Oct. 18, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
One benefit of early season meets is that coaches can shuffle the line-ups to learn more about their team. Florida State University swimming and diving head coach Neil Harper got a good look his squad in some off events as the Seminoles picked up a trio of victories on Saturday (October 18).
The women’s team scored a 140-77 triumph over Florida International, while taking down cross-town rival Florida A&M 141-62. On the men’s side, the Seminoles beat the Rattlers 139-87. FSU’s women’s team improved to 4-0, while the men upped their record to 2-0.
Swimming in impressive fashion, Florida State won all 26 events between the two meets. A tribute to the depth on both squads, the Seminoles had 17 different swimmers and divers win the 22 individual competitions.
“The one thing we realize is that we haven’t had as good of depth in the past. This year we have that depth,” Harper said. “We’re two or three deep in each event and we can go to our third or fourth swimmer and win on a day like today. That gives them the opportunity to step forward and be counted on. It also lets everybody feel valuable in their own way.”
While there were quite a few Seminoles touching the wall first, three swimmers and one diver picked up multiple victories. Freshman Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio / Central Catholic) won the 200 freestyle (1:41.21) and 200 butterfly (1:53.83). On the board, junior Sam Hood (Philadelphia, Pa. / Perkiomen Valley) doubled up with victories on the one-meter (330.45) and three-meter (337.40).
In the women’s meet, FSU had two swimmers post top-ten finishes. Junior Lisa How’s (Preston, England / Hutton Grammar) 200 individual medley time of 2:05.15 is the eight-quickest in Seminole lore. She added a triumph in the 500 free (5:00.24). Also putting her name down on the list was senior Emma Dutton (Bradford, England / Benton Park) as she touched the wall with the ninth-best 200 breaststroke mark (2:20.13). Earlier in the meet she added a first-place time of 1:52.82 in the 200 free.
Junior Andrew Skaggs (Jacksonville / Bolles) won his first event of the year when he took the 1,000 free (9:59.50), before Michael Paulus (Somerset West, South Africa / Paul Roos Gym) won the 50 free (20.81). Back from the All Africa Games, Wickus Nienaber (Manzini, Swaziland / Sisekelo) took the 200 IM (1:55.42), while Joel Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.) was triumphant in the 100 freestyle (45.90).
Senior transfer Justin Lawrance (Sloane Park, South Africa / Bryanston) took the 200 backstroke (1:54.84) followed by a 500 free victory (4:39.76) for Alan Ribeiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Cardinal Gibbons). Normally a distance swimmer, freshman Tommy Bishop (Houston, Texas / Cy-Creek) took the blue ribbon in the 200 breaststroke (2:10.47).
“We put some kids in different events and they accepted the challenge,” Harper added. “It tells something about their character. You put someone up in an event they’re not known for or they don’t particularly like, you see how they approach it and we learned a lot about our team and how good they want to be.”
Junior Angie Leach (Leesburg, Fla.) got the women going when she won the 1,000 freestyle (10:22.36), followed by a 50 free victory (24.77) from freshman Lauren Brick (Culpeper, Va. / Culpeper County). Rachel Dong (Paramount, Calif. / Valley Christian) was first to the wall in the 200 fly (2:07.62), while Emily Breen (Savannah, Ga. / H.V. Jenkins) was tops in the 200 backstroke (2:05.67).
During the women’s diving, the Seminole junior tandem of Tiffany Manning (Mission Viejo, Calif. / Capistrano Valley) and Courtney McClow (Jacksonville, Fla. / Forrest) split the two boards. Manning started by winning the one-meter event (331.05), followed by McLow’s winning 339.50 on the three-meter board.
Florida State is back in the water on November 1 when it takes on Florida Atlantic and Indian River in an 11 a.m. meet at FSU’s Leach Center.