Feb. 20, 2004
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –
At the rate that it is going, the Florida State University women’s swimming and diving team is going to have to declare residency atop the winner’s stand at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships. During Friday’s (February 2) evening session, the Seminoles collected a pair of titles, upping their total to six of the 13 events contested.
Sitting in fourth place midway through the night races, Florida State climbed up to second place, 17 points behind host Virginia with a total of 410 points. North Carolina is in third with a tally of 401.
The Seminoles have made their mark on the championships with their performances in the relay events. Florida State claimed its third relay victory in a row when it took the 400-yard medley relay. Breaking the school and pool record was the team of Andree-Anne LeRoy (Nanaimo, British Columbia), Emma Dutton (Bradford, England), Lisa How (Preston, England) and Emily Breen (Savannah, Ga.) with their winning tally of 3:40.81.
“It’s awesome for the team,” FSU head coach Neil Harper said of relay win. “It’s great to watch it unfold. There is just so much electricity. Everyone is so proud, it’s a great feeling. When Emma’s on the relay you know what you’re going to get. We went from down three seconds to being even. Then Lisa How had an unbelievable swim and then Emily capped off a great day by anchoring the victory.”
Friday was the second day of the competition that Dutton collected a pair of titles, giving her a school record five championships in a single year. Prior to the relay, she broke her own school and pool record that she set during the preliminaries with a time of 1:00.94. The record for total championships was four set by Helen Jepson and Jodi Kreig during the 1995 championships.
“It’s a weird thing with Emma where we knew she made NCAAs so we kept her yardage up and she’s been lifting, but maybe it’s good for her. She has the speed and it gives her the endurance to finish races. She looked so good and there is more where that came from. It’s a big boost for the team, especially when someone wins by two seconds.”
The breaststroke event was Florida State’s best of the evening as they put three swimmers in the top 12. Rookie Lauren Brick (Culpeper, Va.) continued to swim well in her homecoming as she posted a career-best 1:02.72 to take second. Tallying a 1:05.54 to place 11th was senior Rachel Dong (Paramount, Calif.).
Another bountiful event in the points department was the 100-yard backstroke where three Seminoles were among the top 16 finishers. Topping her own school record from a year ago was Breen as she hit the wall in second place with a time of 55.48. Two spots back was the senior LeRoy as she touched in with a 56.26 and Katie Byrnes (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) placed 14th with a 57.66.
Florida State scored big points as well in the 100-yard butterfly with a trio of top-eight finishes. Breen and How posted career-best times with Breen hitting the wall third with a 54.04-the second fastest time in school history-and How coming in sixth with her 54.80. Rounding out the trio was Dong as her 55.79 placed her eighth.
The Seminoles got some valuable points out of a couple of consolation swims. Freshman Renee Gajda (Queensland, Australia) moved up three spots to win the consolation final of the 200 free in a time of 1:49.83, the fourth-best time in Seminole lore. Jumping to 11th with a time of 4:25.68 in the 400 individual medley was Laura Kenney (Plano, Texas).
The league championship concludes on Saturday at the UVA Aquatic and Fitness Center with the 1,650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, three-meter diving and 400 free relay. Prelims start at 11 a.m. with the finals at 7 p.m.
ACC WOMEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
February 20, 2004
1) Virginia 427 points
2) Florida State 410 points
3) North Carolina 401 points
4) Maryland 360 points
5) Duke 200 points
6) Georgia Tech 184 points
7) NC State 181 points
7) Clemson 154 points
Florida State Placewinners:
Event 8 400-yard Individual Medley
11) Laura Kenney, 4:25.68
Event 13 400 Medley Relay
1) Florida State
LeRoy, Dutton, How, Breen, 3:40.81 - School Record
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –