Feb. 16, 2005
The Lead-Off Leg: Florida State Women's Swimming & Diving at ACC Championships Georgia Tech Aquatic Center -- Atlanta, Ga. February 16-19, All Day #26 Women: (13-4, 4-1 ACC)
The Nuts & Bolts:
Seminoles Women’s Team Travels To Atlanta For ACC Championships
It’s the build up that began back in August when the Florida State University women’s swimming and diving team commenced its 2004-05 season. Six months of training will culminate this week as the Seminoles compete at the 27th annual Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, February 16-19, hosted by Georgia Tech at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.
2004 Meet Was Best Showing Ever For Seminoles
Sixth-year head coach Neil Harper would gladly take a repeat of last year’s performance by the Seminoles at the ACC meet. Florida State won nearly half the events in 2004 taking nine of 20 titles. 2004 ACC Swimmer of the Year Emma Dutton tied an ACC record with seven gold medals on her way to Swimmer of the Meet honors while Tiffany Manning was the unanimous choice as Diver of the Meet after winning both boards. It was only the second time in the meet’s 26-year history that the same school won both awards.
Florida State Hopes New Venue Brings Improved Results
The last three years, Florida State has walked away from the league championships with the bronze medal after a third-place score of 557 points in 2004. This will be the first time that Georgia Tech has hosted the league summit after starting its program in 2002. The best finish FSU has had when the ACC meet is at a new site is a third-place mark in 1994 when the meet was held in Tallahassee.
Team Of The Millennium?
Since Neil Harper took over the program in 1999-2000, the Seminoles have become one of the top programs in the league. During Harper’s six-year tenure, Florida State has amassed more wins (71) than any other team in the league. The next closest is Maryland at 59. Against league competition, FSU rates third with a winning percentage of .800 (12-3).
Seminoles Have Dominated Diving
The arrival of diving coach Patrick Jeffrey in 1999-2000 to Tallahassee signaled a new era in ACC diving. Since joining the Seminoles, FSU women’s divers have won both boards the last four seasons, the best stretch in the 26-year history of the league meet. Dating back to 1991-92 when FSU joined the league, the Seminoles have won nine diving titles, tying them with NC State for the most during that stretch. That total rates third all-time in league history, trailing NC State (18) and Clemson (11) with both schools having a 13-year head start.
Relays Mean Big Points For Florida State
Working as a team has been a strength of Florida State during Neil Harper’s tenure. Since his arrival in 1999-2000, the Seminoles have claimed more relay titles than any other team in the conference. Florida State’s total of eight relay wins, including four from last year’s meet, are one more than North Carolina. The Seminoles are third in relay wins since their arrival in 1992, posting 11 overall with UNC leading the way at 31. FSU’s four titles last year are the second most in a single meet, trailing the only sweep in league history by North Carolina in 1993. The only relay the Seminoles haven’t won to date is the 800 free relay.
Brick Takes No. 1 Seed In 100 Breaststroke
After swimming in the wake of ACC Swimmer of the Year Emma Dutton, Lauren Brick (Culpeper, Va.) has established herself as the fastest breaststroker in the league. She enters the league summit with the top seed, a career-best 1:02.32 she posted at the Georgia Fall Invitational. This year the sophomore has five NCAA “B” cut times in the 100 breaststroke while ranking 13th in the country with her top time. Brick has also improved at the 200-yard distance where as she posted a career-low 2:19.80 at UGA.
Ellis Is Poised To Complete Comeback In Atlanta
Three years ago Carrie Ellis (Valrico, Fla.) thought she had swam in her last ACC Championship. Despite earning All-America honors and setting league records, Ellis walked away from the pool after freshman year at Virginia. She transferred to her home state as a normal student at Florida State. After working in the same Leach Center as a personal trainer that the Seminoles use for practice, Ellis was inspired by the 2004 US Olympic Trials and joined the FSU squad in the fall.
