TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 18th-ranked Florida State men’s swimming and diving team is approaching the halfway point of the 2017-18 season it heads to Atlanta, Ga. for the Georgia Tech Invite from Nov. 16-18.
The three-day, prelim/final, NCAA format invitational will look to be a benchmark as the Seminoles look ahead to the 2018 portion of the season.
Here are five things to watch:
Chad Mylin and Kanoa Kaleoaloha Making Waves
Senior Chad Mylin and junior Kanoa Kaleoaloha lead the Seminoles this season with performances that rank within the top 25 nationally.
Mylin is tied for 12th in the 50 free after posting a split of 19.93 leading off the 200 free relay against No. 8 Arizona State.
Last season, Mylin made headlines with an 18.86 split in the 200 free relay at the UGA Invite, helping the Noles place second behind California with a time of 1:17.33.
Individually, Mylin established a new personal best in the race, clocking 19.49 in prelims. He would finish third at 19.54. Mylin would go on to earn bronze at the ACC Championships, lowering his personal best to 19.39, eventually competing at the NCAA Championships.
Kaleoaloha has come into his own in 2017, posting a career best time in the 100 fly at 47.53 by. His time places him 14th in the nation heading into the mid-season invitationals. In addition, Kaleoaloha leads FSU in the 100 free at 44.27, tying for 24th nationally. He’s also earned an ACC Swimmer of the Week honor this season.
Seminoles to Exercise Depth in the 100 free
In addition to Kaleoaloha, the Seminoles have seven swimmers under 46 seconds this season, including sophomore Felipe Riberio de Souza (44.69) and junior Emir Muratovic (44.75).
Last season, Florida State had six swimmers advance to finals at the ACC Championships and return five of those six scorers for 2017-18.
Look for FSU to be loaded in this race as well as in the 50 free.
One of the Deepest Diving Units will be on Display
Senior Tyler Roberge, sophomores Cameron Thatcher and Aidan Faminoff along with freshman Josh Davidson make up one of the most talented diving units in the country. Roberge, Thatcher and Faminoff all have previous NCAA experience and All-American performances under their belts while Davidson holds valuable international experience at the junior level that includes a gold medal from 3-meter from the Junior Pan-American Games.
The four have won six events this fall and both Tyler Roberge and Josh Davidson have earned ACC Divers of the Week.
Sprint Relays to Gain Ground
Since the Seminoles excel individually in the freestyle sprints, the relays are expected to gain ground nationally and make a push towards NCAAs.
Here’s where the men’s relays rank nationally in 2017-18:
200 free relay – Sixth, 1:19.79, Mylin, Muratovic, Kaleoaloha, Pisani
400 free relay – 15th, 2:58.11, Will Pisani, Ribeiro de Souza, Muratovic, Kaleoaloha
Florida State has not set a new relay record since 2014, however those squads were loaded with Pavel Sankovich, Connor Knight and Paul Murray – all who took home individual All-American honors at the 2014 NCAA Championships in addition to producing the highest finishes in relays in school history at fourth (200 medley) and sixth (400 medley).
Like the women’s team, the men have also set goals to challenge the school records:
200 free relay – Paul Murray, Trice Bailey, David Saunders, Mark Weber – 1:16.76 (2012)
400 free relay – Jimmy Holway, Jarryd Botha, Ed Denton, Andy Hodgson – 2:52.03 (2009)
800 free relay – Kyle Young, Hodgson, Stephen Pendelton, Robby Hayes – 6:25.11 (2009)
200 medley relay – Sankovich, Jared Pike, Knight, Murray – 1:24.57 (2014)
400 medley relay – Sankovich, Pike, Knight, Murray – 3:04.47 (2009)
Griffin Alaniz is a Key Improvement
One of the biggest improvements this season has been from sophomore Griffin Alaniz in both the back and IM events. In addition, he also adds valuable depth in the middle distance and distance races.
Alaniz holds the top times on the team this fall in the 200 back at 1:47.91, slightly ahead of senior Connor Kalisz (1:48.20) as well as in the 400 IM at 4:00.30, just above freshman Ryan Telford (4:00.39).
Alaniz’s other top times include:
200 free – 1:40.05
500 free – 4:36.90
1000 free – 9:26.02
100 back – 51.27
100 fly – 49.74
200 IM – 1:53.94
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