TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The (No. 18/RV) Florida State swimming and diving teams split the 2020 season opener against (RV/NR) Georgia Tech on Friday afternoon at the Morcom Aquatics Center.
The men (1-0, 1-0 ACC) outlasted the Yellow Jackets, 152-147, while the women (0-1, 0-1 ACC) fell 176-124.
“I thought we did really well,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “I thought we fought really hard. We had some of our top athletes out. 2020 is different and we’ve got to go with what we’ve got. I’m excited with how they competed in this first meet of the year.”
Zach Smith took second place in the 1000 free
In the men’s meet, the Seminoles jumped out to an early lead, winning five of the first seven swimming events, including four by ways of first and second place.
Florida State started by taking major first and second place points in both the 200 medley relay and 1000 free.
The team of freshman Mason Herbet, junior Izaak Bastian, sophomore Domen Demsar and junior Jakub Ksiazek (1:29.01) won the 200 medley relay ahead of junior Jackson Lucas, senior Jackson Seith, freshman Rush Clark and sophomore Blake Moran (1:31.62).
Rookies David Quirie (9:25.31) and Zach Smith (9:25.80) paced with each other and swam a one-two showing in the 1000 free.
Georgia Tech won the 200 free, the Seminoles answered with another one-two finish as Herbet led the charge in the 100 back (48.20) ahead of Lucas (50.28) in second place.
Bastian added a victory in the 100 breast (55.40) and Ksiazek (20.69) and Demsar (20.87) closed the early portion of the meet by placing first and second in the 50 free.
Senior Joshua Davidson led the Noles in 1-meter diving, scoring 325.50 for first place, ahead of freshman Jesco Helling (273.53) in third place and rookie Darwin Nolasco (270.83) in fifth.
The Yellow Jackets gained ground by winning the next two events, but sophomore Nick Vance dominated the 200 back, winning with a time of 1:48.57. Redshirt freshman Noah Young made his debut in the Garnet and Gold, touching in third place at 1:54.03, ahead of Jackson (1:57.52), who secured key fourth place points.
Bastian turned in a second place finish in the 200 breast (2:04.23), but Georgia Tech would not quit and added a one-two punch in the 500 free.
The Seminoles surrendered a victory in the 100 fly, but thanks to the depth in the event, the Noles were able to limit the damage as junior Max McCusker (48.56), Herbet (48.75) and Demsar (50.60) finished in second, third and fourth place, respectively.
After the final break, Vance (1:49.76), Herbet (1:51.66) and Lucas (1:54.04) placed second, third and fourth in the 200 IM, just putting the meet out of reach for the Yellow Jackets heading into the final relay.
FSU would take second place in the 400 free relay behind, McCusker, Ksiazek, Demsar and sophomore Aziz Ghaffari (2:59.87), taking the meet by five points.
Freshman Samantha Vear won women’s 1-meter diving
Without key swimmers in the women’s meet, the Noles had to switch around the lineup and call upon its freshmen to step up.
The Seminoles bested the Yellow Jackets in the sprints, finishing in first, second and third place in the 100 free behind senior Rebecca Moynihan (51.73) leading the way, followed by freshman Gabrianna Banks (52.46) in second and senior Emma Terebo (52.53) in third.
Prior to the 100 free, Moynihan (23.56) and Banks (23.84) added a one-two punch in the 50 free.
Rookie Samantha Vear was the winner on 1-meter in her collegiate debut, scoring a tally of 253.30.
“We’ve been back for three full weeks of practice,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “We’re on the second sentence of the first paragraph of page one. I think they did a great job. There were certain points that we didn’t think that any of this was going to happen and here we are. It’s nice to be back in here and for these guys to have to opportunity to do what they love to do.”
Freshman Phoebe Griffiths turned in a pair of close runner-up finishes, touching with a time of 1:51.60 in the 200 free, just four-one-hundredths off the win. She later took second in the 500 free at 4:57.12 by one one-hundredth.
Her countryman and classmate Pia Murray also added two second place showings in the backstroke events, touching with a time of 56.02 in the 100 and 2:01.94 in the 200.
FSU added a victory in the 400 free relay to close out the meet behind senior Ana Zortea, Griffiths, Terebo, and Moynihan with a time of 3:28.32.
“All-in-all, I’m excited with what we saw today,” Studd added. “We still have things to fix and but it’s great the season is here and we’re getting things going. We’re thankful and grateful we get to do this. We’re happy we’re back and it’s nice to get a win.”
The Seminoles will host TCU next week as the women will face the Horned Frogs on Friday, Nov. 13 at 12:30 p.m. and the men will compete on Saturday Nov. 14 at 11 a.m.
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