March 25, 2004
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. –
Part of your initial trip to a big meet is getting over that initial rush that hits you when you step onto the blocks in front of a huge crowd. For Florida State University men’s swimmer Joel Roycik, that indoctrination came on Thursday (March 25) during the first day of the NCAA Championships.
The sophomore swam his first event at the national summit, taking part in the 50-meter freestyle. Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.) posted a time of 23.11 which converts to 20.71, his third fastest time of the season. Because 2004 is an Olympic year, the NCAA Championships are being held in short-course meters as oppose to short-course yards.
“It’s his first swim at the NCAA Championships and he looked like he wanted it a little too much,” FSU head coach Neil Harper said. “He wasn’t very smooth, but it’s nothing we can’t fix.
“He looked the same way he did during the first morning at the conference meet and he should be ready to go now that he has a swim under his belt. It’s his first time at one of the fastest meets in the world and there can be some pressure, but he’s got nothing to lose.”
Thursday’s swim was the first of three for Roycik. On Friday he will compete in the 100 butterfly, the event he won at the ACC Championships, followed by the 100 freestyle on Saturday. Joining him in Friday’s competition will be senior Wickus Nienaber (Manzini, Swaziland) as he takes part in the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke.