WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
October 9, 2010
DAVIE—College swimming seems to agree with Tiffany Oliver.
The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer returned home to compete in the first dual meets of her college career as a Florida State freshman.
The 18-year-old has wasted no time in making a good impression.
During a two-day road trip in South Florida, the Seminoles women’s team is off to a 3-0 start after defeating Florida Atlantic, Florida International and first-year team Nova Southeastern.
For the second day in a row, Oliver won the 50-yard freestyle in 24.03 ahead of teammates Ashley Butler (25.30) against Nova Southeastern Saturday at the Sharks aquatic complex.
Oliver was also a member of the Seminoles’ winning 200-yard freestyle relay along with CJ Hendry, Brittany Selts and Hannah Wilson that finished in 1:36.11.
With her mother and brother sitting in the stands cheering her on, Oliver looked relaxed and confident.
“It’s nice to be home, it’s pretty nice to have my mom and brother here,” Oliver said. “Tallahassee is pretty nice, too.
“It feels good to be part of a team that is inspired to get up and go,” Oliver said. “The motivation is right up there.
“When it comes to training and technique it’s more sprint. The coaches are helping me in my specific area so that’s why I am improving with that special attention. I expected the coaches to help me but I am a little surprised at doing good this early.”
Oliver is enjoying training with top-caliber swimmers.
“I race all the girls and guys at practice every day,” Oliver said. “It’s a fun atmosphere. College is different. In high school and club we could skip practice once in a while. But here, if you skip practice you’re dead. You don’t skip practice.
“I am learning more specific things in practice now. College has been a good transition for me. I am very happy with my choice.”
Oliver has some lofty goals for her freshman season. She is part of an impressive recruiting class that also includes SOFLO swimmers Tyler Sell and Ashley Hicks.
“I hope to try and make ACCs and NCAAs,” Oliver said. “As a team I would like to win ACCs.”
FSU coach Neil Harper seemed pleased with his team’s season-opening road trip.
“We are pretty serious about these meets because the kids have to travel down here on a bus and we are in heavy training so it’s uncomfortable for them,” Harper said.
“They are in a position where they are fatigued and stressed so when we race an up-and-coming program like Nova Southeastern they have nothing to lose. It’s good for our kids to have some fresh attitudes like ‘hey we don’t care if you’re Florida State, we are going to come at you.’ It keeps our kids honest and we find out what kind of team we are on the road. Anyone can swim good at home.”
Harper is impressed with SOFLO’s freshman trio.
“They have been well-coached in high school and club to the point where the transition they make to college is a very comfortable and smooth one,” Harper said. “They can apply everything they learned and smoothly transition into what we are doing.
“They all seem happy and fit in nicely. We have a close-knit team. They are good kids first. That definitely helps, ethically and morally they are very strong. They come from great families.”
Harper isn’t surprised at their successful start.
“They want to compete and they want to race and make the most of their opportunity as a student-athlete at Florida State,” Harper said. “When they come in like that, it’s a coach’s dream. They have soaked stuff up like sponges. They are freshmen so what have they got to lose? They are going to knock some of these sophomores, juniors and seniors off.
“We feel blessed and very lucky we got those three from down here. They are some slightly polished diamonds and there’s a lot more shine to come.”
Other SOFLO swimmers results:
Ashley Hicks, 18, led off the Seminoles’ winning 200-yard medley relay that won in 1:49.30. She was also third in the 50-yard freestyle in 25.50 and swam the lead-off leg on the Seminoles’ third place 200-yard freestyle relay that finished in 1:39.08.
After winning the 1,000-yard freestyle (9:36.47) and sixth in the 200-yard butterfly (2:02.44) on Friday at FAU, Tyler Sell, 18, was third in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:57.86. Sell led off FSU’s third place 200-yard freestyle relay that finished in 1:30.36.
Paul Murray, 18, was a member of the Seminoles’ third place 200-yard medley relay that finished in 1:38.68. He was third in the 100-yard freestyle in 47.83 and fourth in the 50-yard freestyle in 21.66. He led off FSU’s second place 200-yard freestyle relay that finished in 1:27.39.
200-yard medley relay: 1. FSU B (Ashley Hicks, Kendall, Sieron, Jamie Barrett, Ashley Butler) 1:49.30, 2. FSU C 1:49.69, 3. FSU A 1:52.03.
