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The Countdown To Trials



June 6, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - As the most anticipated two weeks of the swimming and diving season are approaching, 21 members of the past, present and future Florida State swimming and diving teams are getting ready for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. Kicking off the Olympic season, the US Diving Trials will begin on June 17 and conclude on June 24. The week-long competition will be held at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

The very next day, the attention will shift to Omaha, Neb. as the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials will take place from June 25 - July 2 at the CentryLink Center. Below is a closer look at the athletes that will compete at the Trials. Check back to Seminoles.com and Twitter (@FSU_Swimming) for more information. Swimming:

Tyler Ball- 400 IM - Apollo Beach, Fla. - Ball began his senior season campaign by qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the 400 meter IM with a time of 4:29.66 at the FSU spring Invite. He contributed to a fourth place team finish at the 2012 ACC Championships by placing 12th in the 1650 free (15:32.86) and 14th in the 400 IM (3:55.56).

Mike Thomas- 400 IM- Baltimore, Md. - Thomas achieved his Olympic Trial time in the 400 meter IM at the 2011 National Championships, touching in at 4:29.87. He earned a second swim in the 400 IM at the ACC Championships by placing 19th at 3:58.95.

John Jessell- 400 free - Miami, Fla.- Jessell was one of the most improved swimmers in the country during his junior season as he posted near NCAA invite times in the 500 free with a time of 4:20.98 at the Last Chance Bulldog invitational. He earned his Olympic Trial qualifying mark at the FSU Spring Invite with a 3:59.29 in the 400 meter free.

Mark Weber- 50, 100 free - Warner Robins, Ga. - Weber swam his Olympic Trial cut in the 50 meter free at the 2011 National Championships with a and posted another Olympic Trial mark in the 100 meter free at the 2012 FSU Spring Invite with a time of 51.34. This season, he swum to FSU history as the anchor of the 200 and 400 free relay teams for the Seminoles. Weber hauled his team to a seventh place finish at the NCAA Championships in the 400 free relay, capturing All-America honors. He split a 18.83 on the end of the ninth-place finishing 200 free relay team at NCAA's, which tied for the best leg in the event. The same four won double gold in both sprint relays at the 2012 ACC Championships, breaking the meet, school and pool record in the 200 distance. Individually, Weber took fourth in the 50 free at ACC's.

Connor Knight- 200 fly- Juno Beach, Fla. - Knight earned his Olympic Trial cut in a time trial of 2:03.95 in the 200 fly at the 2011 National Championships and will represent North Palm Beach Swim Club at Trials. He made the bonus heat of the 200 fly at the 2012 ACC Championships, where he took 22nd time of 1:51.74.

Josh Friedel- 100, 200 back- Fredericksburg, Va. - After a mishap in the prelims of the 200 meter back at the 2011 Junior National Championships, Friedel bounced back by posting an Olympic Trial time during a swim off before turning in the second fastest time of the meet at 2:02.82, dropping about four seconds from his morning swim. Also took second in the 100 meter back at 57.82 at the meet, earning another Olympic Trial cut. In his ACC Championship debut this season, Friedel placed grabbed the bronze medal in the 200 back after taking ninth in the 100 back from lane one.

Julia Henkel- 400 IM - Roswell, Ga. - Henkel accomplished her Olympic Trial mark in the 400 meter IM at the 2011 National Championships with a 4:55.18. This season, Henkel broke the school record in the 400 IM at the Last Chance Bulldog Invite with a 4:11.91 earning her invite to the NCAA Championships. She will represent SwimAtlanta at Trials.

Jamie Barrett- 400 IM - Billings, Mo. -As the team captain for the 2011-12 season, Barrett finished eighth in the 400 IM at the ACC Championships. She earned her Olympic Trial cut in the 400 meter IM at the FSU Spring Invite with a time of 4:54.15.

Tiffany Oliver- 50, 100 free- Southwest Ranches, Fla. - Posted her seed time for Olympic Trials in the 50 meter free (25.90) at the FSU Spring Invite after earning her cut time in the 100 meter free at the 2012 FSU Club Seminole Spring Invite. Oliver ended her sophomore season by breaking her own school record in the 100 free (48.93) which qualified her for the NCAA Championships. Oliver placed fifth in the 100 free and took sixth in the 50 free at ACC's.

Kaitlyn Dressel- 50, 100 free- Green Cove Springs, Fla.- Dressel proved to be one of the biggest impacts in the freshmen class as she took seventh place in the 100 free in her ACC Championships debut. She also scored points with an 11th place finish in the 50 free and a 14th place showing in the 100 breast. Dressel qualified for Olympic Trials in the 100 meter free at the 2011 Junior National Championships and grabbed the 50 meter free cut at the FSU Club Seminole Spring Invite.

