FSU swimming picks up wins on Senior Day

The No.15/25 Florida State swimming and diving teams picked up three wins on Saturday, in front of a packed crowd on Senior Day at the Morcom Aquatics Center.

The Seminoles won all but two events on the day as the 25th-ranked women defeated Miami 230-64 and Florida Atlantic 234-62 in order to finish the season 7-5, 2-2 ACC. The No. 15 men defeated the Owls 247-53 for an overall record of 6-3, 2-1 ACC.

“Today was a great day,” FSU coach Neal Studd said. “It was a fantastic celebration of our seniors. They swam well, some of them won events in front of their friends and family and it was a really great atmosphere.”

Freshman Balazs Berecz made his FSU debut by winning the 200 breast (2:04.04) and 200 IM (1:51.83). Rookie Aziz Ghaffari also contributed a pair of wins, taking the 1000 free at 9:22.21 and 500 free at 4:31.17.

The men started the day off with a victory in the 200 medley relay by the all-senior squad of John Maxatas, Rudo Loock, Max Polianski and Vladimir Stefanik with a time of 1:29.69.

Freshman Peter Varjasi (1:38.90), Berecz (1:39.97) along with junior Gavin Jones (1:41.31) followed with a sweep of the 200 free.

Sophomore Jackson Lucas (50.80), freshman Ryland Sun (21.12) and rookie Nick Vance (51.25) finished first, second and third in the 100 back before sophomore Jackson Seith (56.43) freshman Nevada Wood (57.48) and junior Chad McGuire (58.47) swept the 100 breast.

Polianski won the 200 fly with a time of 1:50.09 ahead of freshman Maurice Ingenrieth (1:51.62) in second place.

The Seminoles finished the break with the sweep of the 50 free led by freshman Ian Cooper (20.53) in first, Jones (20.54) in second and freshman Domen Demsar (21.05) in third.

Loock (45.20), and sophomores Max McCusker (45.61) and Jakub Ksiazek (45.79) swept the 100 free, before Vance (1:50.78) and sophomore Riley DaFoe (1:56.51) placed first and second in the 200 back.

Stefanik led the first, second and third place showing in the 100 fly with a time of 48.19, followed by Demsar (49.77) and Mataxas (50.11).

Florida State controlled 200 free relay with a sweep to end the meet, led by the top team of Loock, Varjasi, Polianski and Stefanik at 1:21.18.

On the boards, senior Cam Thatcher dominated 3-meter, with a score of 401.35 and his classmate Aidan Faminoff took third (336.25). However, Joshua Davidson was the winner on 1-meter with a total of 365.85, ahead of Thatcher in second at 351.50.

Sophomore Nina Kucheran won a pair of races, touching first in the 100 breast (1:01.75) and 200 IM (2:02.59) and was a part of the winning 200 medley relay team to start the meet along with sophomores Maddie McDonald, Aryanna Fernandes and Kertu Alnek.

Freshman Elizabeth Harris was also the winner in two events, taking the 200 free (1:51.75) and 500 free (5:03.98).

Sophomore Stephanie Holmes led the way in the 1000 free with a time of 10:16.70 for the win.

Senior Dorothy Halmy came from behind to win the 200 fly with a mark of 2:02.67, out-touching sophomore Hannah Womer (2:02.92) in second place.

Junior Rebecca Moynihan led the sweep of the 50 free with at time of 23.49 ahead of Alnek in second at 23.73 and junior Emma Terebo in the third (23.82).

Out of the break, Alnek won the 100 free (51.26) ahead of Moynihan (51.38) and McDonald claimed the 200 back win at 2:02.24.

Freshman Sydney VanOvermeiren placed first in the 200 breast (2:21.16) ahead of juniors Kile Carriger (2:22.02) and Bella English (2:2293) in second and third.

Fernandes (55.47), senior Paige Schendelaar-Kemp (56.42) and Womer (56.99) added a sweep in the 100 fly just before the break.

Senior Molly Carlson led the Noles in diving, winning 3-meter with a total of 332.80 ahead of her classmate Ayla Bonniwell (316.00) in second. Carlson took second on 1-meter with a tally of 298.15 and Bonniwell was third at 290.75.

The Seminoles finished the meet with a win in the 200 free relay behind Fernandes, Alnek, Terebo and Moynihan (1:34.08).

Florida State will next compete at the Auburn Invite, which runs from Feb. 7-9.

