GREENSBORO, N.C. – Florida State’s Jason Coombs, Connor Kalisz and Noah Hensley all competed in the top heats of their individual events on the third day of the 2016 Men’s ACC Swimming and Diving Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
The Seminoles advanced nine individual races into the evening finals, in addition to seven athletes earning career best times.
“We got better as the morning went on,” FSU head coach Frank Bradley said. “By the time we finished we were fired up. We had a lot of best times or near best times and at this level that’s what you want to see.”
Coombs qualified second for the final of the 100 breast with a time of 52.15, which was just off of his school record of 52.11 he set last season.
At finals in lane five, the junior was pulled into the water on the start after a fan cheered while the swimmers were set, forcing the referee to reset the heat.
Coombs got back on the blocks and swam a 52.73 for fifth place.
“He had a great morning swim,” Bradley said. “At night he was a little off with his breakouts, but overall it was a good swim and I’m looking forward to him swimming well at NCAAs.”
Florida State had its best showing in the 100 back on Friday, scoring 61 points from the event as Noah Hensley and Kalisz competed in their first career championship finals.
In his second swim of the day, Hensley held his place from prelims, touching with a time of 47.08 for sixth, while Kalisz remained in seventh posting a mark of 47.31 after clocking a 47.23 in the morning.
Also pulling the 100 fly-100 back double was junior Stefan Stojmenovic, who placed 12th with a personal best time of 47.67.
Both Kalisz and Stojmenovic moved up to the third and fifth respectively on the FSU all-time top 10 list.
“That 100 back was a monster for us today,” Bradley said. “That event really fired us up and we had some momentum heading into finals tonight thanks to that event. Noah was just off his best and both Connor and Stefan got their bests and scored big points.”
In the morning prelims, senior Cole Hensley put up his best 100 fly with a time of 47.14, qualifying him in ninth place in the B final. At night, he swam one one-hundredth faster, touching for 10th at 47.13.
“Cole is another senior who is swimming at his best,” Bradley said. “He’s been a great leader and I’m very excited for his 200 fly tomorrow.”
Florida State kicked off the night with three swimmers in the C final as junior Stefan Stojmenovic touched in fifth in the heat, lowering his career best from prelims to 48.13. Sophomore Jacob Urbano followed in seventh with a time of 48.32 and Noah Hensley finished eighth at 48.42.
Cole Hensley’s performance was the fifth fastest in FSU history while his younger brother Noah’s earned a spot on the all-time list in 10th.
Freshman Emir Muratovic battled in the B final of the 200 free, moving up a spot to take 13th with a final time of 1:36.98 after posting a 1:36.30 in prelims.
“Emir really progressed this season and gave us a vital asset in the 200 free,” Bradley said. “He swam right on the same time for three 200’s this week. He’s really improved and he’s swimming well.”
Florida State closed out the night with a fourth place finish in the 400 medley relay, touching just off the NCAA automatic time standard (3:08.33) for fourth place at 3:08.85 behind Noah Hensley, Coombs, Cole Hensley and junior Jason McCormick. However, the Seminoles were called for their second faulty relay exchange of the meet, resulting in a disqualification.
“We haven’t been our best with our exchanges,” Bradley said. “It’s a disappointing end to a good day, but we’ll overcome it.”
The Seminoles are in ninth place with a total of 390 points with 3-meter diving included.
“When you jump on relays, you’re dead,” Bradley said. “If we don’t get called for those false starts, we have almost 100 points more on the board and that’s a huge difference. We’ve got one more day. Our guys came back after Wednesday’s DQ and I’m sure we’ll be back after this one. It hurts but, we’ve got one more day.”
Saturday’s prelims will start at 10 a.m. and will feature the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast and 200 fly before the 1650 free, which will start at 4 p.m. Finals will be streamed on ESPN3 at 6 p.m.
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