June 17, 2014 - by

1996-1997 Women’s Swimming and Diving Year in Review

The Lady Seminoles completed another successful year in the 1996-97 season,
finishing 30th at the NCAA Championships, an improvement from their 34th finish
the year before. After compiling a 5-5 regular season record, freshman Anne
Blanchford and sophomore Samantha White were named to the All-ACC team, leading
their squad to a 4th place finish behind Clemson, UNC, and Virginia at the ACC
Championships. Blanchford, White, and senior Helen Jepson led the Lady Seminoles
to a 30th finish at the NCAA Championships.

The women started the early season splitting a weekend trip to Miami,
defeating Florida Atlantic early in the weekend but losing a close meet to #25
Miami 111-132. The loss was followed by a couple of wins over FAMU and Georgia
Southern in a home dual meet, followed by a fifth place finish at the University
of Georgia Invitational and a 199-115 victory over conference rival N.C. State.
The women brought home a fourth place finish in the Nike Sprint Classic and
Husker Shootout before losing at home to #7 Florida. The early season rounded
out with a split meet in Charlottesville, Virginia, losing to Virginia early but
coming back with a strong finish over Villanova.

Blachford had no problem adjusting to the collegiate level, assisting the
Lady Seminoles team to a 5-3 start. Other major contributers were junior diver
Sarah Henderson, sophomores Tenelle Ramer and White, and the return of 1995
second team All-American Jepson.

Competition resumed for the Lady Seminoles with a loss to #11 Auburn and a
close fought loss to #18 LSU, 121-122. The team headed for the ACC
Championships at 5-5. After a slow start, the women finished fourth behind
Clemson, UNC, and Virginia with many top finishes. The breaststrokers were the
strength the second day to pull the women into the fourth position. White won
the 100 Breast with Blachford finishing third in the same event; the two also
finished second and third respectively in the 200 Breast. Henderson finshed
fifth in the 3-meter diving with teammate freshman Marya Sabesky and senior Erin
Gillooly finishing seventh and eigth respectively. Blachford and White’s
performances placed them on the All-ACC team.

Before the NCAA Championships, Henderson and Sabesky competed at the NCAA
Zone B Regional Diving Championships. Neither diver qualified for the NCAA
CHampionships but made a tremendous effort with Henderson finshing in the sisxth
onthe 10-meter platform, sixteenth on the 3-meter and 19th on the 1-meter.
Sabesky finished 28th on the 3-meter.

White, a second team All-American for 1996, joined Blachford and Jepson in
Indianapolis for the NCAA Championships. White finished 9th in the 100
Breaststroke as Blachford finished 23rd in the same event and 13th in the 200
IM. Jepson finished in 36th in the 100 Butterfly. The trio brought a 30th place
finish for the Lady Seminoles, the best finish under Coach Don Gibb while at
Florida State.

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