March 20, 2014
Bianca Spinazzola set a new school record in the 100 back with a 53.06.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Florida State women’s swimming and diving team captured an All-America honorable mention accolade on the opening night of the 2014 NCAA Championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
The team of Bianca Spinazzola, Sami Pochowski, Chelsea Britt and Kaitlyn Dressel finished the session with a 14th place finish in the 400 medley relay with a final time of 3:35.04 after qualifying for the consolation heat with a new school record in the race of 3:34.02, lowering their time from the 2014 ACC Championships.
“It was great to end the session on that note,” head coach Frank Bradley said. “There is still a little bit of a learning curve with this group but, we’re on the board and we’ve got a great day set up for tomorrow.”
The 14th place finish marks the first honorable mention in the race for the Seminoles since 2007.
In the prelim swim of the event, Spinazzola led off with a new school record of 53.15 in the 100 back before lowering the mark in finals with a split of 53.06.
The Seminoles started off the day with a solid swim in the 200 free relay, posting a time of 1:29.61, just off their best (1:29.25), while placing 18th with the team of Tiffany Oliver, Dressel, Spinazzola and McKayla Lightbourn.
Madison Jacobi followed that performance and swam her first race of the meet, posting a 4:43.15 in the 500 free and placed 26th.
In the 200 IM, Lightbourn was just off her school record (1:58.11), touching in with a time of 1:58.99 while finishing 42nd.
Dressel and Oliver raced the 50 free, touching in at 22.44 and 22.68 respectively. Dressel tied for 29th place and Oliver finished 39th.
“Today was an interesting day,“ head diving coach Patrick Jeffrey said. “Both Katrina and Ariel were right in the thick of things and then they got a little caught up with competing and made mistakes and in 1-meter, there is no room for error at this level. But, tomorrow is another day and we’re going to get after it on 3-meter.”
After the first day of the meet, Florida State sits in 26th place, tied with Southern Illinois.
Friday’s event list contains the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and the 800 free relay and 3-meter diving.
Britt will contest in the 100 fly and has the option to swim the 100 back, while Dressel, Oliver and Jacobi all have the choice to swim the 200 free. Pochowski will contest in the 100 breast and Lightbourn has the option to swim the 100 back. Julia Henkel will swim her final 400 IM of her career.
Prelims will start on Thursday at 11 a.m. (CT) and the top-16 in each event will advance to finals which begin at 7 p.m. (CT).
All information on the meet can be found at the NCAA Championship site. Prelims can be seen live through gopherspots.com and finals will be televised on ESPN3.com.
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