March 17, 2006
ATHENS, Ga. – The Florida State women’s swimming and diving team continued to make their presence felt at the NCAA National Championships held at Gabrielsen Natatorium on the campus of the University of Georgia. The Seminoles’ 200 medley relay team of senior Carrie Ellis (Valrico, Fla.), junior Lauren Brick (Culpeper, Va.), sophomore Lauren Sparg (Durban, South Africa) and freshman Christie Raleigh (Boca Raton, Fla.) earned All-American honors as they took third in the championship final with a time of 1:38.97.
“They just rode on the emotions of last night,” said head coach Neil Harper. “They felt good about themselves and were very confident. They knew that the 200 medley relay was stronger than last night’s 400 medley relay. This morning they did a real good job in their heat. They stayed cool and claim and swam some great legs. Just going into the finals having the fastest qualifying time was something that Florida State has never done. It was just a great achievement and I’m so proud of the four ladies to get up to that point. We knew that we had to put our best team forward tonight and the girls stuck with the plan. They went faster than they did this morning and almost equaled their ACC record. We got third which is a great achievement and something that no other FSU relay has done. To finish that high is great for the program. It sent a message to our fans and the rest of the country that we are on the move.”
Brick would earn her second All-American honor of the night in the 100 breast as she finished eighth in 1:01.50.
“I was real proud of Lauren (Brick),” said Harper. “She gave it her all and got into the top eight. She gave her self a chance to move up from their. Being an All-American is just a huge improvement for her. This time last year she made NCAAs and she finished a disappointing 24th. So for her to be All-American and top eight is such a huge turn around and is a tribute to her. She has learned to swim smart and has worked very hard. This is something that she will remember forever.”
Raleigh won the consolation final of the 100 fly in 53.72 and earned Honorable Mention All-American honors.
“One minute she (Christie Raleigh) was on the award stand then the next she was stepping behind the blocks,” said Harper. “She just went after it from the start and had a great finish. She earned a life time best and earned us nine big points.”
The Seminoles currently have 70 points and are in 13th place in the overall standings. Georgia leads the meet with 379 points.
Last night, the Seminoles’ 400 medley relay team of Ellis, Brick, Raleigh and junior Romy Altmann (Cape Town, South Africa) won the consolation final by setting a new conference and school record of 3:39.01 to earn Honorable Mention All-American honors.
This morning in the prelims, Altmann finished 56th in the 200 free (1:51.32) and 41st in the 100 back (56.03). Freshman Georgia Holderness (Butleigh, Somerset, England) placed 36th in 100 breast (1:03.81) while Sparg took 35th in the 100 fly (54.87).
The final day of the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving National Championships will resume Saturday with prelims beginning at 11:00 a.m. and finals at 7:00 p.m. Tomorrow the Seminoles will compete in the 200 back (Altmann), 100 free (Ellis and Raleigh) and 200 breast (Holderness).