Jan. 15, 2005
DALLAS, Texas –
Florida State University swimming and diving coach Neil Harper firmly believes in order for his teams to ascend to the upper echelon of college swimming, they have to face the best competition in the country. That’s why in the middle of the men’s toughest training in his sixth season, Harper took the Seminoles to the prestigious Dallas Morning News Classic.
While No. 24 Florida State may not have had the team finish it was looking for, its fifth-place showing at the meet was beneficial in other areas. Eighth-ranked California took the team title, posting a score of 352 points. Number three Florida came in second (313 points), followed by host SMU (293), Arizona State (248), Florida State (236) and No. 18 Texas A&M (230).
One aspect of the meet that pleases Harper is that seven of the nine Seminoles making the trip are either freshmen or sophomores. The DMN Classic is different from most meets in that there are only two heats of each event with one swimmer from each team in the finals and consolation. Saturday was the better of the two days for the Seminoles as they doubled their number of fourth-place finishes or better.
Producing Florida State’s best finish of the meet was freshman Billy Jamerson (Savannah, Ga.). The second-fastest rookie breaststroker in the country, Jamerson proved his merit with a second-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke. Making up for a swim at the 100-yard distance in which a miscue on the final turn potentially cost him the victory, he hit the wall in 2:02.73.
Notching one of the surprise finishes in the meet was sophomore Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio) as he finished third in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:30.23. Posting the Seminoles’ third top-four individual finish was rookie Ian Powell (Guernsey, Channel Islands) with a time of 1:49.91 in the 200 backstroke.
Rounding out the meet was the 200 freestyle relay as it hit the wall with a fourth-place mark. The quartet of Ed Denton (Maidenhead, England), Joel Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.), Michael Averett (Davie, Fla.) and Jamerson produced a 1:23.09. Roycik, Denton and Averett joined Roof to post a fifth-place mark of 3:04.94 in the 400 free relay.
Florida State’s best event of the day from a team standpoint was they 200 butterfly. Roof was placed fifth in the finals with a time of 1:52.93, while Powell took third in the consolation heat with a 1:52.56. Freshman Alex Tilbrook (Largo, Fla.) placed fifth with a 269.75 on the three-meter board, while Roycik was sixth in the 100 free (46.45) and Dan Keeling (Westminster, Colo.) added a sixth-place mark of 1:54.46 in the 200 IM.
The full squad is back in the water on January 20 when the Seminoles play host to cross-town rival Florida A&M at 3:30 p.m. at the Leach Center. FSU wraps up the dual meet portion of its schedule on January 29 against defending national champion Auburn.