Kristine Polley- 200 breast - Marietta, Ga.- Performed the second fastest 200 breast in school history at the ACC Championships with a time of 2:13.39 en route to a sixth place finish. Polley qualified for Olympic Trials at the 2011 FSU Spring Invite in the 200 meter breast where she posted a 2:33.71.

CJ Hendry- 50, 100 free, 100 fly - Evans, Ga.- Graduated from Florida State in 2010, but continued competing throughout the year in order to achieve Olympic Trial standards. Starting in November, Hendry earned her first cut time in the 50 meter free at the 2011 Missouri Grand Prix (26.11). She followed in December at the National Championships with a cut in the 100 meter fly( 1:00.76) and finished out her trio of qualifications in March with the 100 meter free (56.82). As a Seminole, Hendry had her best ACC Championships in 2010 as she took fifth in the 200 fly with a 1:59.57 and placed sixth in the 100 fly with a 54.08. During that same meet, Hendry was a part of the bronze medal -winning 800 free relay team that broke the school record at 7:10.13. In 2009, Hendry anchored the school record-breaking 200 free relay team at the ACC Championships.

Elizabeth Pepper- 200 free, 200 fly- Poolesville, Md. - As a freshman, Pepper was one of the top rookies in the ACC as she shattered the school record in the 200 fly with a 1:56.82 en route to qualifying for NCAA's. As a member of Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club, Pepper made her first Olympic Trial cut in 2010 in the 200 meter fly at the National Championships at 2:14.99. She earned a second cut in the 200 meter free in 2011 with a time of 2:03.19.

Incoming Freshmen:

Sami Pochowski- 100 breast - Greenfield, Wisc. -At Muskego High School, Pochowski was a two-time WIAA division 1 state champion in the 200 free with a personal best time of 1:48.4 and state record in the 100 breast at 1:01.7. As a member of the South West Aquatic team, she finished second in the 100 meter breast with an Olympic Trial cut time of 1:10.59 at the 2011 Junior National Championships in Stanford, Calif.

Mary Elizabeth King- 100, 200 Fly- Duluth, Ga. - As a member of SwimAtlanta, King earned her first Olympic Trial cut in the 200 meter fly (2:16.49) at the 2011 Georgia Senior Long Course Champs. She added another cut time in the 100 meter fly (1:01.43) at the 2011 Winter National Championships.

Lauren Hine-800 free -York, Pa. - As a member of one of the best teams in the country in the North Baltimore Aquatic Club under coach Bob Bowman, Hine qualified for Olympic Trials in the 800 meter free at the 2010 Junior National Championships with a time of 8:49.79.

Madison Jacobi-400, 800 free, 200 back - Acworth, Ga. - During her four years at Harrison High School, Jacobi has certainly made a name for herself. This past season, she was named as the Cobby County Swimmer of the Year, while earning All-State first team honors and accounting for seven school records. As a member of the Marietta Marlins, Jacobi earned all three of her Olympic Trial times at the 2012 NCSA Junior National Swim in March in the 400 meter free ( 4:17.30), 800 meter free ( 8:45.67) and the 200 meter back (2:16.27).

Derek Pridemore-400, 1500 free- Venice, Fla. - As a mile specialist, Pridemore is primed to breakout on the national level in the event as he qualified for Olympic Trials in the 1500 meter free at the 2011 Junior National championships with a time of 15:38.14. He also earned his cut time in the 400 meter free with a time of 3:59.49 under the Sarasota YMCA Sharks. As a member of Venice High School, Pridemore took third in the 500 free and fourth in the 200 free at the 3A 2011 Florida state championships.

Diving:

Nick Klein- 10-meter synchronized - Chapel Hill, N.C - Earned his first-ever All- ACC selection with a third place finish on the platform at the ACC Championships.

Ariel Rittenhouse- 3-meter springboard- Santa Cruz, Calif. - A member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team in Beijing, Rittenhouse dove alongside Kelci Bryant (Minnesota), earning a fourth place finish on the 3- meter synchronized event. After a two year stint at USC, Rittenhouse joined the Seminoles with an immediate impact and a comeback in mind. Rittenhouse grabbed the silver on the 1-meter springboard and finished fourth on the 3 meter springboard at the ACC Championships before making an appearance at the NCAA Championships.

Katrina Young- 10-meter platform - Shoreline, Wash. - Young was invited to compete at the Olympic Trials after an outstanding postseason where she earned All-America honors with a fourth place finish on platform at the NCAA meet. Young began her historical campaign as she brought home the first-ever gold medal on the platform for the Seminoles at the ACC Championships while breaking her own school record in the event with a score of 323.05. With that performance, she gave women's team its first ACC gold since 2008.

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