GREENSBORO, N.C. – Florida State senior diver Molly Carlson was selected as the Women’s ACC Diving Meet MVP for the third time in her career, after she won the gold medal on platform on Saturday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
In her final ACCs, Carlson took silver on 1-meter before winning gold on both 3-meter and platform. Since platform was officially added to the meet in 2008, Carlson is the first Seminole in history to win a medal on all three boards at the same ACCs. The Toronto, Ont., native becomes the second Seminole to win three ACC Diving Meet MVP honors in her career as Chelsie Lerew won three from 2001-03 before Miami and Virginia Tech joined the league in 2004.
“What can I say about the body of work Molly has put together at the meet over four years,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “I think it speaks for itself. MVP three out of four years, the only one she didn’t win was when she had wrist surgery and didn’t have great use of her hands. She’s amazing. We’re all incredibly proud of her.”
Carlson was in eighth place in prelims heading into the fifth and final dive, but thanks to a 71.40 scoring reverse 2 ½ somersault tuck, Carlson moved up into second place, finishing just one-tenth of a point behind the leader.
In the final, Carlson made her move in the fourth round after starting in fifth and climbing to third, capitalizing on her back 2 ½ pike scoring 66.70 points – a dive she missed earlier in prelims.
The 1-meter champion, Camryn Hildalgo (Georgia Tech) was the leader heading into the fourth, but a miss dropped her out of medal contention after Carlson nailed her reverse. However, she saved her best dive for last (64.00), putting the pressure on Carlson to perform a clean last dive.
“Walking out for my last dive of my ACC career I was tearing up hearing the entire Seminole family and so many more cheering me on,” Carlson said. I knew I had to make it count. After I hit the water I looked up and saw my name on top of the leaderboard and I haven’t been so happy in my life.”
Carlson counted on her favorite reverse dive, matching her total from prelims that gave her a personal best total of 297.25 and her second career platform victory. She concludes her ACC career with seven medals, winning at least one at every meet.
“I just want to thank everyone for all the support,” Carlson added. “I wouldn’t want to represent anyone else. As always, go Noles!”
Between the lanes, the Seminoles had five individuals compete in finals.
Sophomore Maddie McDonald swam her career best in the 200 back at 1:56.04 (NCAA B) to qualify in 11th place for the consolation heat. At night, she went faster, clocking 1:55.67 (NCAA B) for 13th place, which keeps her fifth on the FSU all-time top list.
After a swim-off that placed her in the C final, sophomore Kertu Alnek finished second in the heat with a time of 49.20, which was just off her career best (49.10). Junior Emma Terebo followed in 24th place at 50.56 after touching in 50.04 in prelims.
Junior Rebecca Moynihan also competed in a swim-off after tying for 25th place (50.07) and touched with a season best of 49.77.
Sophomore Nina Kucheran went stroke-for-stroke until the final 25 yards of the 200 breast when she dug deep to win the consolation heat behind a season best of 2:10.19 Her classmate Katherine Baker clocked a 2:17.03 for 23rd after swimming a time of 2:15.21 in the morning.
Sophomore Aryanna Fernandes led the 200 fly C final from wire-to-wire, posting a time of 1:58.86.
The Seminoles picked up points from sophomore Stephanie Holmes and Maggie Emary in the 1650 free, led by Holmes in 21st (16:53.29) followed by Emary in 22nd (16:53.91).
The meet ended with FSU taking seventh place in the 400 free relay behind Alnek, Zortea, Moynihan and Terebo at 3:17.92.
“We had a good day today,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “We fought hard all weekend. Molly was of course outstanding on the boards, which was amazing.”
Senior Eden Hessinger competed on platform, her only event of the meet, finishing in 33rd place at 114.35.
“I’m proud of the list Eden fought the last few months to put together to represent her Noles family in her first and last ACCs,” Proctor added. “It’s been a wonderful four years with a great young lady. I’m very proud of her.”
(RV) Florida State finished the meet in seventh place with a tally of 555 points.
Men’s swimming will take over at the meet on Wednesday with the 200 medley relay and 800 free relay.
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