TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It took all 32 events to decide the outcome, however the No. RV/19 Florida State swimming and diving teams came up just short against No. 20/17 Alabama, but defeated ACC foe Miami on Friday at the Morcom Aquatics Center.
The women’s team moves to 4-6 behind a dominating 231-68 victory over Miami, while suffering a close loss to No. 20 Alabama 153-143. The 19th-ranked men’s team is now 3-4 following its 156.50-143.50 to the No. 17 Crimson Tide.
Alabama opened the women’s meet winning the 200 medley relay, 1650 free and 200 free before the Seminoles put up a much needed sweep in the 100 back, led by freshman Madeline Cohen, who won with a time of 55.48 followed by senior Ariel Barber at 56.14. Freshman Ana Zortea dominated heat two of the race, securing third with a mark of 56.30.
Senior Natalie Pierce held off Alabama’s Justine Macfarlane in the 100 breast, winning with a time of 1:01.16.
However, the Noles surrendered a sweep in the 200 fly and 50 free, putting the Crimson Tide ahead by just over 20 points.
The Noles fought back in the second portion of the meet, rebounding with three big wins.
Freshman Emma Terebo and senior Alexi Smith answered their fourth and fifth place showing in the 50 free with a one-two finish in the 100 free with Terebo leading the way with a mark of 50.40, followed by Smith in second at 50.57.
Florida State gained more ground in the 200 back as junior Shelly Drozda stepped up and took home the victory in dominating fashion (1:58.39) and Cohen held a steady second place throughout the race, touching at 2:01.45.
Pierce added an impressive win in the 200 breast, clocking 2:12.67 as both swims were the fastest of her career in a dual meet.
“She was great today,” Studd said. “She’s really believing in the 200 now and she beat a really talented girl from Alabama.”
Juniors Natalie Purnell (2:17.19) and McKenna Harris (2:19.51) followed Pierce picking up valuable third and fourth place points.
Alabama answered with a sweep in the 500 free and a first and second place showing in the 100 fly, however with both 1-meter and 3-meter diving scores factored in, the Noles had an eight-point advantage heading into the final two races.
Miami was victorious on both boards, however the Noles added a pair of sweeps over the Crimson Tide.
Sophomore Ayla Bonniwell finished third on 1-meter with a total of 271.50 and senior Blaire Mulka followed in fifth at 271.50. Later in the 3-meter competition, Bonniwell moved up to take second with a total of 316.65 while Mulka added another fifth place at 274.10.
The Crimson Tide added a sweep in the 400 IM, leaving the meet to be decided on the final relay.
Florida State took the blocks with senior Tayla Lovemore, freshman Elise Olsen, Terebo and Smith, and finished a body-length shy of the win, touching with a time of 1:31.45.
The men’s meet was also a nail-bitter, however it was Florida State’s depth that kept the meet close. FSU had three out of five scorers in each event along with four individual victories.
Senior Calvin Bryant was the runner up in the 1650 free (15:53.72) and junior Daniel Bis was just behind him in third (15:55.48).
Sophomore Felipe Ribeiro de Souza led the way in the 200 free, finishing second with a time of 1:38.91 and he would later tie for second in the 100 free, clocking 44.82, just ahead of junior Will Pisani in third at 44.86.
In the 100 back, senior Connor Kalisz (49.06) was second and his classmate Matt Ankerholz followed with a second place finish of his own in the 100 breast, touching at 55.89.
Sophomore Max Polianksi was the leader for the Noles in the 200 fly, finishing second at 1:51.14 just ahead of senior Jonathan Ratliff in third at 1:51.25.
Florida State suffered a significant disqualification in the 50 free, however Pisani stepped up to claim second at 20.23, just ahead of senior Joseph Plechy in third at 20.51.
Freshman Joshua Davidson continued to impress on 3-meter as he was the winner with a score of 370.55, leading the Noles in the sweep over Alabama. Sophomore Cameron Thatcher placed third at 348.50 followed by senior Tyler Roberge at 325.85.
Sophomore Griffin Alaniz (1:48.65) and Kalisz (1:48.98) added second and third place finishes in the 200 back just before Ankerholz (2:01.25) and Horrego (2:03.05) accomplished the same feat in the 200 breast.
Bryant produced another second place finish in distance, swimming a time of 4:35.88 in the 500 free.
With four events remaining, the Noles found their biggest boost that started with junior Kanoa Kaleoaloha winning the 100 fly with a time of 47.94, followed by Horrego and Alaniz contributing a big one-two punch in the 400 IM, touching with times of 4:02.62 and 4:03.76 respectively.
In 1-meter diving, it was Thatcher who bested Davidson for the win as the pair provided another jolt with first and second places. Thatcher tallied his second highest score of the season, putting up 353.95 ahead of Davidson in second at 344.75.
The Noles needed to touch first and second in the final relay in order to take down the Crimson Tide, however FSU’s top team took second with a time of 1:19.62 behind Pisani, Plechy, junior Emir Muratovic and senior Chad Mylin.
Florida State returns home to face Notre Dame in a two-day dual, starting on Jan. 19 at 4 p.m. followed by another session on Jan. 20 at 10 a.m.
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