By Christa Salerno
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Despite the cool temperatures outside, the Florida State swimming and diving teams were on fire at Trees Hall, winning 22 of the 32 events as both squads defeated Pitt on Saturday.
The No. 18 men (2-1, 1-0 ACC) won 191-109, while the No. 24 women (4-1, 1-0 ACC) took down the Panthers 193-107.
The victories on Saturday end a combined skid of 0-12 in ACC duals for the Seminoles. The previous conference win for the women was over Miami on Jan. 31, 2014, while the men defeated NC State and Georgia Tech that same season on Oct.25, 2013.
“I’m really happy with how we performed today,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “It’s been awhile since FSU has won a meet in conference, and I am proud our teams were able to take care of business today.”
Florida State showed its depth in the sprint relays by placing first and second in both the men’s and women’s 200 medley and free races.
The team of juniors Ariel Barber and Natalie Pierce along with sophomore Leila Johnston and junior Lexi Smith started the session off by winning the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:40.53, while sophomore Fabiana Ingram, junior Christina Loh, freshman Paige Schendelaar-Kemp and freshman Nika Blank held off Pitt’s ‘A’ team to place second with a mark of 1:44.03.
After Pitt took the 1000 free, the women won the next six events starting with senior Lydia Ware in the 200 free, who clocked a time of 1:50.77. Her classmate, Katy Stringfield followed in second at 1:53.06.
Barber added a victory in the 100 back (56.15), while the duo of Pierce (1:02.50) and Loh (1:03.21) provided a one-two punch in the 100 breast.
Junior Taylor Lovemore continued the stretch with a victory in the 200 fly with a time of 2:03.94 while freshman Macie Beairsto made her debut with a second place showing, touching at 2:07.28.
Ware produced her second win of the day in the 50 free with a time of 23.04, touching ahead of Smith who was second (23.56).
Following the break, Smith won the battle in the 100 free, touching with a time of 51.58.
The Seminoles surrendered a sweep in the 200 back, however Loh answered by holding off Kinga Cichowska (2:16.77) for a win in the 200 breast with a time of 2:16.44.
Johnston picked up her first individual win of the season by leading the sweep of the 100 fly with a time of 55.36. Ware (55.61) and Lovemore (56.01) followed in second and third respectively.
The squad of Smith, Blank, Lovemore and Ware ended the meet with a huge win in the 200 free relay, touching with a time of 1:32.59 ahead of their teammates, Ingram, Johnston, Barber and junior Brenna Ruth (1:35.34) who was second.
The men’s team also opened with a one-two start in the 200 medley relay as the team of seniors Stefan Stojmenovic and Jason Coombs, along with sophomore Kanoa Kaleoaloha and junior Chad Mylin posted a time of 1:28.64 ahead of junior Connor Kalisz, junior Rafa van Leeuwaarde, freshman Vlad Stefanik and senior Jason McCormick (1:31.28) who were second.
Kaleoaloha led the way in the 200 free, clocking 1:38.50 before Kalisz (48.76) and Stojmenovic (49.17) added the one-two punch in the 100 back.
The Seminoles kept up the momentum as Coombs led the charge in the 100 breast, touching with a time of 54.76, which was almost two seconds faster than van Leeuwarde, who was second at 56.36.
Mylin dominated the 50 free, winning with a time of 19.69, ahead of McCormick who was second at 20.42. Following the break, the Seminoles swept the 100 free as McCormick led the way with a time of 44.83, just ahead of sophomore Emir Muratovic (44.86) and Mylin (45.13).
Kalisz added another win for the day in the 200 back (1:48.44) and Coombs also picked up his second victory in 200 breast (2:00.75).
Junior Calvin Bryant followed with a win in the 500 free, touching with a time of 4:32.81.
In the final event of the day, the Seminoles finished first and second in the 200 free relay. The team of McCormick, Kaleoaloha, Muratovic and Mylin led with a time of 1:20.90 while Stefanik, sophomore Will Pisani, senior Jemal LeGrand and junior Joe Plechy held off Pitt’s ‘A’ team for second place at 1:23.38.
The diving portion of the meet took place on Friday night as freshman Ayla Bonniwell took home a victory on 1-meter by a score of 288.60, just seven one-hundredths of a point ahead of Meme Sharp of Pitt. Junior Blaire Mulka finished third (263.63), while sophomore Cassidy Gebhart was fourth (262.20).
On 3-meter, Gebhart was second by five points (299.50) while freshman Molly Carlson was third (280.88) and Bonniwell was fourth (270.30).
Junior Tyler Roberge finish second in both diving events with scores of 313.80 on 1-meter and 331.05 on 3-meter. Freshman Aidan Faminoff was third on 1-meter (295.40) while senior Dylan Grisell (329.03) was third on 3-meter.
The Seminoles will head to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to take on Alabama on Jan. 21 at 10 a.m.