TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 21 Florida State men’s swimming and diving team is set to take on the 2018 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in the Twin Cities on Thursday at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
The Seminoles will be represented by five individuals in addition to three very strong relays.
Florida State will start the meet on Thursday at 11 a.m. with prelims of its best event, the 200 free relay where the Noles are seeded fourth behind NC State, California and Texas.
“We didn’t have any relays competing two years ago and now we’re looking at top eight,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “It’s double points in relays and when you can get two, or three relays and another one in the top 16, you’re looking at a great team finish. We’re extremely fired up.”
This season, the Seminoles set a new school record (1:16.30) at the ACC Championships for silver in the 200 free relay behind junior William Pisani, seniors Chad Mylin and Joseph Plechy and junior Kanoa Kaleoaloha.
FSU has scored seven times in the event at NCAAs, including in 2017 behind a 13th place finish. The best finish in the race was sixth in 1999.
Sophomore Max Polianksi can make his NCAA debut and compete in the 200 IM before Pisani and Mylin swim the 50 free. Kaleoaloha can use his option to compete in the 50 free as well on Thursday.
Freshman Joshua Davidson will compete on 1-meter on Thursday at 1:15 p.m. before the 3-meter prelims on Friday.
“Josh is unbelievably talented,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “He’s dealt with a lot of injuries this season. I gave him the nickname ‘Lucky’ for that reason. I think Josh is going to do a great job, he’s one of the better talents in the freshman class nationally this year. This will be a good opener for him and lead into what we’re going to do the next couple of years.”
Individually, Polianski can start Friday’s session racing the 400 IM before Kaleoaloha competes in the 100 fly, where he is seeded eighth. Pisani can also swim the 100 fly before Mylin contests the 100 back. The Seminoles will close out the session in the 200 medley relay.
On Saturday, Pisani, Mylin and Kaleoaloha can all compete in the 100 free before Polianski swims the 200 fly. FSU will close the meet competing in the 400 free relay, where the Noles are seeded 11th.
In addition to the five individual qualifiers, sophomores Nate Samson and Felipe Ribeiro de Souza along with junior Emir Muratovic and Plechy will attended the meet as relay swimmers.
“There are special athletes that have the X factor and can handle the pressure,” Studd said. “At NCAAs you have to be fast in the morning. You want to be in and in the right final. Every year, there is a team or two that could have made the podium from the ‘B’ final. We want to be up early and ready and make sure we’re good in the morning.”
Five of the seven sessions will be streamed on the BigTen Network 2Go and will be available on the championship site. Friday and Saturday’s finals will on ESPN3.
Live results can also be found on Minnesota’s championship central page in addition to meet mobile and divemeets.com.
Prelims will start at 11 a.m. each day with finals following at 7 p.m. The top 16 qualifiers will advance to finals, scoring points for the team.
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