Feb. 23, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The No. 16 Florida State men’s swimming and diving team is in first after day one of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships. The Seminoles lead with 237 points and are followed by Virginia (217), North Carolina (164.5), Georgia Tech (159.5), NC State (145), Clemson (141.5), Virginia Tech (126), Maryland (118.5), Duke (54), Boston College (42) and Miami (20).
Florida State’s best finish of the night came in the 200 free relay when the team of senior Joel Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.), junior Alex Kennon (Winter Haven, Fla.) and sophomores Jarryd Botha (Worcester, South Africa) and Ed Denton (Maidenhead, England) won FSU’s first gold medal of the meet with an NCAA “B” cut time of 1:19.43.
“I think the relay was just a culmination of everything that happened today,” said head coach Neil Harper. “It couldn’t have gone any better. Once we set the order they went about their business and all put in great legs. It set a message to the rest of the conference that if you give us a chance we are going to put it away. It was a great way to cap off a real good day.”
Junior Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio) finished fourth in the 500 free championship final with an NCAA “B” cut time of 4:21.08 and in the process set a new school, which was previously held by Stephan Perry (4:23.28 – 1997).
“4:21 is just a phenomenal time for him (Steve Roof) as he has continued to drop it every year,” said Harper. “It was another great boost for us in terms of points and also for morale.”
Sophomores Danny Keeling (Westminster, Colo.) and Denton each recorded an NCAA “B” cut time in the 200 IM as they finished third (1:48.94) and sixth (1:49.55), respectively.
“Danny (Keeling) stuck to the winner close and pulled out third,” said Harper. “It was a great swim for him and some big points for us.”
Roycik finished fourth in the 50 free championship final with an NCAA “B” cut time of 20.11. Right behind him, also with an NCAA “B” cut time was Kennon who took fifth in 20.15.
Sophomore Kyle Young (Oviedo, Fla.) swam from lane one to finish second in the 500 free consolation final with an NCAA “B” cut time of 4:25.41. Junior Paul Erben (Panama City, Fla.) took sixth in the 200 IM consolation final in 1:51.46 while Botha finished fourth in the 50 free consolation final in 20.66.
“Kyle Young did a lifetime best by a couple of seconds,” said Harper. “It was just a huge turn around from this morning. His swim really set the tone for the rest of the night.”
“Paul Erben just had a great day. He would be the first to admit before this meet that he was a pretty good IMer that had a good breaststoke. I think today that he proved to everyone, coming down from 1:53 to 1:51 that now he is a player. He just put together a real smart IM this morning and tonight.”
The points from the 1M diving competition, which was held Feb. 17, were added in tonight. FSU’s top finisher in the 1M was sophomore Alex Tilbrook (Largo, Fla.) who took fifth with 322.55. Freshman Dan Frebel (Fort Wayne, Ind.) finished eighth with 292.55 points.
“Our six divers, competed their hearts out last week,” said Harper. “Their hard work, places and great performance last week kicked in tonight. We went from 30 points down to being two points up which was a huge boost for the team.”
Day three of the ACC Championships will resume Friday with preliminaries beginning held at 11:00 a.m. and finals starting at 7:00 p.m.