Jan. 12, 2007
Baton Rouge, La. –
Florida State’s No.7 ranked women’s swimming and diving team continued their undefeated 8-0 season by defeating unranked Louisiana State 180-120. Neil Harper’s homecoming to his alma mater LSU was not as sweet as he had hoped for as the No. 11 ranked Seminole men’s team lost to No. 25 Louisiana State in the morning meet 146-154. Immediately following the meet, nine student-athletes departed from Baton Rouge to travel to Dallas, Texas for the Dallas Morning News Classic which begins tonight at 7:30 p.m. CST.
The women’s team was paced by 2006 ACC Rookie of the Year sophomore Christie Raleigh (Toms River, N.J.). Raleigh won the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle events with NCAA “B” cut times of 23.14 and 50.32, respectively. The 200-yard medley relay, comprised of Raleigh, ACC performer of the week senior Lauren Brick (Culpeper, Va.), junior Lauren Sparg (Durban, South Africa) and junior Abbie King (Brunswick, Maine) took the victory in an NCAA “B” qualifying time of 1:42.82. Brick also took a victory in the 100 Breaststroke with a NCAA “B” cut time of 1:03.81.
“We were kind of wondering how the meet would go with LSU winning two of the first three events,” said Head Coach Neil Harper about the women’s meet. “We had a few people step up, the breaststrokers were strong. Lauren Brick was feeling a little under the weather, but still managed to get a key win in the 100 breaststroke.”
Freshman Tiffany Elias (Phoenix, Ariz.) notched her fifth win of the season in the 200-yard butterfly by finishing in a time of 2:03.38. Coming in with a time of 2:02.46, senior Romy Altmann (Cape Town, South Africa) backed her way into a victory in the 200-yard backstroke Sophomore Georgia Holderness (Butleigh, Somerset, England) touched the wall in 2:18.74 to take the victory in the 200-yard breaststroke, she later would finish the 200-yard Individual Medley with a time of 2:06.13 to complete a two victory day. Sparg doubled her victories as well, when she took the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 56.51.
“Collectively they stayed strong and had some wins which is very important,” added Coach Harper. “About two thirds of the way through the meet we knew that we had the meet in hand.”
The final event win of the day for the Seminoles’ came from freshman Jennifer Guyler (Palm Harbor, Fla.) who led two other Seminoles to a win-place-show trifecta in a time of 4:57.03. Guyler was followed by sophomore Caroline Robertson (Ocala, Fla.) and junior Linsday Kenney (Plano, Texas) who touched the wall in times of 4:57.73 and 5:03.32, respectively.
The men’s team was led by a pair of freshmen who both took a duo of event wins. ACC Performer of the Week, Terry Horner (Orlando, Fla.) picked up where he left off last week by winning both the one-meter and three-meter diving events. His scores of 344.92 and 327.97 were both above the NCAA Zone qualifying standards.
“We’re just at that phase in our training where we’re training very hard and our kids are very fatigued,” commented Coach Harper after the men’s loss. “It’s really a tough test this time of the year to come on the road, and we knew that coming in. They had four really good guys that won eight events between them. But when they would step up and win, our guys would get second, third and fourth. We had some kids keep us in the meet. The divers went one, two, three in the last event (three-meter diving).”
Freshman Scott Thacker (Lynchburg, Va.) played the second half of the men’s dynamic duo as he won both breaststroke events. Scott’s time of 57.18 gave him first place in the 100-yard breaststroke followed by senior Paul Erben (Panama City, Fla.) who clocked in for second place at 52.88. In the 200-yard breaststroke Thacker again took the win with a time of 2:04.78.
“Realistically we would claw back and they would chip ahead again,” added Coach Harper. “Hats off to their guys, they had their top four guys, and we had our depth, but we couldn’t find an individual answer for those guys.”
Eight swimmers and one diver from the men’s team will compete on Friday and Saturday night at the Dallas Morning News Classic in Dallas, Texas. The meet will begin at 7:30 p.m. CST each evening, with live stats available at www.smumustangs.cstv.com.
The next competition for the Seminoles is a January 26th home encounter with Indian River Community College. The Friday meet takes place at 4:00 p.m. at the Bobby E. Leach Center, and is a prelude to the January 27th meet with the third ranked Auburn Tigers. The Auburn match-up takes place at 11:00 a.m. in the Bobby E. Leach Center. Admission to both meets is free.