Feb. 22, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The No. 16 Florida State men’s swimming and diving team is in second after the first day of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships. Virginia leads with 70 points and is followed by FSU (66), NC State (62), Clemson (58), North Carolina (58), Virginia Tech (56), Georgia Tech (52), Maryland (50), Duke (36) and Boston College (28).
“We are in second and right where I thought we would be so I’m happy,” said head coach Neil Harper. “Tomorrow we just have to come out, be a good team, place some people in finals and consolation finals, and stay competitive. As the meet goes on we get stronger and stronger.”
With just two relays being held on the first night of competition Florida State made an immediate impact in the meet and set a school record in the process.
The Seminoles best finish Wednesday night came as the team of senior Joel Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.), junior Alex Kennon (Winter Haven, Fla.) and sophomores Ian Powell (Guernsey, Channel Islands) and Billy Jamerson (Savannah, Ga.) finished second in the 200 medley relay with an NCAA “B” cut time of 1:27.80.
“We haven’t been this fast in the 200 medley relay in seven years,” said Harper. “That was really exciting to see our guys get up and go that fast. Ian (Powell) had a good swim considering that he was battling the stomach flu. We thought he might be able to get through it and he did but obviously wasn’t at his best. Billy (Jamerson) had a real slow exchange but then out swam everyone except Virginia’s breaststroker and got us right back in it. Joel Roycik then led like a true senior with the fastest butterfly split of everyone. Alex Kennon kept his cool and raced next to one of the fastest guys in the country and had an awesome split. I was really proud of them.”
Florida State set a school record in the 800 free relay as the team of senior Stephan Connor (Burr Ridge, Ill.), junior Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio) and sophomores Ed Denton (Maidenhead, England) and Carl Marais (Pretoria, South Africa) finished third with an NCAA “B” cut time of 6:30.95. The previous school record was 6:32.86 set in 1997 by the team of Dedkind, Perry, Darren Milun and Matt McVittie.
“It was a good relay for us,” said Harper. “Stephan Connor went in real strong, closed the gap for us and had a good split for him. Steve Roof is our ace in the mile, 1000 and 500 free so sprinting a 200 free is different for him but he held his own. That set Carl up, who closed it out for us recording the fastest split of the meet in 1:35.62. He almost caught up and got second for us. It was a good way for us to finish that relay and a good start to the meet.”
Day two of the ACC Championships will resume Thursday with preliminaries beginning at 11 a.m. and finals starting at 7:00 p.m.