GREENSBORO, N.C. – Florida State senior Natalie Pierce and sophomore Aidan Faminoff added to the medal count at the 2018 ACC Championships on Saturday night at the Greensboro Aquatic Center as the meet came to a close with the Seminoles taking home nine medals.
Pierce won silver in the 200 breast with a school record of 2:09.04 while Faminoff battled back to take bronze.
Pierce lowered her school record in prelims, becoming the first woman to swim the 200 breast under 2:10, touching at 2:09.84 for the third seed.
In her first appearance in the A final in the race, Pierce went out for the early lead and looked very smooth throughout the race. However, Pierce could not hold off a late charge from Mariia Astashkina in lane five from Louisville, thus placing second at 2:09.04, lowering her school record from the morning swim.
Pierce is the first Seminole to medal in both the 100 and 200 breast at the same ACC Championships in 10 years, as Georgia Holderness won bronze in both distances in 2008.
“That was really special,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “She was flying at the 150 mark and she’s improved so much at the 200. She was 2:17 last year at this meet and this year, she gets the school record and goes 2:09. Awesome.”
Faminoff was solid in prelims, posting five of his six dives about 50 points for a total of 331.45.
In finals, Faminoff started off hot, but on his third dive, he opened out of his tuck late, causing him to go past vertical on his back 2 ½ somersault. The mistake dropped him to sixth place.
But Faminoff got back on track scoring 61.20 on his reverse 2 ½ somersault tuck. Faminoff kept climbing and found himself just eight points away from the bronze medal after he tallied 58.50 on his fifth dive.
Saving his best for last, Faminoff received marks of 7.0-8.5 on his inward 2 ½ somersault tuck for a tally of 72 points, which was his best dive of the day bringing his total to 333.65, moving past TJ Shinholser of Virginia Tech for the bronze.
“Both Anne (Olsen) and I are very proud of him,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “He fought back after he lost some ground on his 205. He had to battle through some injuries and poor weather that kept him off platform as much as we and he wanted this year, but we couldn’t be more pleased with how he performed at this meet. Working with Aidan is always a hoot and holler.”
The Seminoles won a medal in each diving event for the first time since the 2012 meet behind Faminoff’s bronze and freshman Joshua Davidson’s silver on 3-meter and bronze on 1-meter.
Lovemore finished in eighth after taking two seconds of her time in prelims, touching at 1:57.77. In finals, Lovemore went out for the early lead working from lane eight, and she held on to swim a faster time at 1:57.32 for seventh place. Her mark was the third fastest in FSU history.
Prior to the start of finals, junior Daniella Van den Berg dropped over 30 seconds off her 1650 free time, touching at 16:24.21 which was the fifth fastest time in school history. Van den Berg had to wait to see where she would place, as the top eight swimmers led off finals. The Pos Chiquito, Aruba native finished 13th overall.
Freshman Madeline Cohen advanced to the C final of the 200 back in 21st place (1:56.81). She finished 24th overall with a time of 1:57.97.
Rookies Emma Terebo (49.27) and Elise Olsen (49.47) took to the bonus heat of the 100 free after Olsen swam a personal best in prelims of 49.47. Terebo swam a new best time at 49.04 in finals finishing second in the heat. Olsen moved up and took sixth, touching at 49.51.
Terebo’s time in the third fastest in school history, while Olsen ranks eighth.
Joining Pierce in the 200 breast was junior Natalie Purnell in the B final after she clocked a 2:13.77 in prelims, but came back in finals to swim a personal best at 2:12.94 for 13th place.
After swimming in the afternoon session of the 1650 free, freshman Kathryn Petrone raced in the bonus heat of the 200 fly, touching with a time of 2:00.33.
Sophomore Ayla Bonniwell turned in a 13th place finish on platform with a score of 211.05 ahead of senior Blaire Mulka in 16th at 194.70.
The Seminoles closed out finals by taking eighth in the 400 free relay behind Lovemore, senior Alexi Smith, Terebo and Olsen at 3:17.51.
In addition to Faminoff, the Seminoles also had senior Tyler Roberge, Davidson and sophomore Cameron Thatcher score points towards the team total in platform. Roberge was 10th (287.05), Davidson was 15th (272.05) and Thatcher placed 22nd (246.55).
“We had a good last day,” Studd said. “We’re looking forward to getting some more work done and turn around to have a great NCAAs.”
Florida State finished in eighth place with a total of 578.5. The men’s swimming portion of the meet will take place from Feb. 21-24 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. For more information, visit Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.