TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State swimming and diving teams will compete at the ACC Championships over the course of the next two weeks at the Greensboro Aquatics Center.
The women’s swimming and diving along with men’s diving will compete from Feb. 14-17 while men’s swimming will run from Feb. 21-24.
“We’re looking to having a positive experience,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “We’re going into this loose and ready to have fun and we have a group of ladies that do that. We also have a group of ladies that will move on and do well at the NCAA level, so we’re looking for them to lead us this week.”
Competition on Wednesday will feature two relays and a pair of diving events. Women’s 1-meter prelims will begin at 10 a.m. with the men’s 3-meter prelims following at 3 p.m. The top eight divers will advance to finals.
The 200 medley relay will kick off the swimming events at 4:15 p.m. followed by the women’s 1-meter final at 4:30 p.m. The 800 free relay will start at 5:20 p.m. and the men’s 3-meter final will close out the evening at 5:40 p.m.
After Wednesday, prelims will start at 10 a.m. with finals following at 6 p.m. Thursday’s events will feature the 500 free, 200 IM and 50 free. In addition, the men will compete on 1-meter and the 200 free relay will close out finals.
Friday’s events will feature the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, women’s 3-meter along with the 400 medley relay. The meet will close out with the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, platform diving and the 400 free relay on Saturday.
The top 24 swimmers in each individual event with the exception of the mile will advance to finals and contribute towards the team total. The top eight divers will move on to finals, however the top 24 will score points for the team. All relays are timed finals.
Finals on Thursday through Saturday will be streamed on WatchESPN. Live timing will be available through meet mobile and the ACC. Live scoring will be hosted on divemeets.com
Six teams carry rankings into the ACC Championships, led by No. 7 Virginia followed by No. 10 NC State, No. 14 Louisville, No. 18 North Carolina, No. 19 Notre Dame and No. 25 Duke. Virginia Tech also received votes.
Florida State (5-7, 1-3 ACC) was mentioned in two polls this season, debuting at No. 23 on Oct. 4 before climbing back into the mix at No. 25 on Jan. 17. FSU received votes in every poll in between this season.
The Seminoles placed seventh at the 2017 ACCs with a total of 457.50, while NC State won the meet, keeping Virginia from winning its 10th-straight title.
A look at the Noles
The Seminoles return five ACC Championship finalists including senior captain Natalie Pierce, who will be the top seed in the 100 breast at 59.35. The three-time ACC Championship finalist will look to improve on her fifth place finishes from both the 2016 and 2017 ACC meets. The Birmingham, Mich., native is also ranked third in the 200 breast after she set the school record at 2:10.31.
Senior Tayla Lovemore (52.03) is ranked fourth in the 100 fly, just ahead of freshman Elise Olsen in sixth (52.19). In her first ACC Championships last season, Lovemore placed fourth in the race at 52.28 before setting the school record at the NCAA Championships at 51.60, finishing 12th.
In her first ACC Championships, freshman Madeline Cohen holds the sixth seed in the 100 back (52.65) and is ranked third in the 200 back (1:53.51). The Lawrenceville, Ga., native dropped almost eight seconds at the GT Invite in order to set a new school record in the 200 back. She is one of five freshmen in the conference seeded in the top six.
Florida State will also be seeded among the top three in the 200 free, 200 medley and 400 medley relays. The Noles are seeded second in the 200 medley relay behind Louisville (1:36.86). Florida State turned in its time of 1:36.95 as a time trial at the GT Invite after suffering a disqualification in the race due to a faulty relay exchange.
The Seminoles will be seeded third in the 200 free relay (1:28.49), looking to lower the school record time that was set at the Georgia Tech Invite. Also, the Noles are the third seed in the 400 medley relay.
Florida State is also loaded in diving behind senior Blaire Mulka and sophomores Molly Carlson and Ayla Bonniwell. As rookies, Bonniwell (1M) and Carlson (platform) took home individual titles and Carlson won the Meet MVP at the 2017 ACC Championships. This season, the Noles won 10 events between seven duals in addition to Bonniwell capturing victory on both boards at the All-Florida Invite as well as 1-meter at the GT Invite.
In men’s diving, the Seminoles outscored their opponents 213-124 in duals this season as freshman Josh Davidson, sophomore Cameron Thatcher and senior Tyler Roberge contributed four ACC Diver of the Week honors this year. Roberge along with sophomore Aidan Faminoff return a combined four ACC Championships appearances, while Davidson and Thatcher will be competing in their first ACCs.
Florida State faced some of the top talent in the conference this season in duals, including Duke, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame and Miami.
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ACC Championship Site: http://www.theacc.com/sports/2018/2/1/2018-swimming-and-diving-championships.aspx