Feb. 24, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s swimming team will take its crack at the top competitors in the league at the 2009 ACC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in College Park, Md., from February 25-28. The Seminoles are one of three teams expected to compete for the title.
“We have nothing to lose because we aren’t expected to win,” FSU head coach Neil Harper said. “We have the utmost respect for Virginia and North Carolina and we know we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We know it will take a total team effort because it won’t be the superstars who win the meet, it’s our 12th, 13th and 14th swimmers who are going to need to step up and score some points for us to win.
The Seminoles enter the meet with the top time in the ACC in eight events. Fifth-year senior Jarryd Botha leads the way for FSU with three top times in the 50 free (19.73), 100 back (47.98) and 100 fly (46.60). Junior Andy Hodgson leads the league in two events the 200 free (1:35.28) and 200 back (1:41.99) while junior Scott Thacker is the ACC leader in the 100 breast (54.43). Florida State also is tops in the conference in the 400 free and 400 medley relays.
“If we have fun and stay loose and compete well in the morning so we have opportunities to score points in finals, we’ll have a good chance,” Harper said. “We are really going to look for the nucleus of our team who has ACC experience to come through for us this week.”
Florida State will enter the week with a significant cushion thanks in part to the tremendous effort from the Seminole divers. FSU’s divers earned 129 points last week led by senior Dan Frebel and his platform championship. Frebel along with junior Terry Horner and senior Scott Derner also scored points on the one and three-meter and platform.
“It’s good to know we have that in our back pocket especially since we invest so much in diving,” Harper said. “We’ve got an Olympic caliber coach and our program is strong. It’s a boost for our guys, but we want to start at zero and swim with these teams head on and see if we can compete with them.”
The ACC Championships will begin on Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m. with the 200 medley and 800 free relays. For live stats and ACC Select coverage log on to www.seminoles.com.