Oct. 8, 1999
The Florida State men’s swimming and diving team returns to competition after a 12th place finish at the NCAA Championships last year and a second place finish at the ACC Championships. Despite having to replace four All-Americans and two national champions, the 1999-2000 season looks to be a strong rebuilding year.
“We have lots of good returnees with ACC experience and lots of youth, which should be a good combination,” First year Head Coach Neil Harper said. “There is a lot of potential and talent on this team and with the loss of those All-Americans, our younger swimmers will have to step it up.”
The Seminoles return three All-Americans this year for their senior campaign in Brett Petersen, Kevin Flanagan and Nelson Mora. Petersen, a senior from East London, South Africa, placed 4th in the 100 Breast and competed in the 200 Breast in the Pan-Pacific Championships this summer and competed in both evetns at the NCAA’s. Flanagan, who came to FSU from Honolulu, Hawaii, competed in the 50 and 100 Free at the NCAA’s. Mora, who transferred to FSU from Miami, competed in the 200 Free and Fly events at the championships. All three Seminoles were also a key part of the relays at the NCAA’s.
“Kevin is our fastest returning sprint freestyler,” Harper said. “From there it’s wide open on the sprint side. Nelson will definitely give us good points in the 200 Fly and Free as well as the 500 Free and Brett will be our top 100 Breaststroker.”
“We’re expecting those NCAA qualifiers from last year to return to the championships and bring with them many new faces,” Harper said. “There are some potential NCAA individual qualifiers from the younger swimmers who could make this their breakout year.”
Distance swimmers Danny Chocron and Bill Schultz also return for their senior campaign. Chocron, who competes in the open water competitions for Venezuela, finished 2nd in the 25K Open Water competition at the Pan-Pacific Championships in Sydney this summer. Schultz, who came to FSU from Bowie, Md., finished 10th in the 1650 Free at the ACC Championships. Greg Main-Baillie, a junior from Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, also returns for the Seminoles after competing in the Pan-Pacific Championships this summer where he finished 12th in the 50 Free.
Three divers return for their senior campaign. Brent Burkman, Glenn Gonzales and Ben Nuttall all return after top finishes in dual meets and at the ACC Championships. Burkman took the top finish as he finished third on the 1 and 3-meter springboards at the ACC Championships.
The Seminoles welcome 12 newcomers to the roster, including three transfers and nine freshmen. Lou Dondero, a junior from Broward Community College, was an NJCAA All-American in 1997 and 1998 on both springboards and placed third on both boards in those two years. Sophomore Steven Forsen joins the Seminoles from Cleveland State University where he won the 100 and 200 Fly at the Midwestern Collegiate Conference championships last year. Freshmen Devon Crock, who was a Senior National qualifier in the 100 Fly, and Matt Walllace will bolster the Fly events this year. Chris Brosche and Justin Betts will have an immediate impact in the Breaststroke and Joey Marshburn and Nnamnse Ammons will also step up in the sprint freestyle, both events that were left open with the loss of National Champion Brendon Dedekind.
“The freshman and transfers are going to be an important part of the depth and relays this year,” Harper said. “Our veterans will have to lead a young squad but we will look to these newcomers to rise to the challenge, especially come the ACC Championships. With all the talent and potential we have, it looks to be a really good year.”