Feb. 19, 2005
ATLANTA, Ga. –
Going into the Atlantic Coast Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, the Florida State University swimming and diving team knew it had every thing to gain and nothing to lose. This attitude produced some of the best time in school history and during Saturday’s final session, a pair of school records fell.
The Seminoles did have their string of third-place finishes snapped at three as they ended the four-day competition in fourth place with 433 points. Maryland won its first team championship with a total of 655 points followed by Virginia (590.5 points) and North Carolina (491 points).
“The girls just did a great job all four days,” FSU deck boss Neil Harper said. “That just goes to show that if you come to Florida State, work hard and believe in your coaches that you can do great things. We had some great swims tonight and all four nights.
“I’m really proud of this team. To get up in that last relay and go as fast as we did just capped off a great meet. We solidified fourth place and I’m proud of everyone’s efforts.”
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the meet for the Seminoles was Lindsay Kenney’s (Plano, Texas) second-place finish in the 200 butterfly. During the morning swimming the rookie posted the third-best time in school history. For an encore all she did was break Helen Jepson’s ten-year-old record. Kenney became the first Seminole in school history to go under two minutes in the 200 butterfly with her school record and NCAA “B” cut time of 1:59.92.
“We finally got that two-minute mark off our back and for a freshman to come in and do it the way she did speaks volumes,” Harper commented. “She had a great meet from the start to the end and I’m just really proud of her and that just goes to show that you don’t have to be upperclassmen to come in here and succeed. She’s set the bar pretty high, but she’s worked hard and I think she’s going to be great.”
Grabbing Florida State’s first medal of the evening was the Romy Altmann (Cape Town, South Africa). The sophomore tied the school record during the preliminaries and during the night session she established her own standard. Altmann hit the wall in third place with a new FSU mark and NCAA “B” cut of 1:59.50. “That was awesome,” Harper added.
“For her to basically be here for two months and absorb all the techniques and the new system is just awesome. She’s really been open to change. All I’ve got to say is if she can improve that much in two months, everybody else needs to watch out.”
Capping the meet with a second-place finish was the Seminoles’ 400 freestyle relay. The quartet of Carrie Ellis (Valrico, Fla.), Emily Breen (Savannah, Ga.), Kenney and Altmann hit the wall in an NCAA “B” cut of 3:21.03. During the lead-off leg, Ellis posted a time of 49.77 that automatically qualifies her for the NCAA Championships and is the second-fastest time in school history.
“That just goes to show how much of a team player Carrie is,” Harper noted. “She gets more fired up for the relays than her own individual events. She knew she had done well in her individual events so she was more relaxed and she just let it go and led it off with a great leg and got an `A’ cut.”
Earlier in the evening she took medal stand for the second time for an individual event as she grabbed her second silver medal. After picking a second place finish in the 50 free, she returned for a silver medal in 100 free with a mark of 50.05. Notching a season-best time to finish fourth in the event was the senior captain Breen as she hit the wall in 50.94, an NCAA provisional time.
In an exhibition competition, senior Courtney McClow (Jacksonville, Fla.) won the ten-meter platform with a career-high score of 438.70.
A fraction of a second kept Lauren Sparg (Durban, South Africa) out of the finals of the 200 fly, but she came back stronger in the consolation heat. The freshman moved up to eighth in school history with her tenth-place time of 2:03.76. Swimming her second event in less than 20 minutes, Rademacher pulled off the tough double with a swim in the bonus heat of the 200 butterfly. She notched a time of 2:07.15.
Finishing within a fraction of a second of each other in the 200 back was a pair of Seminole freshmen. Rookie Kate Skaggs (Jacksonville, Fla.) took 12th with a career-best time of 2:02.92 that rates tenth in school history. Notching a 13th-place time of 2:03.17 was classmate Stacy Rademacher (Charlotte, N.C.). Dropping her career-best time again in less than ten hours was sophomore Katie Ronan (Pensacola, Fla.) with her time of 2:04.23 to win the bonus heat.
Following a pair of personal-best swims during the prelims and a swim off to get her into the consolation race, senior Kayce Zemina (Plantation, Fla.) tallied a 52.06 to take 16th in the 100 freestyle. Freshman Katie Metka (Largo, Fla.) tallied a 53.23 during the bonus heat.
Moving up three notches from her preliminary seeding, sophomore Lauren Brick (Culpeper, Va.) scored valuable points with a 13th place finish in the 200 breaststroke. She nearly missed her career-best time set earlier in the year with a mark of 2:19.97.
Picking up valuable points before the evening session began was two members of the Seminoles’ distance program in the 1,650 free. Senior Golda Marcus (Coral Springs, Fla.) just missed her career-best time with a 16:58.75 to take tenth. A spot back in 11th was classmate Angie Leach (Leesburg, Fla.) as she hit the wall in 17:01.28. Freshman Elise Hatfield (Merritt Island, Fla.) shaved nearly 14 seconds off her career-best mark to post a 17:24.22.
For most of the Seminoles, their season is complete while several members of the team wait to see if they will join Ellis at the NCAA Championships. All three of Florida State’s divers will compete at the NCAA Zone meet March 12-13 with a chance to advance to the national summit.