Feb. 25, 2005
ATLANTA, Ga. –
Building on the best first day that the team has had at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, the Florida State University men’s swimming and diving team is poised for another strong finals session on Friday (February 25). Lead by freshman Billy Jamerson – the top seed in the 100 breaststroke – the Seminoles have seven entries in the finals with seven more in the consolation heats.
Going into the evening session, Florida State sits in second place at 206 points. Virginia leads the competition at 248 points with North Carolina trailing the Seminoles with 180.5 markers.
`I’m pleased with the way we swam this morning,” FSU head coach Neil Harper said. “It’s always nerve-racking to see how your team responds after a good morning and evening like we had yesterday. I think the guys responded well, but we did have a few little hiccups.”
The only swimmer to go under 55:00 during the prelims, Jamerson (Savannah, Ga.) set a new Georgia Tech Aquatic Center record with a mark of 54.59. The time is also an NCAA “B” cut. Joining Jamerson in the finals of the 100 breast is Paul Erben (Panama City, Fla.). The sophomore just missed his career-best time with a season-low mark of 55.96 to place sixth overall.
“You don’t want to get too carried away with his seeding because it’s just the morning and some of the guys are holding back, but that’s a great way to start,” Harper added. “When he does that in the morning it’s really encouraging for tonight. Paul had a big swim to get into the finals so those are more big points for us.”
Despite only swimming the 100 backstroke once collegiately before Friday’s prelims, newcomer Jarryd Botha (Worchester, South Africa) swiped the fourth seed for the finals. The rookie moved himself up to sixth in school history with a time of 49.51 that won his preliminary heat.
Two more Seminoles will be competing in the consolations of the 100 back. Junior Jared Heine (Honolulu, Hawaii) moved himself up to a tie for eighth in Seminole lore with his career-best time of 50.08 to take the 12th spot. Freshman Ian Powell (Guernsey, Channel Islands) got his name down in the race with a 50.34. Swimming in his second event of the day, Andrew Castro (Miami, Fla.) posted a season-best 54.15.
“Jarryd Botha has a lot to learn, but that was a great morning swim,” Harper commented. “The conference now knows he’s here and he’s got a shot tonight. Jared did a nice job, a best time to get into the consols. Ian was a little down, he’s more in tune for the 200 and he wasn’t as explosive coming off the wall.”
Co-captain Joel Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.) and Michael Averett (Davie, Fla.) will be in the finals together for the second day in the row. The Seminole duo is seeded fifth and sixth in the 100 butterfly with Roycik posting an NCAA “B” cut time of 48.55 to go along with Averett’s provisional time of 48.59. Roycik is in the same lane (six) that he won the event out of last year.
“They’re leading by example and the way the 100 fly is it’s anyone’s race,” Harper noted. “If either of those guys hit everything and feel good about it, which they can, they we have a chance to one-two it. Just as Joel can win it, Mike can to. It’s very exciting for us.”
Joining them during the evening session will be junior Stephan Connor (Burr Ridge, Ill.) with his season-best mark of 49.92. Freshman Brendon Burke (West Des Moines, Iowa) was next on the team with a 51.45, followed by sophomore Mark Nicholls (Charlotte, N.C.) at 51.54. Rounding out the FSU contingency was Castro with a season-best 53.05.
Making his first individual appearance in the finals will be Ed Denton (Maidenhead, England) with his swim in the 200 freestyle. The freshman wrapped up the sixth seed with an NCAA “B” cut time of 1:38.91.
“We were either going to put Ed in the 200 free or 100 breast and I think we did the right thing getting him into the finals of the 200,” Harper said. “To put three in the consols is really great for us. Alan just missed getting into the big race and Stephan swam a big double with this and the 100 fly. That was brave. Brett snuck in at 16th and all he can do is go up and he’s going to have more confidence going into tonight.”
A trio of Florida State swimmers will represent the school in the consolation heat of the race. Senior Alan Ribeiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) just missed making the finals with a career-best mark of 1:39.25. Another career-best of 1:39.79 got Connor 14th overall while sophomore Brett Irvin (Boca Raton, Fla.) made it three personal-bests with his 1:40.03 to secure the last spot in the finals.
After a swimming in the finals of the 50 free, Alex Kennon (Winter Haven, Fla.) will take part in the bonus heat of the 200 free after a season-best 1:41.26. Holding the first alternate spot for the race is rookie Kyle Young (Oviedo, Fla.) following his career-best 1:41.76. Fellow newcomer Matt Hammond (Daytona Beach, Fla.) tallied a personal-best time of 1:44.58.
Getting Florida State back into the finals of the diving competition was freshman Alex Tilbrook (Largo, Fla.). The rookie got into the final eight by posting a career-best, third-place 11-dive score of 536.25 during the prelims. Junior Peter Crane (Fairport, N.Y.) also picked up points for the Seminoles. The diving captain posted a personal-best tally of 427.40 to take 13th.
Taking the 16th spot in the competition was sophomore Derek Jones (Jacksonville, Fla.). The second-year diver came through with a career-high 412.55 during the afternoon prelims. Notching an 11-dive total of 398.15 point to take 20th was junior Jason Beinlich (Ridley, Pa.) and senior Curtis Schroeger (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) rounded out FSU competitors at 353.50.
A pair of Seminoles just missed making the final heat of the 400 individual medley and will be the favorites for the consolation swim. Seeded in the fastest lane of the consolation heat of the event is freshman Dan Keeling (Westminster, Colo.) after a time of 3:57.65. Snatching the lane right beside him will be sophomore Thomas Bishop (Houston, Texas) with his season-best time of 3:57.70.
“I think Danny Keeling will show everyone just how fast he can be in the 400 IM, to finish up ninth is disappointing,” Harper commented. “He felt too good this morning and got carried away with the race. Tommy Bishop did a nice job to get into the consolation so to have two in that race is good.”
Finals of all six individual events, as well as the 400 medley relay will begin at 7 p.m.