INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The 2016-17 Swimming and Diving season came to a close on Saturday at the 2017 NCAA Championships, but not before freshman Molly Carlson could earn All-America honorable mention accolades behind a 14th place finish on platform.
“She had a solid day,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “I think she and Ayla (Bonniwell) did a great job with training and competing this season as well as handling the stress that goes along with competing at NCAA’s.”
Carlson qualified 11th out of prelims, after finishing strong on her final two dives. In round four, her back 2 1 ½ tuck scored 62.35 points before ending with a reverse 2 ½ somersault tuck that scored 58.80.
In finals with the scores reset, Carlson fell back to eighth after her first two dives but responded by closing out her season with three that scored above 50 points for a total of 241.25.
“Molly is a gamer,” Proctor said. “She thrives in competition and it’s always impressive to see a freshman making to NCAA’s. She has flourished in her first season as a Seminole.”
In prelims of swimming, both junior Natalie Pierce and Tayla Lovemore finished on high notes, turning in career best times.
After her historical 100 breast on Friday night where she placed fourth in school record timing (58.26), Pierce placed 23rd in the 200 breast with a time of 2:10.80. It was the second fastest swim in Florida State history behind junior Christina Loh, who followed Pierce in the race with a time of 2:11.45 for 30th.
Lovemore competed in the 200 fly at 1:58.51, placing 39th.
Florida State finished the meet in 28th place with a total of 24 points as Bonniwell, Pierce, Lovemore and Carlson all picked up All-America honors by scoring towards the team total.
The Seminoles were the fifth highest team representing the ACC behind Louisville (Sixth), NC State (Seventh), Virginia (12th) and North Carolina (17th). In addition, FSU finished ahead of all the Florida schools including the Gators.
“We’re very excited to have such a great NCAA finish,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “I’m incredibly proud of these ladies in addition to our hard-working staff. We could have been higher if we didn’t lose those two relays to DQ’s, but it was still a fantastic meet.”
The men will compete at the NCAA Championships at the IUPUI Natatorium from March 22-25.
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