FSU jumper Caleb Parker

FSU track & field

There was cause for excitement when senior transfer Caleb Parker posted the sixth and final personal-best performance by the top-ranked Florida State men’s indoor track & field team Saturday at the Bob Pollock Invitational at Clemson, S.C.

Parker, who is ranked second nationally in the 60-meter hurdles behind teammate Trey Cunningham, also appears to be a scoring threat in the high jump. In his season debut in the event the former Southern Miss standout soared to an indoor personal-best of 2.20 meters (7-2.5), which is tied for the seventh-best mark nationally.

“Caleb has emerged as a national scorer in the high jump and that’s huge for our title chase,” FSU coach Bob Braman said.

Dueling head-to-head with Georgia’s Darius Carbin – ranked third nationally – Parker cleared 2.20 on his final attempt, forcing the Bulldog to match him. Carbin did on his final attempt, then sailed over 2.23 (7-3.75) on his first attempt to seal the win.

While the 11th-ranked Seminole women added four personal-best marks on the day, their first 4×400 competition of the season produced the only other mark of national significance. FSU’s team of Janae Caldwell, Ka’Tia Seymour, Kimmie Cunningham and Karimah Davis ran 3:37.66, finishing second behind Georgia (3:36.07).

The fastest time by an FSU quartet since 2015 stands seventh on the Noles’ all-time list, but more importantly ranks fifth nationally.

“The ladies did a nice job,” Braman said. “We wanted to run fast enough to make the fast heat at ACC’s and that will easily do it.”

Senior Nadia Maffo put herself on the fringe of an NCAA Championship qualifying mark with a new personal best in the weight throw. The Italian national athlete unleashed a sixth-round throw of 20.47 meters (67-2), which stands 19th on the NCAA descending order list. She ranks third all-time in the event in school history.

She finished second to Auburn’s Madi Malone (21.46m/70-5), who ranks sixth nationally.

“It was great to see Nadia PB,” Braman said. “She’s moved into the top four in the ACC now and making nationals becomes a possibility.”

One of the days’ three new entries on FSU’s indoor top-10 list – the Noles produced eight on Clemson’s track over two days – it was also one of four runner-up finishes on the day.

Adding to that list was freshman Gabe Curtis, who made his Florida State debut with a poised performance in the 3000-meter run. Curtis, who redshirted during the cross country season, ran with the leaders from the gun and led three laps late in the race. He finished his first-ever indoor competition in 8:31.59 for second behind Wake Forest’s Jo Martinez de Pinillos (8:29.31).

“I loved Gabe’s debut,” Braman said. “He crushed his high school best and looked strong doing it. Not too many freshman take the lead in their career debut.”

The Seminole men posted three personal-bests in the pole vault as Austin Thompson (4.80m/15-9) and Nick Napier (4.65/15-3) placed fifth and 10th against a strong field. Combined even athlete Hunter Napier (4.35m/14-3.25) joined the duo in the PB department.

FSU men’s tennis

The No. 21 ranked Florida State men’s tennis team (6-0) advanced to the final of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend with a 4-2 win over Vanderbilt (2-1) on Saturday. 

“It was another good win over a very strong SEC team,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “I thought we really set the tone in doubles by getting out to early leads.  Our energy level was good which was a great start to the match. Singles had very tight first sets, we were fortunate enough to take four first sets and then Vanderbilt made a little bit of a run on us.  The keys to the match were Rana (RoopSingh Bhullar) getting off quick, Marcus (Walters) finishing off his second set and of course with Sabastian (Arcila) clinching the win.  It was a windy day and we did an outstanding job handling that.  It was a solid win and now we look forward to playing the No. 1 team in the country tomorrow on the Longhorn Network. It should be an exciting day for us and I think it will be a really great match.”

Singles competition

1. George Harwell (VANDY) def. Alex Knaff (FS) 6-4, 7-6 (7-0)

2. Juan Martin Jalif (FS) vs. Billy Rowe (VANDY) 6-4, 6-6 (3-1), unfinished

3. Sebastian Arcila (FS) def. Max Freeman (VANDY) 6-1, 4-6, 6-1

4. Marcus Walters (FS) def. Marcus Ferreira (VANDY) 6-3, 7-6 (6-3)

5. Panu Virtanen (VANDY) def. Loris Pourroy (FS) 6-2, 6-1

6. #92 Rana Roop Bhullar (FS) def. Joubert Klopper (VANDY) 6-1, 6-4

Doubles competition

1. Alex Knaff/Sebastian Arcila (FS) def. Panu Virtanen/Billy Rowe (VANDY) 6-4

2. Loris Pourroy/Juan Martin Jalif (FS) def. George Harwell/Max Freeman (VANDY) 6-3

3. Marcus Walters/Chase Wood (FS) vs. Christiaan Worst/Marcus Ferreira (VANDY) 4-5, unfinished

The Florida State men’s tennis team (6-1) suffered their first loss of the season to No. 1 ranked Texas (4-0) on Sunday at the Texas Tennis Center. The Seminoles fell 4-0 in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend championship match. 

