Athens-Ga. – The Florida State swimming and diving teams continued to make history on the second day of the Georgia Fall Invite at the Gabrielsen Natatorium.
“It was just another great day for us,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “We had some amazing swims across the board. We got a few more NCAA qualifiers and more school records. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.”
The Seminoles set three school records and earned three more NCAA automatic times standards on Saturday as junior Natalie Pierce smashed the school record in the 100 breaststroke preliminary round by over two seconds with a time of 58:37. This puts her second nationally, behind 2016 Olympic Champion Lilly King of Indiana. Pierce placed second in the finals with 59:16.
She broke Sami Pochowski’s mark of 1:00.49 that was set back in 2015.
“We’ve been working on a few things,” Studd said. “But I think the key for her is she’s enjoying herself while she’s competing and having fun.”
Starting off finals, junior Ariel Barber, Pierce, junior Tayla Lovermore, and senior Lydia Ware continued their strong showing from Friday night by setting a new school record in the 200 medley relay. The team swam a mark of 1:36:58, which automatically qualifies them to the 2017 NCAA Championships.
The women’s 200 free relay team of freshman Nika Blank, Ware, Lovemore and junior Alexi Smith were just under the NCAA A standard in the morning time trial, touching with a time of 1:28.97 for another FSU record.
Sophomore Meg Brown swam in the top heat of the 400 IM, placing fifth with a time of 4:11.37 while senior Caroline Neil took 11th at 4:18.87.
Lovemore came back, posting her personal best in the 100 fly, touching with a time of 52.02, which is the second fastest all-time. Ware also scored a career best in prelims of 53.56, but touched in 13th place at finals with a mark of 54.01. Sophomore Leila Johnston followed in 15th (54.58)
Sophomore Michelle Turek was the lone Seminole competing in finals of the 200 free. She placed 18th with a final time of 1:47.74.
In addition to Pierce, junior Christina Loh followed in third with a time of 1:00.47. Loh’s new personal record was also under the previous school record by Pochowski and now ranks her second all-time.
Barber added a win in the B final of the 100 back beating her personal best by over a second swimming a 53.95.
The men’s team started the night off with a runner-up finish in the 200 medley relay behind the team of seniors Stefan Stojmenovic, Jason Coombs, freshman Nate Samson, and junior Chad Mylin finished second at 1:25:63.
Sophomore Max Polinski continued to improve in his first collegiate outing by posting a time of 3:49.48, which is good enough for fourth on FSU’s all-time top 10.
Stojmenovic placed 15th in his first of two individual races on the night, touching with a time of 47.83 in the 100 fly.
Four earned second swims in the 200 free, including sophomores Kanoa Kaleoaloha, Emir Muratovic, senior Jemal Le Grand, and junior Calvin Bryant. Kaleoaloha led the way, tying for 13th at 1:37.48 after swimming a personal best time in prelims of 1:36.88.
Coombs was back to his ways, by swimming a 52.71 finishing fourth in the A heat of the 100 breast. Senior Jason McCormick (54.18), junior Rafa Van Leeuwarde (55.13), and freshman Matt Ankerholz (55.75) finishing 11th, 15th and 16th respectively.
In diving, junior Tyler Roberge led for the men, placing second on 3-meter with a final score of 347.90. Senior Dylan Grisell followed in fifth place (339.50) while freshman Aidan Faminoff was 10th at 319.20.
The women competed on 1-meter, as Ayla Bonniwell led the way with a score of 272.85 for fifth place. Sophomore Cassidy Gebhart placed seventh with a total of 261.15.
Sunday’s events will include the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 400 free relay and platform diving. Prelims will start at 9:30 a.m. with finals following at 3 p.m.
Live timing will be available through the meet mobile app, while live diving results can be found at divemeets.com. For more information, visit Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.