March 11, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- The Florida State men’s swimming team learned on Wednesday that they would send its largest contingent of swimmers to the NCAA Championships in school history. A record 10 men will compete for the Seminoles after the NCAA announced the top 24 individuals for each event as well as the top 15 relays.
“I am obviously excited for our team and this is the most we have ever sent to the meet,” FSU head coach Neil Harper said. “With it being spring break we kept all 10 kids around to keep training and now knowing they all made it is special. We had a great ACC meet and now they will all get a chance to swim again.”
Fifth year seniors Jarryd Botha, Ed Denton and Kyle Young, senior Jimmy Holway, juniors Andy Hodgson and Scott Thacker and sophomore Robby Hayes, Rob Holderness, Stephen Pendleton and Ian Rowe were all invited to the NCAA Championships. This is the first time the NCAA has expanded the field to the top 24 in each individual event and the top 15 relays. Holderness was the greatest beneficiary of this expanded field as he was ranked 24th in the 200 breast. FSU also qualified all five relays for the meet.
“In past years it has gotten frustrating because we thought the field was too small and it seemed that our guys would just miss out,” Harper said. “This year was the perfect storm and we were able to get everyone we hoped would get in.”
Hodgson, Young and the members of the 400 free relay team were the only Seminoles who were guaranteed a spot at the meet because of their automatic qualifying times. Now that the other members of the team have been invited they can compete in any event that they have a NCAA provisional qualifying time in. The Men’s NCAA Championships will be held in College Station, Texas from March 26-28.
The Florida State divers will get its opportunity to qualify for the NCAA meet from March 13-15 in Knoxville, Tenn., at the Zone Qualifying meet. For live stats and meet recaps log onto www.seminoles.com.