INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Junior Natalie Pierce made Florida State history on Friday night with a fourth place finish in the 100 breast with a time of 58.26 at the 2017 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind.
In addition to Pierce, junior Tayla Lovemore also set the school record in the 100 fly with an All-America honorable mention performance of 12th with a time of 51.60.
“I am so proud of both Tayla and Natalie tonight,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “To be the fastest Seminoles ever in their events is something special. They did it when it counted and when they were under the most pressure. Both are very special athletes.”
Pierce’s fourth place finish is the highest at the NCAA’s in the 100 breast in school history. The Bloomfield Hills, Mich. native, became the fourth Seminole to capture All-America honors in the race and the first to accomplish the feat since Lauren Brick captured back-to-back in 2006 and 2007.
She also lowered her school record that she set back at the Georgia Invite (58.37) after she earned the No. 3 seed for finals behind a showing of 58.38 in prelims.
Lovemore erased the mark of 51.79 that was set at the 2015 NCAA meet by former Seminole Chelsea Britt. The Pretoria, South Africa native was the final swimmer to qualify for the consolation heat in 16th place out of prelims with a mark of 52.12, just two one-hundredths ahead of two swimmers tied for 17th place. In finals, she moved up four spots for 12th place.
Both Pierce and Lovemore also helped the Seminoles lower their school record in prelims of the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:36.36, advancing into the consolation heat in 10th place along with junior Ariel Barber (back) and senior Lydia Ware (free).
However, in finals, Florida State was called for an early relay exchange and was disqualified.
In addition to Pierce and Lovemore, junior Christina Loh made her NCAA debut in the 100 breast, touching with a time of 1:01.51 for 45th place.
Freshman Molly Carlson competed in 3-meter diving, as she scored a tally of 285.10 for 28th place.
After Friday’s session, Florida State sits in 24th place with 21 points.
Loh will race the 200 breast on Saturday along with Pierce and Lovemore will swim the 200 fly. Carlson will compete on platform.
Friday and Saturday will be streamed live on NCAA.com and indianasportscorp.org/ncaasd. Live results for the championships will be available on NCAA.com.
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