The senior has been made an immediate impact on the team, posting FSU’s fastest sprint times of the year. Her NCAA “B” cut of 50.59 in the 100 free at the Georgia Invite is fifth in school history, rates second in the league and 45th in the country. She is third in the league, tenth in FSU lore and 43rd nationally with a provisional time of 23.38 in the 50 free. A senior in school, but junior in eligibility, Ellis can return for one more year of swimming at Florida State.
McClow Tries To Bookend Career With Another Title
When Courtney McClow (Jacksonville, Fla.) started her career at FSU she must have thought every ACC meet would be as rewarding as she captured the one-meter diving title. However, a pair of FSU All-Americans emerged and kept McClow out of the limelight. The senior seems poised to go out on a high note after her performance at the Team Orlando All-Star Challenge a week ago. A three-time All-ACC selection, McClow defeated defending NCAA one-meter champion Allison Brennan with a winning score of 271.65. This season she rates third in the league with her three-meter score of 306.45 to go along with a 290.05 on the three-meter board that rates fifth.
Diving Is Family Tradition For The Lerews
In diving circles, the name Lerew is synonymous with great diving in the state of Florida. During the 2002 season, Chelsie Lerew gave the name national recognition as an All-American on the one-meter board to go along with five ACC titles. Now sophomore Brittany Lerew (Orlando, Fla.) is trying to make a name for herself. An All-ACC selection as a rookie after her second-place finish on the three-meter board, she has the second-best score in the league with her 320.85 during the one-meter competition. Her 327.45 on the three-meter board rates third. In league history, no pair of sisters have every won a diving title.
All-ACC Nod Would Make Breen FSU’s First Four-Peat
With all the quality swimmers and divers that have come through the Florida State program, none have won four All-ACC awards. Emily Breen (Savannah, Ga.) along with Courtney McClow have the opportunity to become the first this year. After picking up most of her accolades through relays, Breen stepped out on her own with three top three performances last year, including a school-record 55.48 in the 100 backstroke. Currently she rates sixth in the league in the event with a 56.76. In the 100 fly, she is fourth in the ACC with a 55.68 that puts her 45th in the country.
The Golda Standard
It’s been a whirlwind couple of months for senior Golda Marcus (Coral Springs, Fla.). Her “What I did on my summer vacation” report includes a stop in Athens, Greece, for the 2004 Summer Olympics where she represented El Salvador, where she has dual citizenship. Her senior campaign has been her best to date as she has posted a pair of career-best times. Against Miami, she posted a 16:58.36 in the 1,650 free to move her up to fifth in school history, while she slid up to No. 6 with a 4:54.89 in the 500 free at the Georgia Fall Invitational.
Seminoles News And Notes
Sophomore Romy Altmann (Cape Town, South Africa) joined the Seminoles at the semester, but couldn’t compete during the dual meets until her paperwork was complete. She is eligible and will swim in the ACA meet…Sisters Laura and Lindsay Kenney (Plano, Texas) are one of just three pairs of sisters on the same team in the ACC…Assistant coach Liz Klink served as an assistant coach last year at Virginia Tech…This is FSU’s second trip this year to the Georgia Aquatic Center. The Seminoles went 3-1 in an ACC quad meet earlier in the year…Florida State has two swimmers on the team from the Peach State: senior Emily Breen (Savannah, Ga.) and freshman Brittany Stevens (Peachtree City, Ga.). Diver Camille Akridge (Orlando, Fla.) won the 2002 Georgia state title before moving to Florida…Team trainer Jessi Prahl is a native of Peachtree City and is a 2004 graduate of Georgia…Only once in the 25 years that the league has handed out Coach of Year honors has the recipient’s team finished lower than third the following year at the conference meet – 1992 (NC State)…Of FSU’s 19 entries in the ACC Top Ten, underclassmen account for 11 of the marks…Florida State, Maryland and Virginia are the only three teams in the league with top-four times in all five relays this year.