July 25, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla.- The Seminoles will have a little more international flavor for the upcoming season. Florida State swimming and diving coach Neil Harper announced the signing of four new members to the Seminole squad, all from Great Britain.
Lowri Tynan (Wrexham, Wales) and Holly Mills (Ruislip, England) will join the women’s team. Robert Holderness (Butleigh, Somerset, England), brother of current FSU swimmer Georgia Holderness, and Matt Shead (Farham, England) will join the men’s team.
“These four have great potential,” said Harper. “They’re really making a commitment to Florida State. I’m very excited because they’ve got huge upside and a lot of room for improvement.”
All four swimmers have already earned 2008 Olympic Trial cuts. Tynan qualified for trials in the 100 breast and Mills made her cut in the 200 back. Holderness made the trials in the 200 breast while Shead’s cut came in the 100 breast.
“Anytime you can bring in four swimmers with the credentials that they have we’re certainly moving in the right direction,” said Harper. “This is a great place for them to spend the next four years.”
Two of the newest Seminoles will find familiar faces on the squad. Both Holderness and Shead are from Harper’s alma mater Millfield School where current swimmers Ed Denton, Ian Powell and Georgia Holderness swam.
This newest group of Seminoles will join an already strong recruiting class. Katherine Adham and Brittany Selts signed letters of intent in the spring for the women’s team and Robby Hayes signed on for the men’s team. In the fall, C.J. Henry and Jocelyn Phillips were signed on the women’s side and Scott Baker and Ian Rowe joined the men’s team.
“I think they’ll definitely compliment the fall and spring signees that we have,” said Harper. “That gives us potentially two of the strongest signing classes in the country.”
Helping with recruiting is Florida State’s Marine Science Research and Training Center on target to open in March, 2008. The 10.7 million dollar project will include a pool, diving tower, and locker rooms for Seminole swimmers.
“We’ve known that this has been in the works and there’s been great work done by Dave Hart and T.K. Wetherell and the Florida State community,” said Harper. “For this pool to become a reality Florida State had to commit to having a great facility for student athletes to excel in the pool and in the classroom “
The most unique feature will be the pool. FSU will be swimming in the same pool that hosted the 2005 World Championships in Montreal, Canada. During those World Championships nine World Records were broken. Included in the record breaking performances were Americans Aaron Peirsol (200m back), Ian Crocker (100m fly) and Jessica Hardy (100m breast).
“It has a history of World Records that were achieved in that pool,” said Harper. “And the great thing is Florida State is going to give it it’s own flavor, tying in with the architecture on campus. It’s going to be a beautiful facility that recruits are going to want to make their home for the next four years.”