Sept. 27, 2013
GAINESVILLE, Fla.- After the first night of competition, the Florida State swimming teams sit in second place at the Pinch- A- Penny All-Florida Invitational at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla.
The women’s team tallied 251 points, while the men posted a total of 282. Both squads trail the host team, Florida heading into the second day of the meet.
“From start of prelims to the last race at finals the ability to press forward was great,” head coach Frank Bradley said. “Our team was pushed to swim outside their comfort zone and we continued to find ways to improve and race hard. I was encouraged with how we prepared for our races and I thought we were one of the best teams at the meet in that regard.”
Friday’s finals session kicked off with a pair of second place finishes from the both 200 free relay teams.
The team of Kaitlyn Dressel, Tiffany Oliver, Sami Pochowski and Haley Powell posted a time of 1:33.14, while the men’s squad of Paul Murray, Pavel Sankovich, Kevin Rogers and Jason McCormick swam a mark of 1:21.54.
Moving on to the 500 free, Madison Jacobi placed second with a blazing 4:47.10, just behind two-time U.S. Olympian Elizabeth Beisel (4:45.04). Jacobi’s time was the fastest in-season mark of her career.
“Madison is a great example of an athlete that is staying consistent and improving,” Bradley said. “In her morning swim, she was pressing from the beginning, got out of rhythm in the middle and acknowledged it and went after it at night. From the start she put the pedal down and that’s a strong time for this early this season. It was a very encouraging swim and you can tell she’s engaged in the process.”
In the men’s final heat of the 500 free, the Seminoles took fifth through eighth place as senior Jack Deedrick led with a time of 4:34.12. Junior Juan Sequera followed in sixth at 4:37.84, out-touching sophomore Derek Pridemore who clocked a 4:37.84. Rogers was eighth with a time of 4:41.02.
Henkel led the Seminoles in the 200 IM by placing fourth with a time of 2:06.10, just ahead of a pair of freshmen. Chelsea Britt followed in fifth at 2:07.75, while Lydia Ware came in sixth with a readout of 2:07.85.
Sankovich swam a 1:49.77 in the 200 IM, placing third. Freshman Jason Coombs made his collegiate debut with a sixth place finish with a final time of 1:53.37 after posting a 1:51.58 in prelims. Junior Connor Knight followed in seventh at 1:53.42 just ahead of Sequera, who touched at 1:53.83 after swimming a 1:51.41 in the morning.
Dressel won the 50 free with a final time of 22.92 after swimming a mark just shy of her career best (22.71) at 22.86 in prelims and splitting a 23.00 in the lead-off leg of the 200 free relay. Oliver placed fourth at 23.33, while Pochowski was 10th in the `B’ final with a mark of 24.12.
“Kaitlyn swam a really strong race,” Bradley said. “It was one of those events that was just a great race that involved some great swimmers including her teammate Tiffany. She handled it great and she came out tonight and let it rip. Just like Madison, everyone else can take notice of how hard work, diligence and consistency pays off.”
Murray (20.48) and Rogers (20.74) claimed a three-four punch in the 50 free, while McCormick (21.24) and Sankovich (21.70) placed seventh and eighth respectively. In prelims, Murray posted the fastest time at 20.09.
“With the men in general one thing we talked about is our depth,” Bradley said. “I felt some people stepped up and there may not have been drastic improvements, but there were improvements. I thought the men raced well today, we just have to get faster.”
The session concluded with the 400 medley relay, as the women took second and the men placed third.
Saturday’s session will contain the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 800 free relay. Prelims will start at 9 a.m. with finals following at 4 p.m.
In addition to the meet, the Gators will be collecting new and unused items to be sent to deployed U.S. Troops. The first 250 fans that donate will receive a t-shirt.
The Florida Swim Network will broadcast the finals portion of the event each night. For more information on FSU swimming and diving, follow Twitter and Facebook.