February 24, 2007 - by
Florida State Swimming and Diving Win’s 2007 Men’s ACC Championship

Feb. 24, 2007

Chapel Hill, N.C. –

The 15th ranked Florida State men’s swimming and diving team claimed their first ACC title in school history. On the final day, the Seminoles scored 214 points to increase their total to 714 points. The total is the highest score ever for a Florida State men’s team in the ACC Championships. The Seminoles defeated eight-time defending champion Virginia by 97.5 points. Junior Kyle Young (Oviedo, Fla.) claimed the meet’s MVP honors with wins in the 500 and 1650-yard freestyle events.

“Unbelievable,” said head Coach Neil Harper, “it’s been a goal of ours every year to win this championship. We’ve been close several times, but for us to just put things together was just an amazing feat. Not enough credit will go to our five divers from last week, unfortunately because of the format, they weren’t here to enjoy this with us. We certainly couldn’t have gone into battle without their boost that they provided. It just kept our guys going knowing that the divers were there to come through for us.”

In the 1650-yard freestyle, junior Kyle Young (Oviedo, Fla.) claimed the gold medal with an NCAA “A” cut time of 15:02.36. The gold is Young’s second of the meet. He also won the 500-yard freestyle on day two of his MVP meet. Freshman Nick Graves (Lexington, Ky.) finished in fifth place with an NCAA “B” cut time of 15:13.11. Senior captain Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio) touched the wall in an NCAA “B” cut time of 15:14.30. Freshman Shawn Erickson (Tallahassee, Fla.) claimed 16th place with a time of 15:48.73.

“We certainly had a few candidates for swimmer of the meet,” said coach Harper. “Kyle just stepped out because this conference is always strong in distance events. For Kyle to come from where he has come from in such a short period of time is amazing. He wasn’t very highly recruited out of high school, and he took a chance on Florida State, and we took a chance on him. He is just an animal, he’s trained very hard and worked under Steve Roof. I’m just glad that he’s put a couple of great meets together.”

Junior Ed Denton (Maidenhead, England) improved on his 2006 bronze medal performance in the 100-yard freestyle to take the gold medal. He took top honors with an NCAA “B” cut time of 44.09. It is Denton’s first career individual ACC title. Senior captain Alex Kennon (Winter Haven, Fla.) claimed fourth place with an NCAA “B” cut time of 44.09. Sophomore Jimmy Holway (Gulf Breeze, Fla.)won the bonus consolation final to claim 17th place with a time of 45.52.

Junior Jarryd Botha (Worchester, South Africa) completed the backstroke sweep, and defended his 2006 title by taking the 200-yard backstroke gold medal in a time of 1:45.44. Freshman Robert Padgett (Greensboro, N.C.) touched the wall for fourth place in a time of 1:46.05.

In the 200-yard breaststroke, Junior Billy Jamerson (Savannah, Ga.) led the trio of Seminoles by taking the bronze medal. His time of 1:59.10 is an NCAA “B” cut time. Senior Paul Erben (Panama City, Fla.) took fourth place with a time of 1:59.24. Freshman Scott Thacker (Lynchburg, Va.) claimed the eighth place with a time of 2:04.25.

In the 200-yard butterfly, junior Ian Powell (Guernsey, Channel Islands) claimed sixth place with a time of 1:48.37. Senior captain Mark Nicholls (Charlotte, N.C.) finished in tenth overall with a second place finish in the consolation final. He swam a time of 1:49.37. Junior Michael Rice (North Miami, Fla.) took 27th place with a time of 1:53.16 in the bonus consolation final.

The final event of the night was the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team of Denton, Holway, Botha and Kennon took the silver medal in an NCAA “B” cut time of 2:56.89.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better four swimming seniors and Derek (Jones) in diving, added coach Harper about the senior class. “They have been here, and they have been a part of three -years in a row of second place finishes. That’s hard to swallow when you’ve given everything you had and not knowing if it’s going to pay off with a team championship. It couldn’t happen to a better five guys from all different walks of life.”

The next meet for the Florida State men’s team is the NCAA National Meet. It is being held March 15 through 18 in Minneapolis, Minn. The University of Minnesota is the host for the event. The women’s meet will take place one week earlier, March 8 through 10. For complete coverage of the national meet and a wrap-up on the ACC meet, stay tuned to www.seminoles.com.

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