Feb. 26, 2011
ATLANTA, Ga. – Senior Rob Holderness became the first Seminole to sweep the breaststroke events at an ACC meet and the Florida State men’s swimming and diving team rallied to earn third-place at the 2011 Men’s ACC swimming and diving championships. FSU scored 511.5 points to edge out Virginia Tech by three points.
“I’m really proud of our seniors for leading from start to finish,” head coach Neil Harper said. “We really swam out of our minds tonight. It’s a pity that it came so late, but it was very memorable for us. It’s a great night to be a FSU swimming Seminole.”
“It’s an awesome accomplishment that I didn’t even know about until today,” Holderness said. “Two come away with two gold medals is great.”
With the `Noles in fourth-place entering the final event, the team of senior Robby Hayes, sophomore Trice Bailey, freshman Paul Murray and sophomore Mark Weber took home fourth-place with a time of 2:54.71 in the 400 free relay. Coupled with an eighth-place finish by the Hokies, Florida State moved back into third.
“The diving points really kept us in it so we had a chance,” Harper said. “We needed to beat Virginia Tech by three places and we beat them by four so it is just a memorable performance to take home third.”
In his signature event, Holderness took control of the 200 breast at the first 50 and never looked back touching the wall in 1:55.34. This is the second consecutive year that Holderness has won the 200 breast and after winning the 100 on Friday he is a three-time ACC Champion. Senior Matt Shead swam a personal best time of 1:58.97 to win the consolation final to earn ninth-place points.
“I think I was a little too excited and took the race out a little too fast,” Holderness said. “But I was able to hold on and I can’t be disappointed with the result or the time.”
“I’m proud of Rob,” Harper said. “He’s a talented guy who trains hard and leads by example. We can always count on him when it really matters and he came through once again.”
Hayes capped-off his ACC swimming career with a third-place finish in the 100 free. The two-time All-ACC performer came from lane one to land on the podium for the second time this meet with a time of 43.38. Bailey and Weber earned 10th (44.08) and 12th (44.16) respectively.
“To podium in the individual medley his senior season was special, but to get the bronze tonight was truly special,” Harper said. “I knew he had a chance to do that and he swam an excellent race to provide a huge boost to the team.”
“It was a rush, I wasn’t expecting a medal,” Hayes said. “I looked up in the crowd and saw my dad going nuts and when I saw that I ended up third it was the best feeling in the world.”
Freshman Tyler Sell turned in one of the gutsiest swims of the meet for the Garnet and Gold leading-off the evening session in the 1650 free. Sell earned sixth-place with a personal best time of 15:12.78 holding a steady pace throughout swimming’s most grueling event.
“Tyler’s mile really got us started this evening,” Harper said. “After that swim we were able to really build.”
Senior Ian Rowe concluded his collegiate career winning the consolation final of the 200 back earning ninth-place points with a time of 1:45.66. Sophomore Brad Morrison was earned 13th-place with a time of 1:47.37. Sophomore Mark Cox wrapped up the individual events with a 12th-place finish in the 200 fly (1:47.74.).
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