July 16, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State swimmers from Great Britain, South Africa and the United States participated in their countries’ Olympic Trials this summer and while there will be no Seminoles swimmers in Beijing in 2008, there were plenty of great swims to show that FSU has a bright future in the pool.
Florida State swimmers posted 19 career lifetime best swims during the trials including multiple NCAA performances that would automatically qualify them for the NCAA Championships.
“I was really happy with their results this summer,” FSU head coach Neil Harper said. “It was good to see so many of our Seminoles go out and perform well and even though no one made it on an Olympic team we had a lot of swimmers with great times and that reflects well on Florida State.”
On the men’s side, the Seminoles best finish at the United States Olympic Trials came from redshirt senior Kyle Young who placed fifth in the 1500 free with a lifetime best time of 15.15.36. Young also competed in the 400 free (3:55.70) and 200 free (1:52.80) finishing 26th and 63rd, respectively. Sophomore Ian Rowe and junior Nick Graves also competed at the U.S. trials and placed 13th and 14th , respectively. FSU alum Alex Kennon turned in three lifetime best performances in the 50 free (22.94), 100 free (50.42) and 100 fly (54.30) while former Seminole Steve Roof placed 41st in the 1500 free. At the British Olympic Trials graduating senior Ian Powell turned in the Seminoles best performance with a fourth place finish in the 200 fly (1:59.78) while placing sixth in the 100 fly (53.77). Both times for Powell were personal bests. Redshirt senior Ed Denton will be welcomed back to Tallahassee after posting a pair of personal best times in the 50 free (23.01) and 100 free (50.14) which were both ninth place finishes. Sophomores Rob Holderness and Matt Shead also competed with Holderness turning in two lifetime bests in the 100 breast (1:03.52) and 200 breast (2:16.71) while Matt Shead place 17th in the 100 breast (1:04.44). At the South African trials redshirt senior Jarryd Botha placed fifth in the 100 back (56.94).
“You can’t but notice the distance trio of Kyle Young, Ian Rowe and Nick Graves fully affirmed their dominance as a group within the ACC,” Harper said. “It speaks volumes that all three are coming back in the fall. I also think the fact that both Jarryd Botha and Ed Denton got very close to making their teams is a huge boost knowing that they are coming back this season.”
The women were led by senior Georgia Holderness at the British Olympic Trials. Holderness turned in two lifetime best swims winning the 200 breast (2:29.99) and placing third in the 100 breast (1:08.76). Because her time in the 200 breast was not a FINA “A” standard time, she was unable to qualify for the Olympics. Sophomore Holly Mills turned in a lifetime best in the 200 back en route to a 10th place finish as well as a 21st place showing in the 100 back (1:05.64) and sophomore Lowri Tynan finished 13th in the 100 breast (1:11.79). At the South African trials graduating senior Lauren Sparg swam a lifetime best in the 100 fly (1:01.16) which was good enough for fourth place. At the United States trials FSU’s best finish came from alum Carrie Ellis who placed 19th in the 50 free (25.72). A pair of incoming freshman also had great swims as Stephanie Sarandos swam two personal bests in the 100 back (1:03.39) and 200 back (2:15.06) and Jessica Sabotin placed 91st in the 200 IM (2:21.83). Sophomore Jocelyn Phillips also turned in two solid performances in the 200 free (2:03.15) and 100 free (57.62) placing 67th and 85th, respectively. Rounding out the Florida State competitors was sophomore Brittany Selts who competed in the 100 free (1:03.96).
“There aren’t many seniors swimming FINA “A” standard times, let alone anyone else in the world so for Georgia [Holderness] to move up in the world rankings is a phenomenal achievement for her,” Harper said. “I also think our younger swimmers were dominant as well. If you look at Jocelyn Phillips and incoming freshman Stephanie Sarandos and Jessica Sabotin they swam well along with Holly Mills. It makes you feel good about your future when you have that many youngsters making Olympic Trials.”