“We got off to a slow start in doubles,” said coach Dwayne Hultquist. “I thought we came out strong in singles getting early breaks at one, two, three, and six. I was pleased with the effort of the seniors (Alex Knaff and Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar) who were both winning when Texas clinched the match.”

Singles competition

1. #2 Yuya Ito (UT) vs. Alex Knaff (FS) 6-7 (3-7), 1-4, unfinished

2. #13 Christian Sigsgaard (UT) vs. Juan Martin Jalif (FS) 6-3, 5-4, unfinished

3. #53 Siem Woldeab (UT) def. Sebastian Arcila (FS) 6-3, 6-3

4. Eliot Spizzirri (UT) def. Marcus Walters (FS) 6-1, 6-4

5. Chih Chi Huang (UT) def. Loris Pourroy (FS) 6-4, 6-2

6. Cleeve Harper (UT) vs. #92 Rana Roop Bhullar (FS) 3-6, 4-3, unfinished

Doubles competition

1. #4 Christian Sigsgaard/Yuya Ito (UT) def. Alex Knaff/Sebastian Arcila (FS) 6-1

2. Eliot Spizzirri/Jacob Bullard (UT) vs. Loris Pourroy/Juan Martin Jalif (FS) 4-3, unfinished

3. Chih Chi Huang/Cleeve Harper (UT) def. Marcus Walters/Chase Wood (FS) 6-1

FSU women’s tennis

The No. 14 Florida State women’s tennis team (4-0) swept No. 18 Texas A&M (4-1), 4-0, to win the championship of the Tallahassee ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Sunday. With the victory, the Seminoles advance to the ITA National Indoor Championships for the second time in school history in Chicago.

“We definitely raised our level today,” said coach Jennifer Hyde. “We knew this was going to be an absolute dog fight. Texas A&M was a very good team, they chose to come here thinking we might be an easier one seed to advance through and the girls really stepped up to the occasion and that just shows how tough we are. This was probably one of the best all-around competitions that we have had from the squad this year and we knew that was what it was going to take in order to advance to Chicago. I felt like today’s match was very back and forth. I think the difference was in doubles, we were more aggressive today and that was important to set the tone of the match.  Those quick starts matter. I am very proud of the squad for raising the level of tennis today and getting it done.”

Singles competition

  1. Emmanuelle Salas (FS) def. Katya Townsend (TAMU) 6-1, 6-3
  2. Petra Hule (FS) def. Jayci Goldsmith (TAMU) 7-5, 1-6, 6-4
  3. Nandini Das (FS) vs. #94 Tatiana Makarova (TAMU) 4-6, 6-5, unfinished
  4. Sasha Hill (FS) def. #114 Dorthea Faa-Hviding (TAMU) 2-6, 6-1, 6-0
  5. Victoria Allen (FS) vs. Lucia Quiterio (TAMU) 6-2, 4-6, 1-5, unfinished
  6. Andrea Garcia (FS) vs. Jessica Anzo (TAMU) 6-3, 3-6, 2-2, unfinished

Doubles competition

  1. Petra Hule/Victoria Allen (FS) def. #47 Jayci Goldsmith/Tatiana Makarova (TAMU) 7-5
  2. Nandini Das/Andrea Garcia (FS) vs. #20 Jessica Anzo/Lucia Quiterio (TAMU) 5-5, unfinished
  3. Emmanuelle Salas/Sasha Hill (FS) def. Riley McQuaid/Renee McBryde (TAMU) 6-3


  1. Dan Densmore Reply

    Awesome for the swimmers….Cold weather…I don’t miss that

  2. David Shafer Reply

    Thanks for the swimming coverage.

  3. Jerry Kutz Reply

    Dan and David,
    As former swimmers, I’d love for you guys to share your thoughts about Coach Studd and the direction of the program. Maybe we can coerce former swim coach Bill Shults, who is a subscriber as well, to share his thoughts with our readers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.