October 15, 2021
Noles Split Dual with Tigers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 15/RV Florida State swimming and diving teams split its home opener against NR/23 Auburn on Friday at the Morcom Aquatics Center.

FSU (0-1) fell to the Tigers (1-0) in the women’s meet, 123-177, while the 15th-ranked FSU men’s team (1-0) outlasted Auburn (0-1) 153-147.

“I’m really excited with how we competed today,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “It’s great for our guys to get their second win in-a-row over the Tigers and the women were right there and made it close for a while before they pulled away at the end. But overall, we had a great first meet here at home.”

The Seminoles set four Morcom Aquatics Center pool records. Mason Herbet was a part of three of those performances that included two individual records in the 100 back and 200 IM.

The men’s meet started with the 200 medley relay setting the pool record with a team of Herbet, Izaak Bastian, Max McCusker and Peter Varjasi at 1:25.88. The team took down the mark that was set last season by Herbet, Bastian, Domen Demsar and Varjasi (1:26.85)

Auburn picked up momentum by sweeping the 1000 free and winning the 200 free.  Hebert ended the Tiger streak by touching first in the 100 back, lowering his own pool record in the 100 back, at 47.37 (47.43).

The Tigers took first in the 100 breast, but the Seminoles answered with a sweep of the 200 fly, led by Zach Smith (1:48.29) in first, Rush Clark (1:48.80) in second and Brennan Hammond (1:50.31) in third.

FSU added three straight one-two finishes, putting some distance between the Tigers.

Varjasi took the 50 free (20.00) and Kuba Ksiazek (20.43) in second place.  On the boards, Joshua Davidson was dominant on 3-meter, winning with a total of 371.70, followed by Jesco Helling (336.15) in second, who edged out Auburn’s best diver by just under four points.

Joshua Davidson

“For where we are, we had a good day,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “Josh has been a little big banged up, but he came out today and did a great job for his first meet of the year.  I thought all of our guys had a good meet.”

Out of the swimming break, Varjasi touched first in the 100 free at 44.09 ahead of McCusker in second (44.83). Herbet added another victory from lane eight, posting a time of 1:46.67.

However, Auburn gained ground, winning the 200 breast before sweeping the 500 free.

The Seminoles answered with another one-two showing, led by McCusker in the 100 fly (47.79) and Clark (48.79) in second.

Davidson added another victory on 1-meter, scoring 355.05, which was almost 30 points of the second place diver, helping FSU take a 14 point lead heading into the final two races.

“Our divers did a heck of a job,” Studd added. “They got us some much-needed points.”

Herbet added another record in the 200 IM, holding off Auburn’s top swimmer from lane one, winning with a time of 1:48.75, but Auburn finished in second, third and fourth place, limiting the damage.

The Tigers won the final 400 free relay, but FSU’s second place finish (2:57.43) was enough to seal the win with Varjasi, McCusker, Blake Moran and Ksiazek.

The victory is just the second over the Tigers in program history, as the first was a 180-120 decision at Auburn last season.

Nina Kucheran

The women’s team started the meet off with a victory in the 200 medley relay behind Tania Quaglieri, Nina Kucheran, Jenny Halden and Rebecca Moynihan with a time of 1:39.54.

Auburn answered with a sweep of the 1000 and 200 free.

Kucheran stepped up and added a big win in the 100 breast with a time of 1:01.07 and freshman Maddy Huggins took third (1:02.84), just off second place (1:02.84).

Hannah Womer went out for the early lead in the 200 fly and held off the Tigers for the win with a time of 1:59.34, which was just off her personal best swim (1:58.92).

FSU added second and third place finish in the 50 free, led by Moynihan (23.49) in second and Gloria Muzito (23.62) in third.

In diving, FSU posted a much-needed one-two punch on 1-meter, led by Samantha Vear in first place (300.60) ahead of freshman Victoria Cervantes (263.03) in second.

Cervantes would later win 3-meter in her collegiate debut with a score of 296.48.

“Victoria had a great meet,” Proctor said. “It’s still very early. A lot of our team dove in their first collegiate meet today. We won all four diving events against a pretty good team. Everyone went out there and had fun and when they’re smiling and having a good time, it shows in their performances.”

Kucheran was dominant in the 200 breast, setting the pool record in the 200 breast at 22:15.58, just getting under the mark that was set by Natalie Pierce (2:12.68) set in 2018.

Auburn secured the meet after winning six of the final eight events.

Florida State will head to Atlanta to face No. 19/NR Georgia Tech on Oct. 23 at 10 a.m.

For more information, visit Facebook (FSUSwimmingDiving), Twitter (@FSU_Swimming) and Instagram (@fsuswimdive).



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