July 2, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. -As the 2012 Olympic Trials came to a close, five Seminoles turned in six career best times in their respective races throughout last week.
"I'm just excited," head coach Neil Harper said. "Especially for the kids that went to the meet from Tallahassee and to go to a meet of that magnitude and perform best times and gain the experience is going to be very valuable for us in the fall. These athletes had an opportunity to swim with the world's fastest swimmers and it's just great experience for us all around, even for the incoming freshmen. It was an Exciting time and we performed and I thought our kids did a great job representing FSU."
Over the weekend, Tiffany Oliver added another top 50 showing in the 50 free with a time of 25.92, which was just off her best time of 25.90. She placed in a tie for 37th in her first-ever Olympic Trials. Also swimming the women's 50 free was CJ Hendry who finished with a time of 26.36 and Kaitlyn Dressel who posted a mark of 26.89.
Mark Weber ended his Trials on a high note as he swam a career best time of 23.21 in the 50 free, taking 55th place and finished in the top half of the event. In other events over the weekend, Madison Jacobbi swam a time of 8:58.88 in the 800 free and 2:22.95 in the 200 back. Also making their debut in the 800 free was Lauren Hine who swam a time of 9:04.21.
Finally, Derek Pridemore placed 27th in the 1500 free as he posted a time of 15:39.52, just off his personal best at 15:38.14.
In addition to Weber's career best 50 on Saturday, Oliver and Dressel added a pair of personal bests in the 100 free, while Connor Knight dropped his time by a near two seconds in the 200 fly.
The highlight of the meet for the Seminoles was the performance of Josh Friedel, who posted two career best times in both the 100 and 200 back. Friedel dropped a near two seconds from his previous best time to qualify for the first semi-final heat of the 200 back in 14th at 2:00.99. The Fredericksburg, Va. native would finish in 12th place with a final time of 2:01.36.
"My experience was great," Friedel said. "I know after Trials that there's so much more for me in the future. I never thought I would make it back to semifinals, so I was pretty surprised to see the time that I achieved. I honestly couldn't have performed that way without Neil, the coaching staff, my teammates at Florida State, my friends and my family."