Jan. 23, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
It was a bittersweet ending to the home schedule for the Florida State University swimming and diving teams on Friday (January 23). The women produced a 149-93 triumph over Alabama, while the Crimson Tide men came away with a 137-103 victory. The Seminole women’s team improved to 14-2, while the men fall to 8-3. With the win, the women’s team equaled the school record for single-season wins.
Florida State was in control on the women’s meet from the start as they began the afternoon by taking the 200-yard medley relay. The victory would be the first of seven on the women’s side. Unfortunately the men’s triumph in the 200 medley would be one of only four for the Seminoles.
“I’m real excited with the way they swam,” FSU head coach Neil Harper said. “We’ve been training hard this week, we were in the weight room this morning. Alabama forced us to swim hard and we achieved some season-best times at a stage where we’re doing some of our hardest training. We didn’t take any short cuts, we didn’t rest and they swam the best they could. This is where we need to be four-five weeks from conference.”
The last two meets have seen an emergence from the tandem of Emily Breen (Savannah, Ga.) and Emma Dutton (Bradford, England). Just like last week’s meet at Georgia Tech, each swimmer produced a pair of victories and an NCAA “B” cut time.
For Breen, both of her individual wins came within a span of ten minutes. First she produced an NCAA “B” time of 55.08 in the 100-yard butterfly. She came back to win the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.16 that is just 0.06 off her season-best time set during a faster shave and taper meet. Dutton beat the NCAA consideration mark in her first-place swim of 23.52 in the 50 free, winning the event by over a second. She closed out the day by hitting the wall first in the 100 free at 51.35.
“Emily is not going to back down, she’s a racer,” Harper added. “She knew she had a tough double with the 100 fly and 100 back. If she can do that today, you better watch out when she gets some rest. When you have an Emily Breen and Emma Dutton it boosts the team. Those two led by example.”
Also putting her name down in the win column was junior Laura Kenney (Plano, Texas) as she won the 400-yard individual medley with at time of 4:27.41. Just missing the NCAA “B” time for what would have been the third time this year, freshman Laura Brick (Culpeper, Va.) scored a first-place finish with her time of 1:03.87 in the 100-yard breaststroke.
The men’s trio of individual wins came from a three different competitors. Rookie Tommy Bishop (Houston, Texas) picked it up the last four laps for a 9:14.59 victory in the 1,000-yard freestyle. It was the second time this year that the freshman has surpassed the school record in that event.
“Those guys are fun to coach,” Harper said of Bishop and Steve Roof. “They don’t back down in practice. We went hard yesterday and this morning, so I’m happy with how they are responding. They love to race each other and they give us a big boost in the distance events and that’s something we haven’t had in the past.”
Bishop almost had two victories on the evening, but fellow freshman Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio), got the better of him in the 500-yard freestyle. Roof hit the wall at 4:31.13, edging Bishop by 0.03 for the first-place finish. During the diving competition, Stuart de la Rosa (Erdenhiem, Pa.) spearheaded a one-two-three finish on the three-meter board. His 306.83, was followed by scores of 283.20 from Jason Beinlich (Ridley, Pa.) and a 269.40 from Peter Crane (Fairport, N.Y.).
Florida State wraps up the dual meet portion of its schedule on January 31 when it travels to Harper’s alma mater to take on LSU.