Feb. 20, 2002
COLLEGE PARK, Md. –
In the spirit of the 2002 Winter Olympics, let the games begin! That’s exactly what will happen February 21, when the No. 21 Florida State women’s swimming and diving team kicks off the 2002 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Thursday morning. The 2002 ACC meet, hosted by the University of Maryland, could turn out to be one of the most highly contested title meets in recent years as FSU and Maryland look to knock off traditional powerhouses North Carolina and Virginia.
The Lady Seminoles are led by senior All-American Christy Cech and sophomore Chelsie Lerew, who was named the 2001 ACC Diver of the Year. Both Cech and Lerew own top marks in the ACC in their respected events. Cech’s time of 22.94 in the 50 free is tops in the ACC, while her 100 free time of 50.71 is the third-best time. Cech, along with freshman Jennie Lyes and sophomores Emma Dutton and Liz Parkinson, owns the top 200 free relay time at 1:32.00.
Lerew has turned in an impressive season which includes record-breaking dives on the one and three-meter. Her score of 303.8 on the one-meter surpassed her old record of 285.23, which she set as freshman. On the three-meter, Lerew score of 324.35 was good enough to beat Susan Perry’s 1994 record of 300.4. For the season, Lerew’s school-record on the three-meter is tops in the ACC, while her school-record on the one-meter is second in the conference.
In addition to Cech’s and Lerew’s top conference marks, freshman Emily Breen owns a top conference time in the 100-meter backstroke at 56.98.
The Lady Seminoles have had the most successful dual meet season in school history this year as they enter the ACC meet with an overall record of 14-2 and 2-1 against ACC opponents. The women defeated a school-record 14 teams and won more than 10 meets for the first time since 1990. FSU has defeated Maryland, which has received votes in the latest national poll, and Georgia Tech. The Tribe’s lone ACC loss came against Clemson on the road after the Tigers took the final event, the 400 free relay, to win by one point, 122-121. FSU’s other loss came on the road against No. 6 Florida. At the Georgia Invitational earlier this season, the Lady Seminoles placed fourth, higher than any other ACC team including Clemson.
The schedule of events for Thursday begins with preliminary heats at 11 a.m. for the 500 free, 200-yard IM, 50 free and one-meter dive. The finals will start at 7 p.m. and will include the final heat of the 400-yard medley relay.