February 16, 2012 - by
Turning the Tides

Feb. 16, 2012

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – The No. 25 Florida State Seminoles are in third place after two days of competition at the 2012 ACC Championships in Christiansburg, Va.

The leaderboard shows that Virginia is in first with 311 with North Carolina in second with 197 and Florida State moved up to third with 166. Maryland and Virginia Tech are tied for fourth at 105.5.

“We struggled this morning,” Head Coach Neil Harper said. “We weren’t feeling fast in our newest suits, so we decided to switch things up in finals and go with some different products. We went two, three, seconds faster in the 500 free and 200 IM’s and we’re turning it around. Our divers got us on a roll with three finalists in both the men’s and women’s events. We just got on a roll.”

The Florida State divers kicked-off the evening in the women’s one-meter diving event, with junior Ariel Rittenhouse leading the way with a second place finish, scoring a 325.40. Rittenhouse’s silver establishes the best performance in two seasons since the Seminoles have claimed bronze in the event in both 2010 and 2011. It also marks the fourth-consecutive year that head diving coach Patrick Jeffrey has put a female diver on the podium.

“I’m very pleased with how we dove today,” Jeffrey said. “We gave our best performance of the season on both sides and we had more divers in the finals than any other school. Our kids know that they did well today, but we have two days left and they want to win.”

Taking sixth in the event was sophomore Kelsey Goodman who posted a score of 308.45 and senior Lisi Rowland took eighth, totaling 286.40.

Four Seminoles earned second swims in the 500 free with senior Charlotte Broadbent winning the consolation heat with a 4:45.15, turning in her best swim in the event on the season. Sophomore Julia Henkel took 13th with a 4:49.76 and junior Marissa Harrington went 4:53.72 on her way to a 15th place finish. Junior Corey Allison placed 19th in the bonus heat, touching in at 4:54.54, her career best time.

Feeding off the momentum, senior Tori Richmond turned in a season best at 1:59.93 in the 200 IM while winning the consolation heat. She finished just short of her school record she set last season at 1:59.04. Her classmate, Stephanie Sarandos finished in thirteenth with a time of 2:01.83.

Three ladies swam to career best times in the bonus heat of the event, beginning with sophomore McKayla Lightbourn taking the heat and placing 17th with a time of 2:00.59. That race was the fifth fastest time in school history. Following in 18th was junior Jamie Barrett at 2:00.62 and finishing right behind her in 19th was junior Kristine Polley at 2:00.85. Barrett and Polley swam the sixth and seventh fastest times on the FSU record books.

The lone Seminole swimmer in the top final, sophomore Tiffany Oliver swam to a sixth place finish with a time of 22.81. Freshman Kaitlyn Dressel posted a 23.01 and placed eleventh. Sophomore Melissa Cooper was 18th in the bonus heat with a time of 23.21.

The men’s portion of the contest was highlighted by a podium performance by freshman Ford McLiney, as he took second in the three-meter diving event with a score of 401.05. Sophomore Tom Neubacher took fifth at 378.55 and senior Mike Neubacher rounded out the final heat of Seminoles in seventh with a 372.65.

“We know we’re swimming fast now,” Harper said. “We made that simple switch and after that our girls were confident. They got their swagger back and they starting performing in the way we knew they could. The girls know that they’re on and we just have to perform, score some big points and move up.”

Tomorrow’s prelims will start at 11 a.m. starting with the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast and the 100 back. Men’s one-meter diving will start at 1 p.m. and women’s three-meter will start at 2:45.

On a smaller note, sophomore Kendall Sieron participated in the Community Connections Program this morning before prelims. Fourth and fifth graders from Falling Branch Elementary school arrived to learn about swimming and the competition. Sieron teamed up with athletes from other schools and talked to the kids about what it’s like to be a student-athlete at Florida State. The kids stayed and cheered on all athletes during the prelim session.

Check back to Seminoles.com and Twitter (FSU_Swimming) for updates throughout the week. Below are live stat and live streaming links and event order list.

Live stats can be followed here: http://www.theacc.com/livestats/c-swim/

Live Streaming and other Championship Information can be found here: http://www.theacc.com/championships/12-swimming-diving-championship.html.

Feb. 15

200 Medley Relay- Sixth 1:41.07

800 Free Relay- Fifth 7:16.97

Feb. 16 200 Free Relay- Seventh- 1:33.21

500 free

200 IM

50 Free

One-Meter Diving (Women)

Three-Meter Diving (Men)

Feb. 17

400 Medley Relay

400 IM

100 Fly

200 Free

100 Breast

100 Back

Three-Meter Diving (Women)

One-Meter Diving (Men)

Feb. 18

200 Back

100 Free

200 Breast

200 Fly

1650 Free Platform Diving

400 Free Relay

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