February 27, 2010 - by
Florida State Men Claim Third at ACC Championships

Feb. 27, 2010

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Swimming Championships concluded Saturday as the Florida State Seminoles took third place, behind Virginia and North Carolina, with 566.5 points. Highlights from University of North Carolina’s Koury Natatorium included Andy Hodgson winning his second straight 200 back conference title, and Rob Holderness winning the 200 breast and resetting his school record.

“This was the best evening for us,” said Head Coach Neil Harper. “We really bounced back from earlier this week and finished strong this year. We were able to secure another top three finish in the conference, which is tough with the depth of some of the other teams.

“Andy bounced back for us and Rob finished strong,” added Harper. “The youngsters also did well today. Brad Morrison had a good showing in the 200 back and has a chance to take over in Andy’s absence next year. We got a lot of experience and success from all of our freshmen. Danny Nguyen and Mark Cox had strong performances in the 200 butterfly today.”

The 1650 free was the first final of the night and two Seminoles finished in the top eight of the event. Senior Nick Graves finished sixth with a time of 15:11.02 and junior Ian Rowe finished seventh with a time of 15:12.98.

In the 200 back senior Andy Hodgson earned his second consecutive 200 back title at the ACC Championships. The Blackpool, England native finished second in the prelims with a time of 1:44.37, and in the finals he recorded a season best time 1:42.90. Freshman Brad Morrison earned a career best time of 1:46.82 to earn 11th place in the finals. Morrison’s time ranks seventh all-time in the Seminole record books.

“We knew and expected this from Andy, he struggled a little early on but he came back and finished strong,” Harper said. “It’s a huge boost of confidence and a great end to his ACC career.”

Junior Robby Hayes set a new career best in the 100 free finals with a time of 44.22. Hayes just missed the podium, earning a fourth place finish, but he is now the 10th fastest 100 free swimmer in school history.

A day after earning second place in the 100 breast, junior Rob Holderness pushed through to capture the gold in the 200 breast and set a new Florida State record. Holderness finished first with a time of 1:55.41. Senior Scott Thacker earned a personal best of 1:59.05 in the prelims, but fell to seventh in the finals with a time of 1:59.36.

“Rob is gaining more and more experience,” said Harper. “Sometimes he waits a little to late to make a move but today he decided to take a risk and it paid off. We knew he was capable of winning, we saw him almost do it yesterday in the 100 breast, and today he proved it.”

In the 200 fly freshman Danny Nguyen made his first conference finals appearance after finishing sixth in the prelims with a personal best time of 1:46.97. Nguyen faltered slightly in the finals with a time of 1:47.95 but was able to capture a fifth place finish. Fellow freshman Mark Cox finished 13th in the prelims with a personal best of 1:48.39 and remained 13th in the finals with a time of 1:48.68.

The final event of the meet was the 400 free relay. Florida State’s team of Matt Shead, Hodgson, Mark Weber and Hayes finished in fourth place with a time of 2:57.21.

In addition to the men’s swimming events, results from last week’s men’s three-meter dive were added to the team scores. In the men’s platform event, junior Mike Neubacher earned a third place finish with a score of 381.15. In addition to Neubacher, four other Seminole men earned team points in the event. Landon Marzullo came in fifth place while Terry Horner, Nick Klein and Jordan Horsley came in ninth, 10th and 11th place, respectively.

With a team score of 806 Virginia won its third consecutive ACC Championship. North Carolina secured the second place victory with a score of 656.5.

Full meet results can be found by clicking here.

For more news and coverage of the Seminoles stay tuned to www.seminoles.com or follow the team on Twitter @fsu_swimming.

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