March 18, 2006
ATHENS, Ga. – The Florida State women’s swimming and diving team finished 16th with 84 points at the 2006 NCAA National Championships held at Gabrielsen Natatorium on the campus of the University of Georgia. Auburn won the overall team championship with 518.5 points.
“Top 16 is our best finish ever,” said head coach Neil Harper. “I am real proud of them. It was a great team effort. They did a great job of representing the University. It was just a culmination of a great year. A lot of hard work went into it and it was just a great way to finish the year collegiately.”
Florida State’s night was highlighted by the 400 free relay team of Carrie Ellis (Valrico, Fla.), junior Romy Altmann (Cape Town, South Africa) and freshmen Christie Raleigh (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Georgia Holderness (Butleigh, Somerset, England) who earned Honorable Mention All-American honors as they finished 10th with an new school record of 3:20.10.
“It was just a fantastic way to finish the meet,” said Harper. “We had our backs up against the wall and we were fortunate to have a great effort this morning and get our 400 free relay into the top 16. They challenged themselves and got fired up. They had nothing to lose. We had a great Stanford team next to us and we just chased them the whole way. Christie (Raleigh) led off with a lifetime best with a 49.7 and it just continued from there. Romy (Altmann) did a much faster split tonight; Georgia (Holderness) was pretty much equal to what she did this morning and Carrie (Ellis) when even faster at 48.9. It was the first time we have had a top ten freestyle relay in the country.”
Florida State had four swimmers compete this morning in preliminaries. In the 100 free, Ellis finished 19th in 49.53 and Raleigh finished 38th in 50.39. Altmann took 35th in the 200 back in 2:01.07 while Holderness placed 33rd in the 200 breast with a time of 2:16.84.
The Seminoles’ earned multiple All-American and Honorable Mention All-American honors over the course of nationals. On Thursday, March 16, FSU’s 400 medley relay team of Ellis, Altmann, Raleigh and junior Lauren Brick (Culpeper, Va.) won the consolation final in 3:39.01 to earn Honorable Mention All-American honors. On Friday, March 17, FSU’s 200 medley relay team of Ellis, Brick, Raleigh and sophomore Lauren Sparg (Durban, South Africa) earned All-American honors as the finished third in 1:38.97. Brick finished eighth in the 100 breast (1:01.50) to earn All-American honors while Raleigh won the consolation final of the 100 fly (53.72) to earn Honorable Mention All-American honors.
In 2005, Florida State finished 31st with 10 points at nationals.