Nov. 23, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. – The strong performances are continuing to build for the Florida State swimming and diving teams as the second day of the Auburn Invite came to a close. Both squads sit behind Georgia and Auburn heading into the final day of the meet.
“It was a strong day,” head coach Frank Bradley said. “It was fun. We had a really good morning came back and improved that’s what we asked them to do.”
The 22nd-ranked women’s team started the session off with a fourth place finish in the 200 medley relay. The team of Bianca Spinazzola, Sami Pochowski, Chelsea Britt and Tiffany Oliver turned in a time of 1:39.92.
Julia Henkel posted her season best time in the 400 IM, taking fifth with a time of 4:15.01.
Britt followed her 24.09 split in the medley relay with a breakout swim in the 100 fly, taking fifth. She was right on her best mark of 53.84. Spinazzola also swam in the top heat where she placed eighth with a time of 54.45.
Madison Jacobi swam her second career best time of the meet. She placed sixth in the 200 free with a time of 1:47.65. Kaitlyn Dressel was eighth with a 1:49.22.
In the 100 breast, Pochowski swam her career best time of 1:01.27, placing third. Morgan Stephenson was eighth with a final time of 1:02.68 after she posted her best time of 1:02.42 in prelims.
In her third race of the session, Spinazzola took fifth in the 100 back with a time of 54.55. McKayla Lightbourn followed in sixth with a mark of 54.73.
On the boards, Kelsey Goodman placed fourth with a score of 328.55 edging out Katrina Young, who took fifth with a score of 327.65.
“Everyone did pretty well,” head diving coach Patrick Jeffrey said. “This is a good learning experience for the veterans and younger kids. We’re diving against some great teams. These teams are in our zone and we’re getting that exposure and experience of facing some of the top divers now so when we see them again in March, we can beat them. This is what this meet is about.”
The Seminoles closed out finals with a second place showing in the 800 free relay. Jacobi, Henkel, Dressel and Tiffany Oliver came together and posted a time of 7:13.86.
The 11th-ranked men started the meet off by placing second in the 200 medley relay as Pavel Sankovich, Jared Pike, Connor Knight and Paul Murray swam a mark of 1:26.09, finishing behind Auburn.
Juan Sequera swam his season best in the 400 IM of 3:49.20 in order to place third in the event. Kyle Doxtater added a sixth place, as he turned in a career top time of 3:52.42.
For the first time in his career, Knight swam under the 47-second barrier in the 100 fly posting a mark of 46.58, good enough for third place. Sankovich swam a 46.79 and placed fifth and Cadell Lyons took seventh with a time of 48.06.
Kevin Rogers continued to swim ‘lights out’ on day two as he saw another drop in the 200 free. He finished third in the event with a final time of 1:36.83 after swimming his career best by two seconds in prelims of 1:36.54.
The men’s breaststroke group exercised its depth as it saw six swimmers under the 56-second mark between two heats of finals. Pike was third in the race with his best time of 53.61, while Alex Rodriguez placed sixth with a time of 55.04. Richie Hildebrand posted his best mark in prelims (54.94) before finishing seventh at 55.27. Jason Coombs rounded out the field in eighth with a time of 55.51
However, in the B final Sequera swam a 55.36 and Murray smashed his best time, posting a 55.48.
In his third event on the night, Sankovich was the runner-up in the 100 back with a time of 46.81. Josh Friedel placed eighth with a final mark of 51.29 after swimming a 48.78 in prelims.
Tom Neubacher defended his specialty, as he won 1-meter with a score of 384.75. Dylan Grisell took fourth with a mark of 344.00 and Mikey Lewark finished sixth with a total of 335.90.
“Tom did a great job,” Jeffrey said. “He stepped up and he just thrives on competition and today was no exception.”
The men closed out the night with a fourth place finish in the 800 free relay with a team of Rogers, Jemal LeGrand, Robert Swanbeck and Knight. They swam a time of 6:36.83.
“It wasn’t a surprise for these guys and gals to swim best times,” Bradley said, “As coaches it wasn’t surprising, but our swimmers it was. They’re setting themselves up in the morning, which allows them to go faster at night. It was hard to pick out any one athlete that was outstanding, but we’re starting to build steam. We just need to keep going and finish it out tomorrow.”
Prelims will start at 9:30 a.m. (CT) with finals following at 3:00 p.m. (CT) on Friday and Saturday. Sunday’s finals will start at 3 p.m. (CT).
Live results can be found through auburntigers.com as well as a live video feed of the meet on Auburn All-Access.
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