Feb. 16, 2005
ATLANTA, Ga. –
At last year’s Atlantic Coast Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, the Florida State University women’s team ended the first night on a high note after taking the 200 medley relay title. It appeared that the Seminoles were on the same track at this year’s meet, but a disqualification rained on FSU’s Friday (February 16).
The disqualification in the 200 medley left the Seminoles in eighth place with only 30 points on the evening. Maryland leads after the first day of competition at 80 with Virginia trailing at 68.
“The eight girls that swam for us swam so fast tonight,” FSU deck boss Neil Harper said. “Everyone has got to be excited about how fast we’re swimming and we’ve got three more days to get back into it and get back up to where we belong.”
Getting the meet started with a bang was the 800 free relay as it posted a new school relay. A year ago the old mark was set at the league summit, but the 2005 edition crushed the record by nearly four seconds with a fourth-place time of 7:19.59. The mark is an NCAA “B” Cut.
That was a great relay with four very good legs,” Harper added. “Renee got us started pretty well and for Romy to come in untested and swim a 1:49 is really good. Lindsay Kenney just took off, 1:47.9 is just an unbelievable split for her and gave us a big boost then and put us right in the thick of things. Then Katie Ronan, who last year came in at 1:54, so for her to go 1:51 is amazing.”
Etching their names in the record books was the quartet of Renee Gajda (Queensland, Australia), Romy Altmann (Cape Town, South Africa), Lindsay Kenney (Plano, Texas) and Katie Ronan (Pensacola, Fla.). Maryland won the event with a new ACC record of 7:13.29. North Carolina was second with Virginia coming in third.
After the first leg of the 200 medley relay, Florida State found itself in fifth place until sophomore Lauren Brick (Culpeper, Va.) hit the water. The fastest breaststroker in the league gave the Seminoles a lead they would not relinquish, posting a time of 1:40.83 that is just .02 off the school record. Unfortunately, the Tribe was disqualified because of a false start on one of the exchanges during the race.
“It’s devastating, but I’m more devastated for the girls, they’ve worked so hard and put so much into it,” Harper noted. “Their swims were fast enough to be ACC Champions. To go from first to last is a downer.”
Preliminaries of the 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 free and one-meter diving will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday (February 17). Finals of those four events and the 200 free relay are scheduled for 7 p.m.