Feb. 18, 2005
ATLANTA, Ga. –
Last year, sophomore Lauren Brick swam in the shadow of Atlantic Coast Conference Swimmer of the Year Emma Dutton. This season Brick has emerged as one of the top breaststrokers in the country and appropriately enough she has earned the top seed for Friday’s (February 18) finals at the ACC Swimming and Diving Championships.
As expected, Brick (Culpeper, Va.) holds the top seed for the evening’s finals of the 100 breaststroke. Despite swimming slower than her season-best seed time, the sophomore was the only swimmer in the prelims to go under 1:03.00 with her NCAA “B” cut of 1:02.49.
“We have a lot of swims tonight, which is encouraging,” FSU deck boss Neil Harper said. “We’d like to have a few more in the finals, but we still have several opportunities to win events. A lot of people got second swims, especially a lot of freshmen. It’s always good to come to your first meet and swim at night.”
A delay in paperwork kept Romy Altmann (Cape Town, South Africa) out of the dual meet season, but the sophomore made her mark on the ACC meet on Friday. Less than a half hour after posting a top-16 time in the 200 free, she came back and swam the third-fastest 100 backstroke time during the prelims. Her time of 56.23 is the fifth-fastest in school history.
The consolation heat of the 100 backstroke will be dominated by the Seminoles with three participants in the race. Rookie Stacy Rademacher (Charlotte, N.C.) notched a personal-best 57.26 to take 11th overall. Right behind her is senior captain Emily Breen (Savannah, Ga.) with her mark of 57.60. Hitting the wall with a career-best time of 57.91 to take 14th was rookie Kate Skaggs (Jacksonville, Fla.). Capping off the event was senior Kayce Zemina (Plantation, Fla.) at a season-best 59.30
Florida State put a pair of swimmers in the finals of the 100-yard butterfly. Having only trained for a semester with the team, freshman Lauren Sparg (Durban, South Africa) has improved by leaps and bounds. The rookie notched the sixth-fastest time in school history with her NCAA “B” cut of 54.86 that rates third in the meet.
A spot back is Breen after she turned in a season-best time of 55.42. Making her first appearance in the evening session will be Georgia native Brittany Stevens (Peachtree City, Ga.) with her season-best 56.54 to finish 14th overall.
There will be a pair of Florida State divers in the finals of the three-meter board competition. Following a second-place finish on the one-meter, senior Courtney McClow (Jacksonville, Fla.) sits in third after the prelims with an 11-dive score of 477.35. Just two spots back is teammate Brittany Lerew (Jacksonville, Fla.) with a total of 468.20. Sophomore Camille Akridge (Moultrie, Ga.) just missed the top eight, taking ninth with her 423.20.
During the 800 free relay on Wednesday, the Seminole coaching staff knew Altmann could post a fast time 200 freestyle and she proved them right in the prelims. In her first attempt at the event, she posted an NCAA “B” cut of 1:50.71 to win her heat and take ninth overall.
“That was a tough double, it was a gamble and it almost paid off, she almost made the top eight,” Harper noted. “It (200 free) was a great swim for and it opened some eyes. Then for her to come back basically 30 minutes later and swim the third-fastest backstroke time says a lot about her. She’ll have more time in between events tonight and I expect her to swim faster in both.”
Just 0.02 behind her is teammate Carrie Ellis (Valrico, Fla.) with her time of 1:50.73 that is ninth in FSU lore and puts her tenth for the evening race. Giving the Seminoles a third swimmer in the consolation heat is sophomore Renee Gajda (Queensland, Australia) as she hit the wall in 1:51.18.
Two more FSU swimmers will be in the bonus heat as Katie Ronan (Pensacola, Fla.) turned in a personal-best time of 1:53.70 to win her heat. Senior Golda Marcus (Coral Springs, Fla.) was second in the heat at 1:54.16 and will swim in the evening.
Rounding out the Florida State entries in the race was Angie Leach (Leesburg, Fla.) – 1:53.70 (career-best) – Katie Metka (Largo, Fla.) – 1:54.16 (career best) – Elise Hatfield (Merritt Island, Fla.) – 1:55.53 (career-best) and Keri Whitehurst (Christensen, US Virgin Islands) – 1:58.82.
Getting into the evening session of the 400 individual medley relay was rookie Lindsay Kenney (Plano, Texas). The freshman just missed putting her name down in the FSU all-time top ten with a preliminary swim of 4:28.77. She’ll be seeded first in the bonus heat after just missing the consolations by 0.10. Kenney will be the first alternate should one of 16 swimmers ahead of her withdraw from the event.
Joining Kenney in the 400 IM was her older sister Laura Kenney (Plano, Texas) with her time of 4:39.69. Coming in just a fraction of a second faster than the elder Kenney was freshman Courtney Hudak (Sarasota, Fla.) as she turned in a mark of 4:39.62.
Finals of the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and three-meter diving as well as the 400 medley relay are slated for 7 p.m. at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.