June 23, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Four Florida State swimmers will have the chance to earn a spot on Great Britain’s World Championship team when they compete at the British Gas Scottish National Swimming Championships in Glasgow, Scotland beginning Thursday, June 25.
“We are looking forward to seeing how they compete over there,” FSU head coach Neil Harper said. “It’s a tough 14 hour journey with a five hour time difference, but I think they are all feeling good and looking forward to the meet.”
Seniors Georgia Holderness and Andy Hodgson, junior Rob Holderness and graduate assistant Ian Powell will compete for the opportunity to represent their country at the 2009 World Championships this summer in Rome, Italy. Rob and Georgia will swim the 100 and 200 breast, Hodgson will compete in the 100 and 200 back and Powell will swim the 100 and 200 fly.
“They have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Harper said. “In their minds they can only move up in the rankings and contend for a place on the team.”
All four swimmers are used to international competition, competing at the 2008 Great Britain Olympic Trials. Georgia had the best performance of the four, winning the 200 breast and placing third in the 100 breast. Hodgson finished fifth in the 200 and sixth in the 100 back while Powell earned fourth and sixth-place hnors in the 200 fly and 100 fly, respectively. Rob earned 10th-place in the 100 breast and 11th in the 200 breast and also represented his country at the 2008 Junior World Championships winning the bronze medal in the 200 breast.
“[The kids] want it so bad and they want to prove that FSU is a great place to train,” Harper said. “All four of them have swum internationally before so they are all looking to take that next step. How they channel their energy and focus will dictate how successful they can be this week.”
The four Brits have also found success at the collegiate level at FSU. Hodgson is an Honorable Mention All-American, ACC Champion and conference record holder in the 200 back. Georgia was the ACC Champion in the 200 breast in 2006 and was an All-ACC performer in the 100 and 200 breast in 2008. Rob is a two-time All-ACC performer and school record holder in the 200 breast. Powell was an All-ACC performer in the 200 fly in 2008. He also competed in December at the USA Short Course National Championships, placing second in the 200 fly.
The Scottish Nationals will conclude on Sunday, June 28. Log on to www.seminoles.com all week for results and a daily blog from Hodgson on his experiences during the meet.