selected for NCAA Championship competition and will burn for 24 hours. For any sport in which the NCAA does not select full teams (currently swimming and track and field), the spear will be lit if five or more Florida State individuals qualify to compete. For sports with preliminary and final rounds of NCAA championships, if the team advances to the final site (i.e.: Final Four, College Cup, College World Series), the spear will be lit again to recognize the achievement.
The spear may also be lit to recognize the winning of a "National Player of the Year" award in any sport (i.e. Heisman Trophy, Rhodes Scholarship). The new policy will also allow the spear to be lit on the night of graduations and convocations, along with other special occasions as approved by the President.