January 17, 2020
Swim & Dive Splits Dual on the Road Against LSU


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 14/RV Florida State swimming and diving teams split a dual against RV/- LSU on Friday at the LSU Natatorium.

The 14th-ranked men’s team (5-3, 2-1 ACC) won 153-145, thanks to its depth, while the women (5-5, 1-2 ACC) fell 132-168.

“This was a great road win for the men against a good SEC team,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “The women had a great meet, they just lost too many events. The ladies actually had some in-season best times and they fought their tails off. I’m proud of both teams.”

The men were led by freshman Peter Varjasi, who contributed three individual wins including an LSU pool record-setting swim in the 100 free at 43.69.

Varjasi joins FSU Hall of Fame swimmers Brendon Dedekind and Stephen Parry on the LSU Natatorium record board, as Dedekind set the 50 free mark at 19.68 and Parry posted a 1:44.90 in the 200 fly back on Jan. 24, 1998.

After finishing second in the 200 medley relay, freshman Scott Pekarske cruised to victory in the 1000 free, with a time of 9:23.03.

Freshman Aziz Ghaffari (1:37.49) along with seniors Vladimir Stefanik (1:38.39) and Rudo Loock (1:38.48) finished second, third and fourth in the 200 free.

After LSU swept the 100 back, sophomore Izaak Bastian won the 100 breast with a time of 55.36 and freshman Nevada Wood won a close race for third at 56.46.

Senior Max Polianski (1:48.84) and freshman Nick Vance (1:50.02) contributed second and third place points in the 200 fly before Varjasi won the 50 free with a dual meet best swim of 19.90. His classmate, Ian Cooper took third at 20.44.

After the break, Varjasi set the pool record in the 100 free, followed by Vance (1:47.85) and sophomore Jackson Lucas (1:48.41) finishing second and third in the 200 back.

Bastian held on to win a close 200 breast by one-tenth of a second at 2:00.56 and the Seminoles picked up a huge one-two boost in the 500 free, led by Ghaffari (4:30.45) followed by Pekarske (4:34.00).

But before the break, the Tigers added a first and second place showing in the 100 fly.

Senior Cam Thatcher and junior Joshua Davidson finished second (382.05) and third (370.80) on 3-meter, but Davidson put up a huge victory on 1-meter with a total 365.70, which was 55.57 points higher than the second place finisher, giving the Noles a slight 133-129 edge.

Out of the break, Varjasi won the 200 IM by two seconds at 1:48.00 and Vance followed in fourth (1:51.78) and Loock (1:52.44) took fifth, putting the pressure on the Tigers heading into the final event.

LSU would win the 200 free relay, but the Seminoles claimed second (1:21.53) and third place (1:21.63) and the meet win.

The women started off the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay behind sophomore Maddie McDonald, sophomore Nina Kucheran, sophomore Aryanna Fernandes and junior Rebecca Moynihan at 1:39.34.

Sophomores Maggie Emary and Stephanie Holmes led a one-two showing in the 1000 free, with Emary winning at 10:15.91 and Holmes following in second at 10:17.32. Their classmate, Kertu Alnek followed with a second place finish in the 200 free (1:50.05) and McDonald was the runner-up in the 100 back at 55.56.

Kucheran dominated the 100 breast with a time of 1:00.76 and Fernandes followed by taking second in the 200 fly (2:00.99).

But the Tigers finished the front part of the meet with a sweep in the 50 free.

Out of the break, Alnek won the 100 free (50.45) but LSU answered with a one-two finish in the 200 back.

Kucheran swam her season best dual meet time in the 200 breast for the win at 2:12.04, but LSU added another one-two finish in the 500 free.  Fernandes added a second place finish in the 100 fly (54.90) before the final break

In diving the Seminoles were led by senior Molly Carlson, as she finished second on 1-meter (282.45) and third on 3-meter (332.10). Her classmate, Ayla Bonniwell took fifth on 1-meter (251.78) and fourth on 3-meter (273.38).

Kucheran posted her third win on the day in the 200 IM (2:03.25) and freshman Sydney VanOvermeiren followed in second (2:03.53).

FSU would take second in the final 200 free relay with a time of 1:32.11 behind Moynihan, junior Emma Terebo, Fernandes and Alnek.

Florida State will return to Tallahassee, Fla., to host Miami and FAU on Senior Day at 11 a.m. on Jan. 25.

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