Feb. 18, 2012
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. –The 2012 ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Christiansburg, Va. came to a close this evening with the No. 25 Florida State Seminoles taking third with 460 points.
“We set the table this morning by swimming well,” Head Coach Neil Harper said. “They’re coming into their own and I think we may even see some fast swimming next week. I think it was just a great team effort. We had people step up and go faster this evening. The team came together when we needed it the most and I’m proud of our third place finish.”
The highlight of the evening came in the diving portion of the meet when sophomore Katrina Young turned in a historic performance on the platform. Securing the victory with a 72 point final dive, Young scored a 323.05 bettering her score from prelims of 302.10, smashing her own school record she set at last year’s meet as a freshman of 299.95.
“Katrina rocked her event tonight and I couldn’t have been more proud of her,” Head diving coach Pat Jeffrey said. “She was ready and she set herself up nicely in order to win that event. I’m very proud of the way we preformed this weekend and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the kids can do at Zones. ”
The Shoreline, Wash. native becomes the first-ever female in FSU history to win the women’s platform since the event was added in 2008. That same year was the last time Florida State crowned a ladies individual ACC Champion when Lauren Sprag won the 100 fly. It is also the first diving event champion since Brittany Lerew won the 3-meter springboard in 2005.
“I couldn’t have been happier for Katrina,” Harper said. “It’s always difficult being a platform specialist and waiting to dive your main event and staying patient and try and contribute as you go through the season. Tonight she contributed in the biggest way possible.”
The 1650 free proved to be a strong event for the Seminoles as all four ladies scored with senior Charlotte Broadbent leading the way, swimming to a seventh place finish with a time of 16:33.89. Sophomore Julia Henkel turned in a career best at 16:35.37, taking eighth. Junior Marissa Harrington finished eleventh with a time of 16:41.29 and junior Corey Allison placed 14th contributing a personal best at 16:45.38.
Senior Stephanie Sarandos finished her last ACC meet with a 200 back touching in fourth with a time of 1:55.75, a season high. Sophomore McKayla Lightbourn swam her career best time in the prelims with a 1:58.23. In finals, she would be just off that mark at 1:58.31, finishing in 12th place.
Two Seminoles swam in the final heat of the 100 free with sophomore Tiffany Oliver placing fifth with a time of 49.37. Making her A-final debut as a freshman, Kaitlyn Dressel finished in seventh place with a final time of 49.90, but not before she could go a career best time of 49.59 in prelims. Freshman Haley Powell swam in the bonus heat of the event, going a final time of 51.64, finishing in 21st.
Junior Kristine Polley swam a personal best time in the prelims in the 200 breast with a 2:13.39, making it the fastest FSU swim since Emma Dutton set the school record in 2004 with a 2:12.38. In finals, Polley came in sixth with a final time of 2:15.06. Senior Tori Richmond closed out her career with a 2:15.09 and a tenth place finish, while Jamie Barrett won the bonus heat, coming in 17th at 2:17.25.
Freshman Elizabeth Pepper snuck into the championship final in the eight spot in the 200 fly with a time of 1:59.30 and moved up a spot in finals, taking seventh at 1:59.63.
All four of the men’s divers qualified for the final round of the platform event, with junior Nick Klein leading the way, grabbing the bronze medal in the event with the score of 394.75 in his first-ever podium performance.
Following in fourth was freshman Ford McLiney with a score of 381.00 and senior Mike Neubacher finished his final ACC meet in fifth place with a 369.85. His younger brother Tom came in seventh, scoring 348.95.
“Our divers did awesome putting four in that top heat,” Harper said. “It was good to see Nick get his first-ever ACC medal. His hard work paid off and he stepped up and performed in the way he’s capable of.”
Seven Seminoles were garnered with All-ACC honors for finishing in the top 3 in their events. Joining Young, was junior Ariel Rittenhouse, sophomore Kelsey Goodman and Melissa Cooper. For the men, Tom Neubacher, McLiney and Klein all were named All-ACC.
Virginia won the meet with 848 points, North Carolina was in second with 615 and Florida State finished in third with 460.
“Our goal was to be a little higher than where we were,” Harper said. “But with the way the competition was I thought we made the most of our opportunities.”
The men’s swimming portion of the event will begin next Wednesday Feb.22 and go through Feb. 25.Check back to Seminoles.com and Twitter (FSU_Swimming) for updates.
New School Records
McKayla Lightbourn- 100 back 54.27
Katrina Young- Platform (5 Dives) 323.05
Women’s Swimming and Diving