TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In front of a packed house, the nationally-ranked Florida State swimming and diving teams split a dual meet with (No.NR/14) Arizona State on Friday at the Morcom Aquatics Center.
The women remain undefeated in 2018-19 (4-0, 2-0 ACC) following the 161-139 victory over the Sun Devils. It marks the first time since the 2013 season that FSU carries a perfect record into November.
“We had the eighth ranked women’s recruiting class in the country,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “They’re coming in and having an immediate impact. We had some good stuff across the board today.”
The 200 medley relay turned in its fastest time of the season, winning with a mark of 1:40.46 behind sophomore Madeline Cohen, freshman Ida Hulkko, senior Leila Johnston and junior Nika Blank.
Arizona State answered with a sweep in the 1000 free and freshmen Kertu Alnek and Laura Jensen provided a second and third place showing in a very close 200 free field. Alnek touched at 1:50.05, which was just off her season best and Jensen clocked a 1:50.37.
The Sun Devils took the 100 back, but the Seminoles came away with a second, third and fourth place showing, led by sophomore Ana Zortea in second at 56.01. Her classmate Emma Terebo was third (56.29) and freshman Madeleine McDonald placed fourth (56.66).
The Seminoles gained ground by sweeping the 100 breast, led by freshman Nina Kucheran with a time of 1:01.44, just ahead of Hulkko in second at 1:01.68. Senior Natalie Purnell held off the Sun Devils, touching in third at 1:02.60.
Kucheran’s 1:01.44 ranks her ninth on the FSU all-time top 10 list.
However, Arizona State answered with a one-two finish in the 200 fly, as freshman Hannah Womer held on for third with a season best swim of 2:02.57.
Alnek and Blank teamed up to control the 50 free, touching in first and second with times of 23.26 and 23.45 respectively.
Florida State dominated the boards, providing a huge sweep of 3-meter led by sophomore Ayla Bonniwell with a score of 349.05, just ahead of her classmate Molly Carlson in second at 343.80 and freshman Grace Cable was third (264.30).
With the diving sweep, the Seminoles carried a 20-point lead into the first break.
The Seminoles won four of the six events in the middle part of the meet, helping extend the lead.
Alnek kept the momentum going with a win in the 100 free by a body-length, touching with a season best of 50.03.
Arizona State took the 200 back, but the Seminoles placed second, third and fourth led by senior Shelly Drozda behind a season best swim of 1:59.27. McDonald was third (2:01.13), also contributing a season best and Cohen was fourth (2:04.00).
Kucheran pulled away in the back half of the 200 breast, winning with a time of 2:12.71, marking the fourth fastest time in school history.
Olsen led from start to finish in the 100 fly, touching with a time of 55.16 with Womer following behind in second at 55.37.
Bonniwell carried over her success to 1-meter, securing her second win of the day by three points, with a score of 303.30.
Out of the second break, the Sun Devils put up a final push in the 200 IM, sweeping the event, but the Seminoles were too strong and closed out the meet with a dominating performance in the 400 free relay, clocking a time of 3:22.60 behind Blank, Jensen, Johnston and Alnek.
The 21st-ranked men’s team (1-3, 1-1 ACC) fell to the No. 14 Sun Devils, 116-184.
The Seminoles were neck-and-neck thanks to a strong back half of the 200 medley relay to start the meet, but finished second with a time of 1:28.18 with a team of senior Emir Muratovic, freshman Izaak Bastian, along with seniors Kanoa Kaleoaloha and Will Pisani.
Bastian picked up the first win for the Seminoles on the day, taking the 100 breast from lane one with a time of 55.90. Sophomore Julio Horrego held on for second place at 56.35.
Junior Max Polianski led the 200 fly from wire-to-wire touching at 1:50.88.
Kaleoaloha went under the 20-second barrier for the second time this season, touching at 19.95 in the 50 free for second place. Pisani followed in third at 20.35.
Bastian held off Arizona State for his second win of the day, touching at 2:03.51 in the 200 breast.
Both Kaleoaloha and Pisani swam a strong 100 fly, touching in first and second respectively with times of 47.32 and 48.42.
Sophomore Joshua Davidson was the leader on the boards for the Seminoles, finishing second on 1-meter with a score of 343.27 and third on 3-meter (330.97).
Florida State ended the meet on a high note, swimming one of the fastest times in the country this season in the 400 free relay with the team of Pisani, Kaleoaloha, freshman Max McCusker and Muratovic at 2:56.69.
“That relay on the end was amazing,” Studd said. “Kanoa keeps getting quicker in the 100 fly and went 19.9 in the 50 free and got beat by one-one hundredth, that doesn’t happen too much in college swimming. But, hats off to them, they had one of the top recruiting classes in the country and it’s bittersweet because one of our alumni (Bob Bowman) is doing a great job with their program. We just have to keep plugging away.”
Florida State returns home to host No.10/3 Florida in the Fresh From Florida Sunshine State Showdown on Friday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.