March 21, 2002
AUSTIN, Texas –
The Florida State women’s swimming and diving team will begin competition at the 2002 NCAA Swimming and Diving National Championship today, Thursday, March 21 at the University of Texas in Austin. The Lady Seminoles will send five athletes to represent FSU and score points. Senior Christy Cech, a 2001 All-American, will compete in both the 50 and 100-yard freestyles. Joining Cech will be fellow senior Candice Nethercott, sophomores Emma Dutton and Chelsie Lerew and freshman Tiffany Manning.
This season, Cech earned her second ACC title in the 100-free and came in second place in the 50-free, both times met NCAA-A cut standards. Cech placed fourth in the 50-free and 15th in the 100-free at the 2001 NCAA championship last season and also set the school records in the 50 (22.54) and 100-free (49.36), as well.
Nethercott and Dutton will each be competing at the NCAA’s for the first time. Nethercott earned an automatic birth for the 100-yard butterfly thanks to her second-place time of 54.48 at the ACC championship. The time ranks as the second fastest in FSU history.
Dutton will be swimming in three events for the Lady Seminoles: 100-free, 100-breaststroke and 200-individual medley. She qualified for NCAA’s after swimming a B-cut time of 50.78 in the 100-free at the Bulldog Invite, a last chance meet.
Lerew and Manning will represent FSU divers at the meet, as both compete in their first NCAA championship. Lerew qualified after placing third on the three meter with a score of 519.35. Manning took fourth place on the platform with a score of 389.45 to qualify. Lerew will compete on both the one and three meter at the NCAA’s, while Manning will compete on the platform as well as both springboards.
Cech (50-free), Dutton (200-I.M.), Lerew (one-meter) and Manning (one-meter) will compete on Thursday. Action is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. with preliminary heats and conclude at 7 p.m. with the championship finials.