Nov. 8, 2003
CLEMSON, S.C. –
Earlier in the week, Florida State University men’s swimming and diving head coach Neil Harper warned his team that just as it had done two years ago, Clemson University would be ready for them this time around Saturday (November 8) Harper’s prognostication came all to true for the Tribe as it dropped its Atlantic Cost Conference opener, 137-106 to the Tigers.
In their first away meet of the season, the Seminoles (4-1 overall, 0-1 ACC) managed to only win four of the 13 events. After taking a slim 19-18 lead after the second event, Florida State dug itself a hole that it almost pulled itself out of. The Tribe won three of the final four events, including the 400 free relay, but the deficit was too much to make up.
In a sport where fractions of a second can make the difference, Florida State came out on the short end of several close races that could have turned the tide of the meet. The Seminoles lost four races by a combined time of 0.45 with all four defeats at 0.19 or under.
“Those closer races really turned the meet for us,” associate head coach Andy Robins said. “We knew we would fall behind a little at some point, but those close ones made it too big of hill to climb. To the guy’s credit they fought the whole way a didn’t give up. Clemson was very sharp today. They always get up for us.”
Highlighting the meet for Florida State was the performance of distance freestyler Tommy Bishop (Houston, Texas), The rookie posted two victories and a third-place finish. He helped the Seminoles get the lead in the second event when he won the 1,000 freestyle in a time of 9:18.60. Bishop started FSU’s push in the final four events when he captured the 500 free (4:35.59). In the very next event, he added a third-place mark in the 200 breaststroke (2:08.72).
The only other individual victory came in the diving competition where Jason Beinlich (Ridley, Pa.) won the three-meter board. The sophomore captured the event for the second meet in a row as the posted the top mark by just one point with a winning score of 280.42.
Another rookie who significantly added to the Seminoles point total was Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio). A product of Central Catholic high school, he finished just behind Bishop in both the 1,000 (9:28.25)-four seconds faster than his previous career-best-and 500 free (4:36.77), while placing second in the 200 butterfly with a season-best tally of 1:53.02.
“Tommy was great once again for us. The 200 breaststroke is not one of his best events, but he came through as our top finisher,” Robins added. “Steve Roof did a great job as well, he was a little disappointed after losing the 200 fly by one one-thousandth, but he came back and swam well in the 500 free.”
No one was in closer races that Joel Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.). During the 200 freestyle his 1:42.33 was just 0.07 short of victory, as was his second-place mark of 46.21 in the 100 free that came in just 0.19 behind. Roof had the closest race of the day as his 1:53.02 was 0.01 short of Rob Kummer.
The Seminoles get back in the water on Tuesday (November 11) when they join the women’s team in a 5 p.m. meet at the University of Florida. UF’s men’s team is ranked sixth in the country, while the women are No. 2.