Feb. 17, 2005
ATLANTA, Ga. – –
One was looking to cap her career with another title and one was just happy to be back in the pool, together Courtney McClow and Carrie Ellis collected Florida State University’s first two medals on the second day of the Atlantic Coast Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, hosted at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. The Seminoles also added a third-place finish in the 200 free relay.
As a team, Florida State moved up four spots to fourth place with 140 points. Maryland continues to lead the four-day competition at 238 points, followed by Virginia (217 points) and North Carolina (156).
“We’re swimming really fast and everyone can see that,” FSU head coach Neil Harper said. “I think the other teams are probably relieved that we did get disqualified last night, it’s kind of scary where we would be with that winning relay, those 40 points would have been big.”
For the first time in five years diving coach Patrick Jeffrey was not able to hand out the medals for the one-meter board as Miami’s Jenna Dreyer broke the Seminoles’ stranglehold on the event. The Seminoles did score three of the top five finishes.
The senior captain McClow (Jacksonville, Fla.) became the first Florida State swimmer or diver to earn All-ACC honors four-straight years with her second-place 313.10. Sophomore Brittany Lerew (Orlando, Fla.) came on strong in the final few rounds to take fourth at 277.60. Less than two points back was classmate Camille Akridge with her total of 275.85.
“Courtney had a great night and all three of them dove really well,” Jeffrey said. “I think we’re right where we need to be for this meet. Everybody looks strong, better than they did last year. We’ve talked about looking past this meet to NCAA Zones and nationals. The top two girls in this event would have easily been All-Americans, maybe in two three or four.”
Returning to the ACC Championships after a two-year absence, Ellis (Valrico, Fla.) started her comeback with a silver medal in the 50 free. The former Virginia Cavalier posted her second NCAA “B” cut of the day, touching in with a time of 23.10. Her time of 23.08 in the prelims is the fifth-best in Seminole lore.
Moving up to score valuable points for Florida State in the consolation heat of the 50 free was rookie Abbie King (Brunswick, Maine). After a 23.69 during the morning, she came back with a 23.71 to win the consolation heat. Senior Kayce Zemina (Plantation, Fla.) took seventh in the heat with her 24.07. Rounding out the Seminoles in the 50 was Katie Metka (Largo, Fla.) with her personal-best 23.99 while Lauren Sparg (Durban, South Africa) hit the wall in 24.03 in the bonus heat.
“Carrie swam a great 50 this morning with a personal best then came back and swam another great race in the individual event and then led off our relay,” Harper added. “That event was the start of it for us. Before the 50 we were in 10th in a meet with ten schools so that’s not too exciting. Those guys got us started and then diving kicked in and got us up to fourth.”
The Seminoles could not defend their crown in the 200 freestyle relay, but they did make it back to the medal stand with a third-place finish. The quartet of Ellis, Emily Breen (Savannah, Ga.), King and Zemina hit the wall in a season-best and NCAA “B” cut 1:32.51.
Picking up Florida State’s first individual points of the championships was senior Golda Marcus (Coral Springs, Fla.) as she hit the wall in 4:54.88 to take 14th in the 500 freestyle. Taking part in the bonus heat was classmate Angie Leach (Leesburg, Fla.) as she hit the wall in 4:55.14, just off her personal-best posted earlier in the day. After not posting a sub five-minute time in her career, sophomore Katie Ronan (Pensacola, Fla.) did it for the second time in less than ten hours as she posted a 23rd-place 4:58.21.
In her first conference championships, freshman Lindsay Kenney (Plano, Texas) picked up points for FSU as she hit the wall in 2:05.82 during the 200 individual medley to take 16th. Earlier in the day she posted the eighth-fastest time in school history (2:05.35.) Her older sister Laura Kenney took part in the bonus heating, notching a 2:10.16.
Day three commences at 11 a.m. with the preliminary heats of the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and three-meter diving.