From Christa Salerno
Photo from David Knight
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Florida State senior Connor Knight closed out his career on Saturday night at the 2015 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships by winning the consolation heat of the 200 fly with a time of 1:42.57, placing ninth for his second All-America honorable mention accolade of the meet.
“It was great for him to go out on a high note,” FSU head coach Frank Bradley said. “He did very well and it was an awesome race to watch.”
From his start in finals, Knight surged to the lead splitting a 48.50 in the first 100. After the turn, Knight was challenged by the swimmer to his right in lane two from North Carolina, Ben Colley.
On the third 50, the common fatigue of the race started to settle in, however Knight held his ground as the rest of the field started to creep up as he went to make his move on his last turn.
Knight used his brilliant underwater kicking off the wall to propel him near the allotted 15-yard mark, just ahead of the charging Will Hamilton of California.
The Juno Beach, Fla. native hung on, out-touching Hamilton for the win in the consolation heat.
“It would have been nice to see him get into that top heat,” Bradley said. “I think he was a little bummed with that, but he came out and did all that he could to win that consolation heat. I’m very proud of what he’s done this year. He’s be such a valuable part of our program this season.”
Knight originally qualified 11th with a time of 1:42.46. He finishes his career for the Garnet and Gold as an individual three-time All-America honorable mention honoree, a two-time All-American on relays in addition to holding three FSU records and one ACC mark in the 200 fly (1:41.66).
Sophomore Jason Coombs swam his final event of the season, posting a career best time in the 200 breast by over one-second with a 1:54.30. Coombs finished 21st in the race.
“It was his best time by a lot,” Bradley said. “After his 100 last night, I expected him to come in here today and give a similar effort. He fell short of finals, but he had three best times at this meet. He took a great step in the right direction at this meet and hopefully he uses these experiences as he transitions into a leader for us next season.”
Freshman Tyler Roberge competed on platform, placing 39th with a total of 276.20.
The Seminoles finished the meet in a tie for 26th place with UNLV.
“We had three of four guys score for us,” Bradley said. “We still got a lot out of this meet. We’re moving on to next season. We’ve got a good group coming in, a couple a solid guys returning and it’s time to turn the page.”