The Florida State University men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams have had an astounding championship season thus far. Under first-year head coach, Neal Studd, the Seminoles have climbed the ACC rankings and produced some impressive individual performances. As a senior, I have noticed a complete change in culture and attitude within the team. The first event of championship season was the ACC Championships for women’s swimming and both men and women’s diving.
The women’s meet was led by a strong showing from our four divers who scored 194 points, which was almost a third of the team’s total points. It was the highest diving total for any team. Our divers were led by freshman, Molly Carlson, who made the championship final in all the boards, won the title on platform, bronze medal in 1-meter and was awarded the MVP diver of the meet. It was the first time since 2004 an FSU female diver brought home the honor. Along with Molly’s unbelievable performance, freshman Ayla Bonniwell was crowned the ACC Champion on 1-meter.
The women’s swimming portion was led by three A-finalists and strong relay performances. The trio of juniors including Christina Loh, Tayla Lovemore, and Natalie Pierce, who also made the championship final of their best events – the 200 breaststroke, 100 butterfly, and 100 breaststroke respectively.
The men’s diving squad excelled coming away with four championship final appearances including a silver medal performance from senior Dylan Grisell in platform. It was his seventh-career ACC final and first career podium finish. Freshman Aidan Faminoff joined Grisell in the platform final and placed sixth overall. The duo of junior Tyler Roberge and Grisell placed fifth and sixth respectively in the 3-meter championship final. The men divers scored a huge 153 points, which put Florida State second overall heading into the swimming portion.
The men’s swimming team, combining with a stellar performance from the divers, took home a fifth place finish in the overall team standings, which was four places higher than 2016. In this swimming portion of the meet our men had four championship final appearances, a silver medal relay performance, and individual bronze medal from Junior Chad Mylin. Later that night the I was on the 200 free relay along with Mylin, Emir Muratovic, and Will Pisani and we won silver. It was the first relay medal for FSU since the 2014 meet.
Championship season continued as the divers traveled to Auburn University to compete in the NCAA Zone-B qualifying meet where they absolutely ripped this meet apart, qualifying five divers for the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis. Carlson continued her hot streak qualifying for all the boards, while Ayla Bonniwell earned a bid on 1-meter. On the men’s side, Grisell and Roberge qualified for all the boards, while Faminoff earned a spot platform.
The third and final portion of championship season start with the Women’s NCAA Championships. The women will compete next weekend with the team of Loh, Pierce, Lovemore, Carlson and Bonniwell with four relay swimmers. I’ll be swimming at the men’s meet with March 22-25 along with Mylin, Connor Kalisz, Jason Coombs, Grisell, Roberge and Faminoff and four members.