Seminoles Split with Gophers
The Florida State men’s swimming and diving team picked up its first victory of the 2015-16 season over Minnesota on Saturday.
By Christa Salerno
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State swimming and diving teams split its first dual meets of the season against Minnesota on Saturday in the seventh annual ‘Paint it Pink’ event at the Morcom Aquatic Center. The men’s team defeated the Gophers 158-142, moving to 1-0 to start the season.
“Both teams went for it today,” FSU head coach Frank Bradley said. “That’s what I liked about today. There were some tough races but I like where we are. It was great for the guys to pull that meet out. I think it will be key for us this season.”
The Men’s 200 medley relay started with first and second place finishes as the team of Stefan Stojmenovic, Jason Coombs, Cole Hensley and Jason McCormick won with a time of 1:30.71 and sophomores Chad Mylin, Rafa Van Leeuwaarde, Jacob Urbano along with rookie Kanoa Kaleoaloha grabbed second at 1:32.56 in order to hold off Minnesota’s top relay, who was third at 1:32.74.
“Relays weren’t very strong for us last year,” Bradley said. “I thought our relays made a huge difference in today’s outcome. They’ve improved and the chemistry was fantastic.”
Minnesota answered with wins in the 1000 and 200 free races, however the Seminoles picked up some steam winning four straight to close the first portion of the meet, taking over the lead 75-56.
FSU swept the 100 back with sophomore Connor Kalisz leading the way with a 50.61. Mylin was second punching a 51.09 and Stojmenovic was third at 51.29.
“Those backstrokers were so strong for us today,” Bradley said. “Connor is really starting to show us what he’s capable of and I think he’s going to have a heck of a season.”
Coombs followed with a dominating swim in the 100 breast, posting a 55.96 and Cole Hensley followed with a win in the 200 fly with a time of 1:49.77.
McCormick clocked a 20.47 in the 50 free for the win while freshman Kanoa Kaleoaloha added third place points (21.07) and senior Ian Apple followed in fourth (21.25).
Following the break, the Seminoles added two more victories as McCormick teamed up with freshman Emir Muratovic to place first and second in the 100 free with times of 45.33 and 46.22 respectively. Kaleoaloha finished the close battle in fourth at 46.28.
“McCormick really stepped up and raced hard today,” Bradley said. “He’s really started to lead our sprinters in the right direction. I was very happy with him today.”
Kalisz rallied with his second victory of the day, taking the 200 back at 1:49.31 and freshman Noah Hensley touched in third with a time of 1:54.08.
The Seminoles would surrender sweeps in the 200 breast and 500 free before fighting back with a one-two-three punch in the 100 fly as Cole Hensley won his second individual of the meet in with a time of 49.36. Stojmenovic followed in second at 50.25 Urbano was third at 50.60.
The Gophers touched in first and second in the 400 IM and with the meet on the line, the Seminoles had no room for error heading into the final relay.
After trailing Minnesota through three legs of the 200 free relay, Muratovic pulled through as the anchor helping the Seminoles overcome the Gophers, with a time of 1:22.33.
In addition to the races in the pool, the FSU divers outscored Minnesota on the boards by a point in both events as sophomore Tyler Roberge won 1-meter with a score of 336.82 before taking second on 3-meter at 375.15.
Senior Kalonji Cole added third place points on 1-meter (301.73) while junior Dylan Grisell was fifth on 1-meter (288.00) and fourth on 3-meter (330.01).
“For this time in the year I thought we competed well,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “Tyler had a solid day and I thought all of our kids performed well and showed improvement.”
In the women’s meet, the Seminoles fell to the reigning Big Ten champs 212-88.
“Minnesota is a tough team,” Bradley said. “They’re solid from top to bottom and there is a reason why they win their conference every year. I thought our ladies went out there today and raced hard. It’s early and I thought we had some great spots and some solid swims.”
Sophomore Alexi Smith picked up a win in the 50 free, posting a 23.67.
Seniors Josie Cuda (1:52.21), Sami Pochowski (1:53.90) and junior Katy Stringfield (1:55.20) placed second, third and fourth in the 200 free.
Senior Bianca Spinazzola grabbed second with a time of 56.67 in the 100 back, while sophomore Ariel Barber followed in third with a time of 57.62.
Sophomore Natalie Pierce finished second in the 100 breast (1:05.31).
In addition, both the 200 medley and 200 free relays touched in second. The medley started off the meet with Spinazzola, Pierce, freshman Gracie Redding and Smith swimming a time of 1:43.57. The team of Smith, junior Lydia Ware, Spinazzola and Redding finished with a time of 1:34.71 to close out the meet.
“I like where we are,” Bradley said. “It’s October. It’s early but I think we’re started to see our kids emerge. We have a good grasp of what we have and we’ll get back to work for the next phase of our season.”
The women’s team will travel to Dallas on Oct. 16-17 for the SMU Classic.
Florida Swim Network