January 8, 2016 - by
One Point Down After One

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –  After the first of two sessions, the 23rd-ranked Florida State men’s swimming and diving team is engaged in a one-point battle with No. 7 Louisville as the two teams competed in nine events on Friday night at the Bobby E. Leach Center.

Competition will resume tomorrow at 9 a.m. with 10 events left on the slate.

“It was great energy on the end,” FSU head coach Frank Bradley said. “I thought they swam great all afternoon, but we just couldn’t shift into that high gear. We talked right before the last relay and I told them that all four needed to connect and put it together.”

After falling behind early, the Seminoles closed the gap by finishing first and third in 400 medley relay, gaining nine points which cut Louisville’s lead to 84-83.

Florida State’s top team of freshman Noah Hensley, junior Jason Coombs, senior Cole Hensley and junior Jason McCormick produced the highlight of the evening with a come from behind victory, out-touching Louisville (3:14.96) with a time of 3:14.79.  McCormick’s anchor leg split 43.55 overcame a near body-length deficit, lifting the Noles to a huge win.

“As a team we started the session out a little slow,” McCormick said. “But we had a great week of work. We put it together on that last relay and now we have the momentum heading into tomorrow.”

The meet started with another close 200 free relay as sophomore Chad Mylin pulled ahead on the third leg following McCormick and freshman Kanoa Kaleoaloha in order to give senior Ian Apple the advantage. He would hold off Louisville to take the win at 1:20.59.

Louisville responded with a one-two-three sweep in the 200 IM and 500 free.

The Seminoles answered with a much-needed first and third place showing in the 100 breast as Coombs utilized his three turns to propel him to victory, touching with a time of 55.13 and sophomore Rafael Van Leeuwarde placed third at 56.87

But Louisville was too tough in the 200 back, adding another one-two-three sweep.

FSU added seven points in the 100 free as Kaleoaloha touched in second at 45.16, just ahead of McCormick in third at 45.26. Mylin took fifth with a time of 45.76.

Cole Hensley delivered in the 200 fly, leading wire-to-wire touching with a time of 1:47.52, finishing almost three seconds ahead of the next competitor.

The Seminoles got a huge boost from diving, picking up first and second place on 1-meter as sophomore Tyler Roberge and junior Dylan Grisell produced season-high scores of 330.82 and 324.15 respectively. Sophomore Cameron Johnson added fourth place points, scoring 279.00.

“It’s like every diving meet I’ve been to, you hit some (dives) and you don’t hit some (dives),” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “The guys that won their events or were at the top deserved to be there, but those that didn’t do so hot still have another day to keep fighting.”

In the women’s meet, No. 11 Louisville is ahead 114.5-52.5.

Freshman Cassidy Gebhart took home the win on 3-meter, scoring 310.65, edging out Louisville’s Andrea Acquista.

“I thought the team did really well overall,” Gebhardt said. “We had some ups and downs but overall we were solid.”

Producing top finishes were sophomore Natalie Pierce as she placed second in the 100 breast with a time of 1:03.74.

Junior Lydia Ware swam the fastest 100 free for the Seminoles, finishing second with a time of 51.85, just ahead of sophomore Alexi Smith in third (51.87). Freshman Lelia Johnston added fourth place points, touching with a time of 52.03.

Freshman Meg Brown first contributed a third place finish in the 200 back with a time of 2:02.17 just minutes before taking second in the 200 fly with a time of 2:00.66.

“Louisville has some great swimmers,” Bradley said. “We raced well tonight, but I think we have more left in the tank for tomorrow. If we come out tomorrow the way we closed tonight, we’re going to be in very good shape.”

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