Nov. 11, 2003
GAINESVILLE, Fla. –
When the opposition is the University of Florida, the Florida State University swimming and diving teams do not need any more incentive. Even though the Seminoles posted several season-best times and even broke a school record, it was not enough as both of the Gators’ top-ten squads were victorious. FSU’s women dropped a 132.50-104.50 decision, while the men lost 146-97.
All four of the teams were ranked in the latest CSCAA poll with the UF women rating second and the men sixth. FSU’s women’s team (8-2 overall) place 20th, one spot behind the No. 19 men’s squad (4-2, 0-1 ACC).
“Even though we lost both meets, the Florida coaches were very complementary about our team and the improvement we’ve made” FSU head coach Neil Harper said. “Two years ago I felt like we rolled over, but this year we fought until the end and won nine events. That shows that we can mix it up with teams that are ranked as high as Florida.”
Highlighting the meet was the performance of distance swimmer Tommy Bishop (Houston, Texas). The rookie broke the school record in the 1,000 free as he touched in with a new mark of 9:13.97, the second-fastest time in the conference.
“Traditionally the distance races have been our weak events,” Harper added. “We would start strong with medley relays, but then have to sit through nine-ten minutes of the 1,000 knowing that we were probably going to lose. Now we Tommy and Steve (Roof) we’ve got a chance to win so it really raises the moral of them.”
Coming off a split with No. 16 Michigan, the women posted a trio of NCAA “B” cut times and established three more season-best marks. Florida State started the meet with a victory in the 400 medley relay in a conference-best time of 3:44.91, missing the “B” cut by 0.05. The Seminoles blue ribbon mark of 3:30.45 in the 400 free relay is also a season-best.
Leading the way with two “B” times was senior Emma Dutton (Bradford, England). Having already made the mark last weekend, 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.
“They’re certainly ahead of where they were,” Harper added. “Both of them had breakout years last year, but now they are taking it in stride and expecting more from themselves. They’re getting to the point where if they don’t make those times, they’re getting upset and that’s what great swimmers do.”
In the diving competition, FSU placed second on both boards in women’s and men’s meet. Tiffany Manning (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was runner-up on the one-meter board, while Courtney McClow (Jacksonville, Fla.) came in second in the three-meter competition. Sophomore Pennsylvania natives Stuart de la Rosa (Erdenhiem, Pa.) and Jason Beinlich (Ridley, Pa.) split the one-meter and three-meter boards, respectively.
Producing two of the four victories for the men was sophomore Joel Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.). He started the evening by posting a season-best time of 20.82 in the 50 free as he and Michael Paulus (Somerset West, South Africa) scored a one-two finish. Roycik came back to touch the wall first with a 45.91 in the 100 free.
The 400 free relay produced the best time in the conference this season with its winning time of 3:03.04. In the 400 medley relay, the Seminoles improved their top time by three seconds with a 4:24.83. The fourth victory came from senior Justin Lawrance (Sloane Park, South Africa) as he took the 200 backstroke in 1:52.83.
“After thinking about it a little bit, I’m pleasantly surprised at how we responded to the fatigue and disappoint of the losses over the weekend.” Harper commented “Both teams were more supportive tonight and we really took big strides forward in their growth.”
Both teams are off for the next ten days until their biggest meet of the fall seasons The Seminoles swim at the Texas A&M Invitational, November 21-23