March 15, 2007
Minneapolis, Minn –
With freshman playing a larger role in collegiate athletes more than ever, it’s only fitting that Florida State’s first diving champion in 36 years came from a rookie competing in his first NCAA Championships. Freshman Terry Horner (Orlando, Fla.) captured the top spot on the one-meter board in the finals of day one of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.
Horner captured the title by posting his best score of the season, a new school record mark of 399.35, besting the competition by 4.3 points. In his second dive of the finals, all seven judges gave Horner a score of 9.0 on the ten point scale. In his final dive that clinched the championship Horner received the same score from four of the judges.
“It’s just unbelievable for him and the program,” said Head Coach Neil Harper. “Terry really hit it off with our diving coach Patrick Jeffrey. I’m really glad that he came in here and showcased what he has learned here at Florida State. I know the entire Florida State athletic department is proud of him today.”
After one day of competition, Florida State is in 13th place having earned 27 points. The Seminoles are the leading team from the ACC after the opening day. Defending champion Auburn is in first place after six events with a score of 187.
Horner is the first Seminole to win a National Championship in diving since Olympic gold medalist Phil Boggs won the one-meter event in 1971. Ten years earlier, Curt Genders won the first swimming and diving National Championship for Florida State by taking the 1961 one-meter championship. Horner also becomes only the fifth male Seminole to win a National Championship in the NCAA waters.
The win championship ends the eight year drought since Brandon Dedekind won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1999. It is also the first National Championship under head coach Harper. On day two, Horner will try to join Dedekind as the only two-time National Champion in school history. Along with the title of National Champion, Horner earned All-American honors with the finish in the top-eight. He is the first male All-American since Luis Gagnet earned Honorable Mention All-American honors in 2003 on the three-meter board.
“I’m really proud of him,” said FSU diving coach Jeffrey. “He’s worked very hard for this. It’s been a long uphill climb, but we got there, and there are only better things to come. He’s got a big event in front of him tomorrow, so he’s ready to put this one behind him and move on.”
Junior Kyle Young (Oviedo, Fla.) earned his first individual Honorable Mention All-American honor by placing 10th in the 500-yard freestyle. The ACC Championship MVP set a new school record in the event with a time of 4:19.15 to finish second in the B Final. In the morning session, Young finished 14th with a time of 4:19.69
“This guy just continues to produce,” said Harper. “We thought he was tapped out at the ACC meet, he got back to training and earned a second swim this morning, doing well to get into the consolation final. Between him and Terry, they really put FSU on the board early.”
In the 500-yard freestyle prelim, senior Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio) claimed 20th place with a time of 4:20.60. Senior captain Alex Kennon (Winter Haven, Fla.) finished in 44th place in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.35.
The second day of the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving National Championships will begin Friday with prelims beginning at 11:00 a.m. and finals at 7:00 p.m CDT. Tomorrow the Seminoles will compete in the 800-yard freestyle relay, 200-yard freestyle (Young), 100-yard breaststroke (Billy Jamerson) and three-meter diving (Horner) events