GREENSBORO, N.C. – Paced by an NCAA automatic time, two top eight finishes and a school record, the No. 15 Florida State swimming and diving team concluded the 2021 ACC Championships on Saturday night at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
The Seminoles outscored No. 18 North Carolina (729) on the final day in order to finish in fifth place with a total of 740 points, in one of the most competitive championships in league history.
“On paper, we couldn’t catch North Carolina,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “But the guys dug deep and really killed it. It was truly an amazing last night.”
FSU earned its third NCAA automatic relay bid of the meet (200 MR, 200 FR), touching with a time of 2:50.74 in the 400 free relay behind the team of sophomore Peter Varjasi, freshman Mason Herbet along with juniors Jakub Ksiazek and Max McCusker.
Swimming in lane two of the second heat, the Seminoles needed to stay ahead of the Tar Heels in lane six, having just a two-point advantage heading into the final event.
Varjasi and Herbet earned the slight edge over North Carolina. Ksiazek extended the lead, however McCusker threw down an anchor leg of 42.09 in order to finish second in the heat behind Louisville.
Following the final heat, the Seminoles ended up fourth overall.
“It came down to the relay,” Studd added. “The guys crushed it with another NCAA A cut. I am so proud of them tonight. This meet was an amazing experience.”
For the second night in a row, junior Izaak Bastian set a school record out of the B final, this time taking the 200 breast with a time of 1:53.82.
Working from lane two in the consolation heat, Bastian had a strong final 50 yards in order to take over the lead in the closing strokes, touching with the win.
Bastian broke the standard set by Jason Coombs in 2015 at 1:54.30.
“Izaak has really grown into the 200,” Studd said. “He has worked on the details and it paid off with two school records.”
Before the final session, the Seminoles got a massive boost in the 1650 free, led by freshman David Quirie.
Quirie turned in the second fastest time out of the early heats, dropping 19 seconds from his seed time, touching at 14:57.82.
Following the final heat with finals, Quirie would place fifth overall, marking the best finish in the mile for a Seminole since 2013, when John Jessell took silver. Quire also clocked the fourth fastest swim in school history and fastest since Mateo DeAngulo set the school record at 14:42.77 at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
“David has worked so hard and really deserves this,” Studd said. “He’s a smart kid and swims really smart too. He just kept building that swim. Under 15 as a freshman is exceptional.”
His classmate Zach Smith also added 12th place points behind a career best of 15:14.99. Both swims were NCAA provisional times.
“Those milers really got us going,” Studd added. “They got a great vibe started and we just kept building from there.”
Varjasi competed in his second championship final of the meet, touching in sixth place in the 100 free behind a career best of 42.65, which still holds as the fifth fastest time in school history.
FSU had seven other scoring swims at finals, all either matching or improving their seeds out of prelims.
Senior Jackson Lucas went out for the lead and held on to win the C final of the 200 back, touching at 1:43.52 for 17th place.
In the 100 free, McCusker swam his career best out of lane one, clocking 42.88, which moved him into sixth on the FSU all-time top 10. Ksiazek dropped 0.28-seconds from prelims, touching in 18th at 43.42.
Pulling a tough event-double, Smith led the Noles in the consolation heat of the 200 fly following his mile, touching in 14th at 1:46.94 after posting his lifetime best at 1:46.13 in the morning.
The Seminoles had a big showing in the bonus final of the 200 fly, touching in first, second and third place, led by sophomore Nick Vance from lane one at 1:45.28. Junior Santi Corredor followed at 1:45.46 and freshman Tommy Eaton was third at 1:46.13, just slightly off his best of 1:45.93.
Vance, Corredor and Smith all join Eaton on the FSU all-time top 10 list. Vance ranks sixth, Corredor is seventh, Eaton is eighth and Smith is now 10th.
Last Chance Bulldog Invite
ATHENS, Ga. – Members of the RV FSU women’s swimming and diving team are competing at the 2021 Last Chance Bulldog Invite at the University of Georgia.
Freshman Jenny Halden swam a personal best in the 100 fly, winning the race at 52.15. The performance now ranks fourth in FSU history.
Senior Rebecca Moynihan was the runner up in the 50 free, touching at 22.59, freshman Zsofia Kurdi was sixth (23.05) and senior Emma Terebo was seventh (23.10).
The Seminoles went first and second in the 200 back, led by freshman Pia Murray, who touched with a personal best of 1:55.21 ahead of junior Maddie McDonald at 1:56.89. Murray’s time now ranks third in school history.
Freshman Phoebe Griffiths took bronze in the 200 free at 1:47.11.
The team of sophomore Tania Quaglieri, junior Hannah Womer, Halden and Moynihan swam their season best in the 200 medley relay, touching at 1:36.79, which is an NCAA provisional standard.
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