TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Before shifting its focus to the 2018 portion of the season, the Florida State women’s swimming and diving team had several highlights from 2017.
“I am happy that we continue to take the steps forward in everything that we’re doing,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “Our athletes are achieving best times, NCAA cuts and we’re consistently ranked. We’re really excited for championship season.”
The Seminoles took down three FSU records at the Georgia Tech Invite.
Senior Natalie Pierce became the fastest breaststroker in history after claiming the 200 breast record with a time of 2:10.31, erasing Christina Loh’s 2:10.55 that was set in 2016. Pierce also owns the 100 breast record (58.25) and is a part of both the 200 and 400 medley relay marks that were set in last season.
Freshman Madeline Cohen dropped seven seconds from her seed time to earn the 200 back school record at 1:53.51. Cohen’s time took down Stephanie Sarandos’ 1:54.14 That was set back in 2010, which was the oldest record in the book.
Florida State flexed its strength in the 200 free relay, setting a new record with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:28.49 behind freshmen Emma Terebo, Elise Olsen along with seniors Tayla Lovemore and Alexi Smith.
At the midseason invite, the Seminoles turned in some of the top times in the country including two top 10 relay swims. In addition to its relays, the Noles are poised to earn NCAA individual invites in several events.
100 breast, 5th – 59.35
200 breast, 25th – 2:10.31
100 back, 25th – 52.65
200 back, 20th – 1:53.51
100 fly, 16th – 52.03
100 fly, 20th – 52.19
200 free relay, 5th – 1:28.49
400 free relay, 23rd – 3:17.67
200 medley relay, 9th – 1:36.95
400 medley relay, 14th – 3:33.45
Over the course of the six meets FSU attended over the fall, senior Blaire Mulka along with sophomores Ayla Bonniwell and Molly Carlson have combined to win 10 individual diving events this semester.
Bonniwell leads with five, in addition to claiming two ACC Diver of the Week honors. The Ithaca, N.Y. native won 1-meter at the GT Invite, scoring 291.75. She was also victorious in both events against Duke and Virginia Tech as well as at the All-Florida Invite.
Mulka has claimed four wins, taking home both boards at the quad meet (1M 297.83, 3M 311.03), 1-meter at Arizona State (313.78) and 3-meter against No. 17 Minnesota (315.35).
Carlson’s lone win was on 1-meter against the Gophers, with a total of 280.95.
The Seminoles scored 958.5 total points over the course of the three-day invitational, finishing third after coming back on the final day to pass ACC foe Georgia Tech, who finished the meet with a total of 923 points in fourth.
FSU had 28 individual performances that finished within the top 10 in each event, including five victories by senior Tayla Lovemore (100 fly), senior Natalie Pierce (100 breast), freshman Madeline Cohen (100 back, 200 back) and sophomore Ayla Bonniwell (1-meter diving).
The Seminoles produced four of their five individual wins on Friday. Freshman Elise Olsen finished second behind Lovemore in the 100 fly, while four Noles competed in the top heat of the 100 back. Freshman Emma Terebo followed Cohen in fourth place, senior Ariel Barber was sixth and freshman Ana Zortea was 10th.
Florida State also captured two relay victories on the opening night of finals, taking home the 200 free relay and 400 medley relay.
Despite suffering four losses in October to teams currently recognized by the CSCAA, the Seminoles will head into 2018 with three victories under their belt.
Florida State narrowly pulled off the upset against No. 17 Minnesota at home on Oct.7, falling 153.5-146.5. FSU also suffered a tough loss on the road at Arizona State, 152.5-145.5 on Oct. 28.
The Noles also faced ACC foes, No. 20 Duke (L, 192.5-160.5) and Virginia Tech (L, 223.50 – 129.5) in a two-day tri-meet in Durham, N.C.
Florida State earned its victories over North Florida (187-95), Florida Southern (186-91) and West Florida (187-101).
The Noles competed at the All Florida Invite to start the season, finishing second with a total of 998 behind the Gators (1068). Senior Alexi Smith was awarded the ACC Female Swimmer of the Week for contributing two wins in the 50 and 100 free as well as helping FSU take home four relay wins.
Florida State began the 2017-18 season ranked 23rd in the CSCAA poll and have received votes in each of the three polls since. As of Dec. 19, the women are ranked 30th in the collegeswimming.com poll.
Florida State will start 2018 by facing No. 19 Florida in Gainesville on Jan. 5 before hosting No. 20 Alabama and Miami (Jan.12), No. 22 Notre Dame (Jan.19-20) and Florida Atlantic (Jan. 27) before turning to the ACC Championships (Feb.14-17) and NCAA Championships (March 14-17).
For more information, visit Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.