GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The All Florida Invite came to a close on Sunday afternoon at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center with the Florida State swimming and diving teams winning 11 events on the weekend, including four of the five women’s relays.
Senior Alexi Smith turned her second victory of the meet after winning the 50 free on Friday, touching with at time of 50.59 in the 100 free. Smith also anchored the 400 free relay as sophomore Nika Blank, freshman Elise Olsen and junior Lelia Johnston turned in a time of 3:25.09, edging out the Gators (3:25.65).
“This was awesome experience for it being so early in the year,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “I feel great about where we are as a team. Winning four of the five relays on the women’s side was really special and I thought Lexi Smith is really stepping up.”
In addition to the 400 free relay, the Noles outlasted the Gators in the 200 free as well as the 200 and 400 medley relays over the weekend.
Freshman Madeline Cohen capped off her debut with a second place finish in the 200 back with a time of 2:00.90. Newcomer Shelly Drozda placed fourth at 2:02.20.
In the 200 breast, the Seminoles placed fourth, fifth and sixth as redshirt junior McKenna Harris led the team touching at 2:20.74. Junior Natalie Purnell followed in fifth at 2:21.58 and Elizabeth Zubero was sixth (2:21.86).
Sophomore Macie Beairsto turned in the top time for the Noles in the 200 fly, placing fourth at 2:05.41, ahead of freshman Kathryn Petrone (2:07.21) in fifth and rookie Madi Tyle (2:08.33) in sixth.
Junior Alex Wittman turned in a fifth place finish in the 1650 free prior to the start of finals with a time of 17:31.25. Sophomore Manuella Andrade followed in sixth at 17:33.38.
The women finished the meet in second place with a total of 998 points, behind Florida (1068) and well ahead of Miami (591).
Sophomore Griffin Alaniz continued to lead the Noles, grabbing bronze in the 200 back with a time of 1:47.50.
The Seminoles showed strength in the 100 free, led by junior Emir Muratovic who placed second at 44.79, just ahead of his classmate Kanoa Kaleoaloha, who tied for third at 45.15. Sophomore Felipe Ribeiro de Souza followed in fifth (45.29) while senior Chad Mylin was sixth (45.47).
Freshman Ryan Telford took home bronze in the 200 breast (2:04.70) while senior Matthew Ankerholz finished sixth (2:09.35) ahead of sophomore Julio Horrego in seventh (2:09.53) and freshman Chad McGuire (2:10.32) was eighth.
In the last individual event of the meet, sophomore Max Polianski added a third place finish in the 200 fly, touching with a time of 1:51.15 while senior Jonathan Ratliff placed fourth at 1:53.86.
Senior Calvin Bryant competed in the 1650 free earlier in the day, finishing fifth at 16:33.54, ahead of sophomore Kegan Finlay in sixth at 16:39.86.
Florida State tallied 1021.5 points on the weekend, finishing behind Florida (1227.5).
“I am really excited about the tough racing across the board,” Studd said. “Our newcomers competed well and our veterans were fantastic leaders.”
The Seminoles will face both Florida and ACC foe Miami in dual meets later in the season in January.
Both teams will return to Tallahassee to face Minnesota on Oct. 7 at 12 p.m. at the Morcom Aquatics Center.
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