Oct. 12, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In its first combined dual meet of the season, the FSU swimming and diving teams split wins with Alabama on Saturday. The men’s team won by a score of 179-121 moving to 1-0 to open the year, while the women fell to 2-1 on the season after the Crimson Tide won by a score of 167-133.
“The guys were great,” head coach Frank Bradley said. “Even when the racing didn’t go our way, they were still really strong. Both in training and today, they have the ability to come together and push through and there was never any let down. Overall, there were some great swims from the guys.”
The men’s team captured 10 first place finishes on the day, including four one-two punches. Both diving events produced two of those first and second strikes, including a sweep on 3-meter.
Senior Tom Neubacher won both 1-meter and 3-meter, scoring 347.10 and 372.95. The Windermere, Fla. native was comfortably ahead of his classmate Mikey Lewark in both events, who posted a 292.10 on 1-meter before scoring a 329.85 on 3-meter. Freshman Dominic Giordano completed the lone sweep for the Seminoles, placing third on 3-meter with a 324.70.
“It was nice have Tom get back into real competition,” head diving coach Pat Jeffrey said. “He needed that because he’s such a great competitor. He’s been training well and I knew I wasn’t going to see some things until we got to a meet. He stepped up and did a nice job. Mikey was consistent getting back into the swing of things. He needed to shake off the rust and I think by the next meet he’ll be ready to go. I thought the freshmen did well and we got a baseline on them.”
In addition to Neubacher, two other Seminoles captured multiple wins in individual events.
Senior Pavel Sankovich took first in the 100 back with a time of 48.75, about a second and-a-half faster than the next swimmer.
Sankovich was second in the 200 back with a time of 1:48.71, behind junior Josh Friedel who won the event with a 1:48.67. Together, Friedel and Sankovich distinguished themselves from the pack and finished almost two seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
“That depth is going to be nice to have at the end of the year,” Bradley said. “That combination is great and valuable thing. They’ve been training hard and with each other and I’m glad to see them translate that into the meet.”
In the 200 IM, Sankovich led the one-two charge, winning with a time of 1:50.28. Juan Sequera was second at 1:51.51.
Connor Knight swept the fly races, winning the 200 with ease at 1:47.53 before taking the 100 at 48.13.
“There’s been a lot of teaching,” Bradley said. “He’s a solid performer. He has the talent to be in that top end of swimmers in the country and he’s starting to take hold of things with closing with the 200 and changing his turns. He’s buying into the system and I’m happy to see that come together today.”
Both Seminole relays outlasted the Crimson Tide as the team of Sankovich, Jared Pike, Knight and Murray won the 200 medley relay to begin the meet with a time of 1:29.72.
The women produced six wins on the day, coming from three athletes.
“They were a little flat and tentative,” Bradley said. “There were pretty good swims though and as the season goes on we need to learn how to ride the wave of energy and emotion as a team.”
Madison Jacobi won the distance events, first winning the 1650 free with a time of 16:38.01. Jacobi came back and won the 500 free with a time of 4:54.66.
Tiffany Oliver took care of the sprint races, taking first in the 50 free with a time of 23.10 before winning the 100 comfortably at 50.53.
“They were both swimming strong,” Bradley said. “They were the two that were aggressive. Getting into the front end of races and holding that pace in order to have good races.”
On the boards, Katrina Young and Kelsey Goodman were first and second respectively in both events. On 1-meter, Young turned in a score of 319.00 while Goodman was at 287.50. The pair came back on 3-meter with Young edging out Goodman, scoring 304.25. Goodman followed with a mark of 302.45.
“It’s funny, I’m trying to convince Katrina she’s a good springboard diver,” Jeffrey said. “We worked on it and emphasized it a little bit, but she’s still amazing at tower, but I think we’re seeing her confidence translate to springboard and it’s really nice. She brought her best to the table. When she steps up and uses her skill it’s tough to beat her. I’m proud of her. Kelsey is just very consistent and she’s always very tough and I’m proud of her.”
The Seminoles return home for a meet on Oct.18 as the women will battle Florida Gulf Coast at 2 p.m. in the annual `Paint it Pink’ meet at the Morcom Aquatics Center.
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