GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Florida State swimming and diving teams fell to (No. 3/14) Florida in Gainesville at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Saturday in a long course meters dual meet.
“I was very happy with the effort all around,” FSU head coach Frank Bradley said. “Our guys and gals fought from start to finish. They got better today and they just got up and raced. We still have work to do as we turn this corner for our season, but very proud of our effort.”
Florida won the women’s meet by a score of 200-93, while the men’s score was 188-109 in favor of the Gators.
“Our guys started off well,” Bradley said. “I was very happy with the energy and I knew if we could go in there and race hard we could put ourselves in a great spot.”
The 23rd-ranked men gave the Gators all they could handle to start the meet, however Florida pulled away in the back half to overcome a six-point deficit heading into the 3-meter diving break.
The Seminoles surrendered a one-two punch in the 400m medley relay and a sweep in the 200 free to start the meet, but sophomore Connor Kalisz helped the Noles bounce back by leading the 100 back from start to finish, touching with a final time of 57.95 after splitting 57.55 in the 400m medley relay. The time was just shy of the Olympic Trial cut of 57.19.
Connor Kalisz in the 100 back.
Junior Jason Coombs followed with a victory in the 100m breast with a time of 1:05.70 and sophomore Rafael Van Leeuwaarde touched in third with a time of 1:07.17.
“I was very pleased with those guys,” Bradley said. “Especially Kalisz, I thought he had great 100’s and a solid 200.”
The Gators grabbed first and second in the 200 fly, however the Seminoles answered with a one-two finish in the 50m free as sophomore Chad Mylin won the race from the outside lane eight at 23.35. Junior Jason McCormick touched in second at 23.56 and rookie Kanoa Kaleoaloha completed the sweep in third at 23.98.
“Chad was awesome from that outside lane,” Bradley said. “That was awesome to see. That event has become very strong for us and I was happy to see those guys compete as hard as they did.”
Sophomore Tyler Roberge help extend the lead with first place points from 3-meter, scoring 393.90. Before swimming, senior Kalonji Cole won 1-meter in his first meet back since injuring his ankle, scoring 321.68. Roberge (318.68) and junior Dylan Grisell (310.35) completed the sweep, finishing second and third.
“Kalonji had a heck of a 1-meter,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “He’s been injured and to come back and dominate was awesome and Tyler too had a great day. I thought our kids did a solid job.”
The Gators made their move starting with the 100 free, winning the remaining races including two sweeps in the distance events and a one-two punch in the 200m IM.
McCormick (52.83) finished second in the 100m free before Kalisz (2:05.17) touched in second in the 200m back and Coombs (2:25.38) was out-touched placing second in the 200 breast. Senior Cole Hensley was also runner up in the 100m fly at 55.61.
In the women’s contest, sophomore Natalie Pierce hung on to win the 100m breast with a time of 1:15.02.
Freshman Summer Finke came back to finish second in the 800m free, touching with a time of 8:58.87, just ahead of UF’s and sister Autumn Finke in third (8:59.01). Finke added a third place finish in the 400 free with a time of 4:27.26.
Junior Lydia Ware touched in second place in the 50m free with a time of 27.22 and freshman Leila Johnston was just shy of a win in the 100 fly, touching in second with a time of 1:03.06.
“Natalie had a really good 100,” Bradley said. “She swam a very smooth race. Lydia was just awesome in that 50. She was right near that Olympic Trial cut and she’s been improving a lot this season. I think if she continues on this path, she’ll have no trouble getting that this spring.”
The women’s 400m relay
The Seminoles will host Louisville on Jan. 8-9. Times and location are yet to be determined. For more on FSU Swimming and Diving visit Facebook and Twitter.