Nov. 18, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Who: Florida State Swimming and Diving What: At Texas A&M Fall Invitational When: Friday-Sunday, November 21-23, All Day Where: College Station, Texas (SRC Natatorium)
SEMINOLES WILL SEE WHERE THEY STACK UP AT TEXAS A&M INVITE: During the last two weeks, the Florida State University swimming and diving teams have gone up against their toughest competition of the year. The women’s squad (8-2 overall) has taken on a pair of nationally ranked teams, while the men (4-2, 0-1 ACC) have dipped into conference action. But the best way to track the Tribes’ progress will come this weekend when both squads travel to the Lone Star state for the Texas A&M Invitational.
Including the Seminoles, six of the seven teams in the women’s competition are ranked the Collegiate Swim Coaches Association of America poll. Topping the list is No. 8 SMU, followed b y UCLA at No. 11. The host Aggies are tied with Virginia in the 17th spot, while Notre Dame is one slot ahead of Florida State at No. 19th. Rounding out the event is Purdue. On the men’s side, the Cavaliers are 11th, trailed by Texas A&M at No. 13. The fourth team in the event, SMU, is knocking on the door of the top 25.
TRIO OF SEMINOLES HEAD BACK HOME FOR WEEKEND MEET: This weekend’s meet will be a homecoming for a trio of Seminoles as they go back to their home state. For senior Matt Wheeler (Houston, Texas), it will be his last chance to swim in Texas. Also hailing from Houston is rookie Tommy Bishop. One the women’s side, junior Laura Kenney (Plano, Texas) hopes this is the first of two trips back home as Texas A&M will also host the women’s NCAA Championships.
WOMEN STAY RANKED AT NO. 20, MEN DROP TO 23 IN LATEST CSCAA POLL: Even though the women’s team dropped its first two meets of the season, the Seminoles stayed put at No. 20 in the CSCAA poll released on November 12. FSU’s only two losses on the year are to second-ranked Florida and 16th-ranked Michigan. An early conference loss to Clemson, who moved into the poll at No. 25, and a defeat at Florida dropped the men’s program to number 23.
“B” IS MORE THAN A PASSING GRADE AS SEMINOLES POST NCAA TIMES: Even though they dropped a 132.50-104.50 decision at second-ranked Florida, last week’s meet produced a trio of NCAA “B” cuts from the women’s team. Leading the way with two marks was senior Emma Dutton (Bradford, England). Having already made the standard at Michigan, she outdid herself by lowering her league-best times. Dutton swam to first places finishes in both the 50 freestyle (23.36) and 100 free (50.75). Joining her on the “B” cut list was classmate Andree-Anne LeRoy (Nanaimo, British Columbia) as she notched a time of 2:04.29 in the 200-yard individual medley.
SECOND RECORD FALLS FOR ROOKIE Tommy Bishop: In his first conference meet, distance swimmer Tommy Bishop (Houston, Texas) took down the Clemson pool record with his swim in the 1,000 freestyle. At Florida, he added another notch to his belt as he broke the school record at the same distance. The rookie took down Chip Haberstroh’s nine-year old record by nearly a second with his time of 9:13.97.
ROYCIK SNAGS A PAIR OF VICTORIES FROM THE JAWS OF THE GATORS: The best performance turned in during the men’s 146-97 loss at #6 Florida came from sophomore Joel Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.) The sprinter notched a pair of individual victories and took part in a winning relay. Roycik started the meet by winning the 50 free in a season-best time and ACC top-three time of 20.82. He came back to take the 100 freestyle with a 45.91. and also swam the anchor leg of the winning 400 free relay that posted a 3:03.04, the fastest time in the league this year.
FROM THE POOL DECK, Head Coach Neil Harper:
On mid-season update: “I think we’re progressing well. I like the way they are coming together. I like the way we’ve swam in the last couple of dual meets. They were our toughest tests and we’ve taken a couple of losses, but having said that I think that was some our better swimming, we just happen to swim against ranked opponents. I like where we are. We’re coming into our own.”
On Texas A&M: “I’m looking for excitement. I’m looking for them to be supportive of each other. I want them to make the most of the opportunities given the them. They’re swimming in a championships format and they need to do what ever they can to apply the skills that we’ve taught them the last three-four months and see them make smart decisions.”