Feb. 28, 2008
Atlanta, Ga.- The Florida State men’s swimming team began individual event competition Thursday morning at the 2008 ACC Championships in Atlanta Ga. The Seminoles placed six swimmers into finals including junior Scott Baker who is the top qualifier in the 50 free.
“We had to be better prepared mentally and physically [than last week] and we were,” FSU head coach Neil Harper said. “We swam well and a lot of our guys think they go a lot faster tonight and we’re in position to get to go faster.”
The morning began with the 500 free where two Seminoles swam their way into the finals. Freshman Ian Rowe swam a personal best time of 4:25.33 to qualify seventh and teammate sophomore Nick Graves was right behind with a 4:25.49 placing him eighth. Both swims are NCAA “B” qualifying times. Sophomore Shawn Erickson (4:31.92) swam a personal best for the Seminoles finishing 18th.
“I think the credit goes to Nick [Graves] because he kept Ian [Rowe] honest,” said Harper. “He stuck with the game-plan and the fact that they had each other to race really propelled them to top eight.”
Fresh off his 19.00 as the anchor of the silver medal winning 200 medley relay, junior Scott Baker qualified first in the 50 free with a NCAA “B” qualifying time of 19.88.
“It’s really exciting and it will be a very close race,” Baker said. “It will be really tight tonight and I can’t wait.”
“We knew he was capable and there were a lot of mistakes in that race,” Harper said. “I think a lot of the other swimmers made some mistakes and I think the guy who wins tonight will be the one with an error free race.”
In the 200 individual medley sophomore Corey Swanson qualified for finals in the eighth position swimming a 1:49.98. Freshman Matt Shead qualified for the consolation finals (1:50.80) in 12th place along with freshman Robby Hayes who finished 16th (1:51.72).
“Corey [Swanson] did really well this morning, he swam a great race,” Harper said. “Robby Hayes feels he can go faster and Matt [Shead] went a best time by a couple of seconds and they all know what they can do tonight.”
The 2008 men’s swimming and diving championships continue with finals Thursday evening as the Seminoles compete for points in the 500 free, 200 individual medley, 50 free and 200 free relay. You can watch Florida State defend its title live on www.accselect.com every evening beginning at 7:00 p.m. For meet results visit www.seminoles.com.