FSU has Career Start to SMU Classic
The Florida State women’s swimming and diving team turned in five career performances on night one of the SMU Classic.
By Christa Salerno
LEWISVILLE, Texas –– It only took one swim for freshman Meg Brown to write her name in the FSU history books on Friday night at the SMU Classic as she posted the second fastest 400 IM time by a Seminole at 4:09.82 in her debut. She was second in the race.
Brown’s NCAA B standard nearly missed Julia Henkel’s school record of 4:09.64, which was set at the NCAA Championships in 2014.
“Tonight was exactly what we needed,” FSU head coach Frank Bradley said. “We needed our younger athletes to give us a spark and right up front in the first event of the meet we did exactly that.”
In addition, Brown put up another best time in the 100 fly, taking fifth with a time of 55.40.
“Meg has been itching to race,” Bradley said. “She sat out the first two meets, but she was ready to go tonight and she went for it and it paid off. She was a great addition for us and now with one day of racing under her belt, that 400 IM will most likely qualify her for NCAA’s.”
The Seminoles collected five personal best times on the night. In addition to Brown’s two, freshman Summer Finke swam a new best time in the 400 IM of 4:22.26, placing ninth while freshman Gracie Redding posted her best in the 100 fly of 55.32 for 10th.
Senior Josie Cuda followed Brown’s and Finke’s performances with a career best of her own in the 200 free with a mark of 1:48.13 for the bronze.
“It’s October,” Bradley said. “And I loved the chemistry we had here tonight. Those ladies up front got things going and I’m very encouraged with what we started right now.”
Senior Sami Pochowski posted an eighth place finish in the 200 free behind Cuda with a 1:48.89, while sophomore Alexi Smith took third in the 50 free with a time of 23.16.
Senior Bianca Spinazzola finished the 100 back with an NCAA B time of 53.99 for third and sophomore Natalie Pierce took fourth with a time of 1:02.37 in the 100 breast. Pochowski was eighth at 1:02.67.
In 1-meter diving, Caroline Gerhardt placed fourth with a score of 247.00.
The Seminoles finished off the night by taking second in the 800 free relay as three of the four swimmers split under the 1:50-second barrier which included Cuda’s lead-off leg of 1:48.75. Pochowski, Brown and Finke finished the race giving the Seminoles a final time of 7:19.65.
“That was a great 800 free relay,” Bradley said. “This relay could be a strong one for us. I like where we are right now and I’m anxious for tomorrow’s session.”
Florida State enters Saturday’s session in fourth place with 136 points. Louisville leads with 184 and is followed by Missouri (151) and UCLA (145). SMU (124) is in fifth and TCU (97) is in seventh.
Florida Swim Network