November 22, 2019

Noles Qualify for NCAAs, Ghaffari Shines in 500 Free Victory

ATLANTA–  The Florida State swimming and diving teams saw two big victories on the opening night of the Georgia Tech Invitational at the McAuley Aquatic Center, where the No. 17 men lead the team race with a total of 291.50.

The night began with the 200 free relay qualifying for the NCAA Championships, winning the race with ease with a time of 1:16.98 behind freshman Peter Varjasi, sophomore Jakub Ksiazek, senior Griffin Alaniz and sophomore Max McCusker.

Freshman Aziz Ghaffari followed with a win in the 500 free, out-touching Dimitrios Dimitriou (4:18.45) from North Carolina with a time of 4:18.38. The performance was the third fastest in FSU history and best showing in the event since Mateo DeAngulo posted a time of 4:15.43 at the 2011 Georgia Tech Invite.

Including Ghaffari’s swim the Noles had six FSU all-time performances, five from the men’s team.

“We had a lot of fun and fast swimming tonight,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “It was great for the guys to get the NCAA ‘A’ cut after graduating three of the four off that ACC champion team last year. Aziz was outstanding tonight.”

In the 500 free, freshman Adrian Aguilar finished in eighth place with a time of 4:25.68 after swimming his personal best in prelims at 4:25.38. Sophomore Jackson Lucas followed in 10th at 4:27.42 after he too swam his best time in prelims at 4:26.29.

Senior Rudo Loock took bronze in the 200 IM behind his career best time at 1:46.79, clocking the seventh fastest time in school history.  Freshman Nick Vance also competed in the top heat, placing eighth at 1:49.01 after clocking a time of 1:48.69 in prelims, which was just off his best time (1:48.69).

Florida State had four swimmers in the top heat of the 50 free, which was the most out of any team.  Ksiazek led the Noles in third place at 19.30 which was a career best, moving him up to fifth on the FSU all-time list. Varjasi was third (19.54), McCusker (19.72) placed fourth and Alaniz (19.81) finished seventh.

The men closed the night out by taking silver in the 400 medley relay behind Alaniz, sophomore Izaak Bastian, McCusker and Varjasi at 3:09.56.

The women’s team clocked a time of 1:30.09 in the 200 free relay for fourth place behind junior Emma Terebo, freshman Tania Quaglieri, junior Rebecca Moynihan and sophomore Kertu Alnek.

Sophomore Maggie Emary saw a four-second drop in the 500 free, leading the Noles with a time of 4:51.74 for 16th place.

Sophomore Nina Kucheran swam a season best in the 200 IM at 1:59.76 for 11th place, followed by her classmates Aryanna Fernandes (2:00.04) in 13th and Hannah Womer (2:01.44) in 16th after swimming a time of 2:00.62 in prelims.

Terebo led the Noles in the 50 free, finishing 12th at 22.75 followed by sophomore Lauren Hew in 19th at 23.24 after swimming a career best in prelims at 23.07.

Florida State finished the session swimming an NCAA B standard in the 400 medley relay at 3:33.08 behind Quaglieri, Kuchearn, Fernandes and Terebo. Quaglieri clocked a time of 53.16 as the lead-off in the 100 back, which is the sixth fastest time in school history.

“We had so many great swim across the board tonight from both teams,” Studd added. “We’re excited for a great weekend ahead.”

The women sit in fifth place with a tally of 128 points.

Saturday’s events will include the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 800 free relay. Prelims will start at 10 a.m. and finals will follow at 5:30 p.m.

House of Champion Invite

Indianapolis, Ind. – The Florida State divers began competing at the House of Champions Invite with platform on Friday.

Senior Molly Carlson took second place with a tally of 261.05 in the women’s event while senior Aidan Faminoff finished sixth in the men’s at 265.15.

Both divers had slightly higher totals in prelims as Carlson scored a total of 270.95 for third place. The Toronto, Ont., native scored at least 50 points on four of her five dives, including a high of 61.60 (7.5) on her reverse 2 ½ somersault tuck.

Faminoff tallied 303.20 and placed fifth. Faminoff’s best dive of the round was his back 2 ½ somersault that received 7.0’s for a total of 60.90.

Senior Eden Hessinger competed in prelims and placed 10th with a total of 155.90.

“We had some bright points that we can take in to the coming months,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “It’s important for our divers to get some exposure to what’s going on in other part of the country. We should have a great idea of what needs fine-tuning going into championship season after this event.”

The women will compete on 1-meter while the men will take to 3-meter on Saturday starting at 1 p.m.



  • The FSU men had six swimmers under 20 seconds in the 50 free. Ksiazek (19.30), Varjasi (19.45), McCusker (19.72), Alaniz (19.81), Ian Cooper (19.99), Bastian (19.93)
  • Varjasi made the FSU All-Time Top 10 in seventh (1:47.09) in the 200 IM and 10th as the lead-off leg of the 200 free relay at 19.45.
  • In prelims of the women’s 50 free, Alnek, Quaglieri and Moynihan all tied with a time of 23.13.
  • The Noles earned 31 combined second swims over three individual events.
  • The men had nine in the ‘A’ finals including Ghaffari as the top seed in the 500 free


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Saturday, Nov. 23




Sunday, Nov. 24




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