AUBURN, Ala. – In its final meet of the 2015-16 regular season, both Florida State swimming and diving teams fell to No. 7/11 Auburn and No. 17/17 Wisconsin at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center on Friday.
“We had some great swims today,” FSU head coach Frank Bradley said. “The good news is that we fought hard up until the very end and we had a ton of energy today. Everyone was behind each other. Auburn and Wisconsin are great programs and we’ll see a lot more of them at NCAA’s.”
The seventh-ranked Auburn men’s team ran away early with a pair of victories, defeating Florida State 223-76 however the 17th-ranked Badgers pulled away from the Seminoles late in the contest, finishing with a final score of 172-124, finishing 4-6 on the year.
“There is no doubt that we were tough in the front half of the meet,” Bradley said. “But, we lost a couple of close races, some were in the same heats, some weren’t and just like the meet against Louisville, we set ourselves up for the back half we just didn’t finish. But after this meet, I think our guys are in a great spot for the post season. I’m very encouraged by our guys and I’m pumped to see what we can do in a few weeks.”
After surrendering a fourth place finish in the 200 medley relay and a sweep in the 1000 free, freshman Emir Muratovic led heat one of the 200 free from wire-to-wire, touching with a time of 1:39.80 finishing third overall, giving the Seminoles some momentum heading into the strongest part of the lineup.
His classmate Noah Hensley took care of heat one of the 100 back, also finishing third overall touching with a time of 48.80.
In the 100 breast, junior Jason Coombs touched second with a time of 53.77 and senior Cole Hensley battled four fourth in heat two of the 200 fly, taking fifth overall with a time of 1:50.71.
The Seminoles gained ground in the 50 free, finishing third, fourth, fifth and sixth as junior Jason McCormick picked led the way, touching at 20.21, followed by freshman Kanoa Kaleoaloha (20.29), Muratovic (20.75) and senior Ian Apple (20.80).
At the halfway point of meet, Auburn established a sizable lead, however the Badgers held a seven-point advantage, 77-70.
Prior to the start of the meet, the men competed on 3-meter, placing fourth through sixth as junior Dylan Grisell led the way with a score of 325.85, ahead of sophomore Tyler Roberge (319.95) and senior Kalonji Cole (314.00).
On 1-meter Grisell was the top finisher for the Noles, scoring a season-high of 347.50 for third place. Roberge followed in fourth at 335.80 and Cole was sixth at 301.20. Despite their finishes, the Seminoles put up a sweep over Wisconsin, taking back the lead heading into the second portion of swimming.
“It wasn’t the best day for our guys, but I’ll take it,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “Auburn does have some of the best divers in the country and we’re going to be competing against them for NCAA spots in March so we’re going to have to keep working hard and improving down the stretch.”
Looking to keep the momentum, Kaleoaloha put up at fourth place finish in the 100 free, touching with a time of 44.26, but the Seminoles surrendered a sweep in the 200 back.
Coombs would pick up the first overall victory of the meet in dominating fashion, posting a 1:59.41 in the 200 breast.
However, in the 500 free, the Seminoles only picked up three points, essentially wrapping up the meet for the Badgers.
The women fell to No. 11 Auburn, 234-65 and No. 17 Wisconsin 214-85, finishing the year at 5-8.
“Our ladies gave a solid effort today,” Bradley said. “I thought our seniors really led us throughout the day. They stepped up and competed hard and did well. We still have a little work to do before ACC’s, but I was happy with the effort our girls gave.”
After taking fourth in the 200 medley relay, freshman Summer Finke placed fourth in the 1000 free with a time of 10:11.54 and senior Madison Jacobi followed in fifth at 10:29.50.
Senior Josie Cuda was sixth in the 200 free (1:50.06) before grabbing sixth again in the 500 free at 4:58.07.
Senior Bianca Spinazzola finished fourth overall in the 100 back with a time of 56.16.
In the 200 fly, freshman Meg Brown clocked a 2:02.24 for fifth place, before placing sixth in the 200 back (2:03.58)
Sophomore Alexi Smith contributed a fourth place finish in the 50 free, touching at 23.27.
Sophomore Natalie Pierce also contributed a pair of fifth place finishes in the 100 (1:03.27) and 200 breast (2:18.77) races.
In diving, sophomore Blair Mulka took second on 1-meter, with a score of 271.30 and freshman Cassidy Gebhart was fourth (261.95). On 3-meter, Gebhart took third with a score of 301.40 while Mulka was fifth at 281.95.
“Casey and Blair did well for us today,” Proctor said. “They competed very hard and I was proud of what they did today. We still have work to do because in just a few short weeks, we’ll be at ACC’s and I think they still have their best diving ahead of them.”
The Seminoles will travel to Greensboro, N.C for the ACC Championships, which start on Feb. 17. For more on FSU Swimming and Diving visit Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.