Seminoles Fall to Nationally-Ranked Alabama


By Christa Salerno

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.  – The Florida State swimming and diving teams both fell to Alabama on the road on Saturday.

The 25th-ranked women (4-2-1-0 ACC) made a surge towards the end of the meet, however the Crimson Tide picked up the win, 170-130. In addition, No. 11 Alabama defeated No. 19 FSU (2-2, 1-0 ACC) in the men’s meet, 182-111.

“It was a solid day for us,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “Alabama was especially tough today, on senior day. They swam very well. We were good in places, but we also have areas to work on.”

In the women’s contest, Alabama started by winning the 400 medley relay, 1000 free, 200 free and 200 back events before juniors Natalie Pierce (1:02.89) and Christina Loh (1:03.00) held off Alabama’s Bridget Blood (1:03.31) to finish first and second in the 100 breast.

The Seminoles would put together a pair of second place finishes, as junior Tayla Lovemore was the runner up in the 200 fly (2:04.18) before her classmate, Alexi Smith took second in the 50 free (23.14) ahead of senior Lydia Ware (23.20) who was third.

Following the break, Ware responded with a victory in the 100 free with a time of 50.26, however the Seminoles surrendered a sweep in the 200 back.

Loh answered with a close win in the 200 breast, finishing with a time of 2:16.11, holding off Marian Yurchishin (2:16.33).

Junior Alex Wittman followed with a near three-second victory in the 500 free (4:56.51) before Lovemore made it three wins in a row by finishing first in the 100 fly with a time of 54.88.

Ware continued the stretch, capturing her second event of the day, touching with a time of 2:02.62 in the 200 IM.

In diving, freshman Ayla Bonniwell led the way with a victory on 3-meter, scoring a tally of 320.50. She also added a second place finish on 1-meter, with a total of 267.68.

In the men’s competition, the Crimson Tide came out of the gates strong, sweeping the 400 medley relay, 1000 free, 200 free and 100 back before senior Jason Coombs posted a big win in the 100 breast with a time of 54.18.

Freshman Max Polianski gave the Seminoles back-to-back victories, touching first in the 200 fly with a mark of 1:49.29.

The Seminoles scored second place points in the 50 free behind junior Chad Mylin (20.15) before adding third and fourth to the team total as sophomore Emir Muratovic (45.17) and senior Jason McCormick (45.23) were third and fourth respectively.

Junior Connor Kalisz finished third (1:49.48) in the 200 back, before Coombs added a second place showing in the 200 breast (1:59.32).

In diving, junior Tyler Roberge was dominant on 1-meter, winning with a score of 335.85. He added a second place finish, scoring 350.03 on 3-meter.

“We had a bunch of wins today,” Studd said. “Especially in the back half of the meet, which was great. Now, we’re looking forward to our next meet.”

Florida State will travel to Atlanta, Ga. on Saturday, Jan. 28 to face Georgia Tech in the final duel of the season.