1,000-yard freestyle: 1. Marissa Harrington, FSU 10:23.96, 2. McKayla Lightbourn, FSU 10:25.41, 3. Corey Allison, FSU 10:34.82.
200-yard freestyle: 1. CJ Hendry, FSU 1:53.80, 2. Emily Harris, FSU 1:55.85, 3. Char Broadbent, FSU 1:57.41.
50-yard freestyle: 1. Tiffany Oliver, FSU 24.03, 2. Ashley Butler, FSU 25.30, 3. Ashley Hicks, FSU 25.50.
200-yard individual medley: 1. Stephanie Sarandos, FSU 2:07.23, 2. Holly Mills, FSU 2:09.20, 3. Jessica Sabotin, FSU 2:09.32.
200-yard butterfly: 1. Katie Coleman, FSU 2:06.60, 2. Caroline Smith, FSU 2:06.74, 3. McKayla Lightbourn, FSU 2:10.95.
100-yard freestyle: 1. Brittany Selts, FSU 52.30, 2. Hannah Wilson, FSU 52.83, 3. Sara McMahon, FSU 54.71.
200-yard backstroke: 1. Ashley Aranda, NSU 2:17.07, 2. Devan Martin, NSU 2:21.88, 3. None.
500-yard freestyle: 1. Kelley Yakymiw, NSU 5:42.92, 2. Courtney Wilson, NSU 6:03.06, 3. None.
200-yard breaststroke: 1. Kendall Sieron, FSU 2:26.49, 2. Ewa Jamborska, NSU 2:27.28, 3. McKayla Lightbourn, FSU 2:27.51.
200-yard freestyle relay: 1. FSU A (CJ Hendry, Tiffany Oliver, Brittany Selts, Hannah Wilson) 1:36.11, 2. FSU B 1:38.91, 3. FSU C (Ashley Hicks, Julia Henkel, Jessica Sabotin, Ashley Butler) 1:39.08.
200-yard medley relay: 1. FSU A (Danny Nguyen, Matt Shead, Mark Cox, Trice Bailey) 1:36.02, 2. NSU A 1:36.36, 3. FSU C (Michael Aitken, Robby Hayes, Michael Thomas, Paul Murray) 1:38.68.
1,000-yard freestyle: 1. Jack Deedrick, FSU 9:37.51, 2. Tyler Ball, FSU 9:46.51, 3. Jonas Grundstrom, NSU 9:57.57.
200-yard freestyle: 1. Jorge Ospina, NSU 1:42.78, 2. Stephen Pendleton, FSU 1:44.17, 3. Taylor Harris, FSU 1:46.64.
50-yard freestyle: 1. Matt Shead, FSU 21.26, 2. Mark Weber, FSU 21.37, 3. Trice Bailey, FSU 21.41.
200-yard individual medley: 1. Robby Hayes, FSU 1:56.56, 2. Danny Nguyen, FSU 1:56.79, 3. Armin Hornikel, NSU 1:58.46.
200-yard butterfly: 1. Jorge Ospina, NSU 1:51.86, 2. Mark Cox, FSU 1:52.55, 3. Tyler Sell, FSU 1:57.86.
100-yard freestyle: 1. Robby Hayes, FSU 46.58, 2. Trice Bailey, FSU 46.92, 3. Paul Murray, FSU 47.83.
200-yard backstroke: 1. Josh Davis, NSU 1:59.45, 2. Darren Rubenchik, NSU 2:00.98, 3. Ilya Prikhodko, NSU 2:03.54.
500-yard freestyle: 1. Danny Nguyen, FSU 4:45.62, 2. Stephen Pendleton, FSU 4:47.66, 3. Jonas Grundstrom, NSU 4:52.81.
200-yard breaststroke: 1. Matt Shead, FSU 2:07.24, 2. Armin Hornikel, NSU 2:10.89, 3. Cameron Pfahler, NSU 2:15.73.
200-yard freestyle relay: 1. FSU A (Robby Hayes, Mark Weber, Trice Bailey, Matt Shead) 1:24.15, 2. FSU B (Paul Murray, Stephen Pendleton, Matthew Taylor, Mateo De Angulo) 1:27.39, 3. FSU C (Tyler Sell, Brad Morrison, Mark Cox, Michael Aitken) 1:30.36.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org