TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – In front of family and friends on Homecoming Weekend, the Florida State swimming teams picked up a pair of victories over Florida Southern on Friday at the Morcom Aquatics Center. Both squads moved to 1-2 on the year with the women’s team winning by a score of 171-114, while the men pulled out a 168-119 victory.
“We’re finally swimming with some aggression,” FSU head coach Frank Bradley said. “We’re starting to put the pieces together. We had some kids swim some best times today and that is very rare for this time of the year. We’re growing into the team I know we’re capable of being.”
In session one, the Seminoles combined to win 12 events starting with the first two relays.
The team of Bianca Spinazzola, Natalie Pierce, Colby Harvey and Kaitlyn Dressel touched in first with a time of 1:40.83. The men’s team countered with a victory with Kevin Rogers, Storm Hewitt, Connor Knight and Jason McCormick, who posted a 1:31.07.
Sami Pochowski turned in a career best in the 200 free, winning with a time of 1:49.73 while Daniella Van den Berg placed third with a time of 1:53.56 just ahead of Katy Stringfield who was fourth (1:53.85).
In the 50 free, the Seminoles swept the race with Dressel touching in first with a season best of 22.64 ahead of Alexi Smith (23.31) and Spinazzola, who was third at 23.32. Haley Powell was fourth touching with a time of 23.52.
Florida State put up another sweep in the 200 fly with junior Josie Cuda touching first with a time of 2:05.50 ahead of Mary Elizabeth King (2:05.75) and Harvey (2:06.79).
Leading the 500 free was junior Madison Jacobi, who touched in first with a 4:55.36.
Caroline Neil turned in a near-best time in the 200 breast, winning the event with a 2:16.98 ahead of Pierce (2:17.78) and Meghan Haila (2:23.67).
The Seminoles finished the session with a victory in the 200 free relay with the team of Dressel, Smith, Lydia War and Pochowski with a time of 1:33.30.
Jason McCormick posted a 20.26 in the men’s 50 free for the win before Josh Friedel hung on for first place in the 200 back with a time of 1:49.08.
Knight and Cole Hensley posted a one-two punch in the 200 fly with Knight cruising to victory with a 1:45.04 while Hensley swam a time of 1:47.91.
Hewitt picked up his first collegiate victory of his career in the 200 breast with a time of 2:06.62, finishing ahead of Marc Rojas (2:08.24) who was second while Connor Kalisz followed in third (2:13.26).
The men’s team ended the morning with a win in the 200 free relay with the team of McCormick, Cadell Lyons, Chad Mylin and Knight.
In the afternoon portion of the meet, FSU traded in its Garnet and Gold for pink in order to support the ‘Paint it Pink’ campaign. Both teams once again opened with victories in the medley relays.
The women’s team of Spinazzola, Pierce, Harvey and Dressel led the way with a 3:42.53, while Friedel, Hewitt, Knight and McCormick won with a 3:19.45.
Neil picked up her second victory on the day in the 400 IM, winning with a time of 4:26.82 ahead of Van den Berg, who was second with a 4:31.20.
Chelsea Britt swam a season best in the 100 fly with a time of 53.11, finishing ahead of Harvey (55.38) and Cuda (56.12).
Dressel continued to dominate the sprint races, swimming a season-best of 49.20 in the 100 free for the win. Smith took second at 50.76 while Ware was third (51.37) and Powell was fourth (51.42).
Spinazzola took home the 100 back, touching with a time of 54.21 before Pochowski (1:02.19) held off Pierce (1:02.40) for the win in the 100 breast.
Van den Berg finished her day with a victory in the 1000 free, posting a time of 10:06.21 while Jacobi took second with a 10:07.17.
“I knew Daniella would be great depth to our team,” Bradley said. “She had a great meet today and swam some tough races. It will be great for us if she continues to improve.”
The team of Dressel, Smith, Pochowski and Brenna Ruth closed out the meet with win in the 400 free relay, posting a time of 3:24.84.
In the men’s 400 IM, Kyle Doxtater led the sweep for the Seminoles, with a 4:00.81, while Kalisz was second (4:02.10) and Trevor Hine was third (4:03.84).
Knight and Hensley teamed up for their second one-two punch of the meet as Knight led the 100 fly with a time of 47.23 while Hensley turned in a 48.32. Lyons touched in third at 48.83.
“I like how Connor and Cole raced in those fly events today,” Bradley said. “They both have been pushing each other in practice and they are both making great strides. I’m anxious to see how they perform down the stretch.”
McCormick continued his solid day with another season best time in the 100 free, winning with a 44.31 before Hewitt picked up her second win in the 100 breast at a 57.74.
“Jason had a great day,” Bradley said. “He was very big in the sprint races and I think he picked up where he left off last year.”
The Seminoles concluded with a win in the 400 free relay behind Knight, McCormick, Anthony Lyons and Rogers with a time of 3:01.69.
“There was a lot of swimming today,” Bradley said. “Some kids were able to swim six times and that is quite a load, but I thought we handled it well. We have two invite meets to close out the semester and it will give us enough time to make adjustments. We’ll see what we need to work on, ramp up the training before we prepare for championship season.”
Florida State will compete in the Georgia Tech Invite, which will run from Nov. 20-22. For more information on FSU swimming and diving check Facebook and Twitter.