Feb. 18, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The No. 17 Florida State women’s swimming and diving team won the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship for the first time in school history. Florida State took first with 596.5 points and was followed by Virginia (563), North Carolina (517), Virginia Tech (409), Maryland (383), Clemson (374), Miami (237), NC State (206.5), Georgia Tech (189), Duke (160) and Boston College (79). The Seminoles’ previous highest finish at the conference meet was third, which they had done on five occasions, most recently in 2004.
“Everyone contributed in everyway possible,” said head coach Neil Harper. “It was just an awesome all-around team effort where everybody was going to go down fighting. It just kept getting stronger and stronger. It is amazing how we got on a roll like that. The team was just swimming unbelievably. You can’t describe it with words. It is just a phenomenal feeling to watch them pull out performances like they did.”
Senior Carrie Ellis (Valrico, Fla.) and freshman Georgia Holderness (Butleigh, Somerset, England) added their names to the list of ACC Champions as they each won individual gold medals. Ellis won the 100 free with an NCAA “A” cut time of 49.46 while Holderness took the 200 breast with an NCAA “B” cut time of 2:14.06.
“We had the luxury of having six of our guy divers here along with our 25 girls,” said Harper. “We got really loud and we had a lot to cheer about. We kept cheering about anything and everything, and before long we just got on a roll. It is amazing what can happen when people believe that anything is possible. It is just an amazing feeling. ”
The Seminoles also claimed their fourth relay gold medal of the meet as the team of Ellis, Holderness, sophomore Lindsey Kenney (Plano, Texas) and freshman Christie Raleigh (Boca Raton, Fla.) won the 400 free relay with an NCAA “B” cut time of 3:21.54. The other relays won by FSU at the meet were the 200 medley, 200 free and 400 medley.
“When you look at the results of the relays it is a key indication of how good this team is because you have to have four deep in certain areas,” said Harper.
Over the course of the meet Florida State won six individual gold medals. Along with Ellis (100 free) and Holderness (200 breast) winning today, titles were won by Raleigh in the 50 free and 100 fly, and juniors Romy Altmann (Cape Town, South Africa) in the 200 free and Lauren Brick (Culpeper, Va.) in the 100 breast.
Altmann took the silver in the 200 back with an NCAA “A” cut time of 1:57.16 and for the second night in a row broke an FSU record that she already held. Yesterday, Altmann finished third in the 100 back and set a new FSU record of 55.40.
Kenney came through in a big way for the Seminoles swimming in lane eight to place second in the championship final of the 200 fly with an NCAA “B” cut time of 2:00.38 while classmate Lauren Sparg (Durban, South Africa) finished in sixth in 2:02.30.
Sophomore Stacy Rademacher (Charlotte, N.C) scored valuable points for FSU as she finished eighth in the championship final of the 200 back in 2:01.78. In the consolation final, sophomore Kate Skaggs (Jacksonville, Fla.) finished second with an NCAA “B” cut time of 2:00.93.
Right behind Holderness in the 200 breast championship final were freshman Ann Cipoletti (Charleston, W.V) who finished fifth with an NCAA “B” cut time of 2:16.27 and Brick who took seventh in 2:19.30. In the consolation final, freshman Caroline Roberston (Ocala, Fla.) finished second in 2:19.25 while classmate Kylen Huntwork (Apex, N.C.) placed sixth in 2:20.73.