March 26, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. –
It’s been six years since the Florida State University men’s swimming and diving team had any All-America honors in the swimming events, but that streak was ended Friday (March 25) in an unusual way at the NCAA Championships. The Seminoles’ 800 free relay produced a 16th-place finish to earn the elite status.
For the relay, Florida State got two points to put it in 31st place.
By virtue of having four swimmers already entered into the competition and NCAA provisional time established at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, Florida State could enter its four competitors in the 800 free relay. With a total of only 16 teams entered into the race, the Seminoles were not only guaranteed to score points, but also bring home Honorable Mention All-America certificates.
Comprising the quartet was Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio), Thomas Bishop (Houston, Texas), Kyle Young (Oviedo, Fla.) and Billy Jamerson (Savannah, Ga.). The foursome touched in with a time of 6:51.63, finishing behind Harvard.
“This is a credit to the four guys who made it this far and is one of the benefits of qualifying for the meet,” FSU head coach Neil Harper said. “We haven’t bee on the board in the last couple of years so this is a good start and tomorrow we’ve got nothing to lose. Even though these four will have their names down, it’s a tribute to all the guys on the team.”
During the 1999 campaign, the Seminoles took seven swimmers to the national summit with four individuals coming home with All-America awards while four of the five relays, including the 800 free, earned the honor. Since then, the Tribe’s only All-America accolade was earned on the diving board.
Florida State’s lone individual competitor on the second day was Jamerson. The rookie took 27th with a time of 54.98 in the 100 breaststroke. He’ll return on Saturday to compete in his second event – the 200 breaststroke – while Roof, Bishop and Young will swim in the 1,650 free.
“I think if Billy had hit his turns a little bit better that he would have made it back tonight,” Harper added. “He swam relaxed, which is good, but he was relaxed going into the turns and that is something you can’t do at this level. It was a rookie mistake and we’re both a little disappointed, but there were only two freshmen ahead of him and he’s got a lot of races ahead of him.”
The meet concludes Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.