COLLEGE ROUNDUP: Nova Southeastern Sweeps Conference Titles; SOFLO’s Cutter Makes Debut

COLLEGE ROUNDUP: Nova Southeastern Sweeps Conference Titles; SOFLO’s Cutter Makes Debut


February 20, 2012

Nova Southeastern University swimming and diving teams, in only its second year of existence, swept the men’s and women’s team titles at the Sunshine State Conference Championships this past weekend at The Long Center in Clearwater.

The men’s team defended its team title with 908 points, an 81-point margin over more-established Florida Southern.

The women’s team won its first team title with 932 points, edging University of Tampa by 11 points.

Both teams went undefeated during the regular season.

“It’s very exciting to see all the hard work and dedication that both our men’s and women’s teams have put in over the last few months has paid off in a pair of conference championships,” said NSU head coach Hollie Bonewit-Cron, a former assistant coach at University of Florida.

“I challenged them at the very beginning of the season to be great every opportunity presented and they proved that. Having gone undefeated in the regular season, the theme heading into this weekend was the won battles won’t mean as much unless you win the war.”

NSU teammates Armin Hornikel and Oskar Nordstrand shared men’s high point honors with 57 points. Hornikel, a senior, was named Male Swimmer of the Meet. Hornikel set the SSC record in the 200-yard individual medley (1:48.52), second fastest time in the country, and 200-yard breaststroke (1:58.08), fourth fastest time.

On the final day of the three-day meet, Cutter, a freshman making her conference meet debut, made the “B” final in the 100-yard freestyle finishing tenth in 53.75. Her splits were 25.66 and 28.09. She was also a member of the 400-yard freestyle “B” relay that won the consolation final and finished ninth overall in 3:30.27.  She swam 52.55 on her third leg including a 24.90 opening split.

SOFLO’s Les Moore, a sophomore at Tampa, was eighth in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:56.28. His splits were 25.67, 28.86, 30.09 and 31.66.

The men and women combined for 13 NCAA “A” qualifying times for the March 14 NCAA Division II National Championships. 

Atlantic Coast Conference Championships

Florida State, ranked No. 25 in the nation, finished third among team standings on Saturday night in Christiansburg, Va.

Virginia, winning 10 of 22 events, defended its title with 848 points followed by North Carolina with 615. The Seminoles finished with 460 points. University of Miami finished sixth with 313 points.

SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver, a sophomore, was fifth in the 100-yard freestyle in 49.37. Her splits were 23.95 and 25.42. She was also a member of the fifth place 400-yard freestyle relay that finished in 3:20.97, a “B” cut. Her 50 split was 23.62 and 100 split was 49.72.

SOFLO teammate Melissa Cooper, a sophomore competing her first season for FSU, earned All-ACC honors. She was one of seven Seminoles honored for finishing in the top three of their events. Cooper was second in the 100-yard breaststroke in a career-best swim and 31st in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:30.74.

Sophomore diver Katrina Young won the Seminoles first-ever ACC title on women’s 10-meter platform with a school record 323.05 points.

SOFLO’s Dana Hatic, a senior competing in her final conference meet, was fourth in the “B” final and 12th overall in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:16.19, a “B” cut time. She swam 2:15.69 in prelims.

The men’s conference meet begins Wednesday with SOFLO’s Alex Rodriguez and Doug Ramos.

Southeastern Conference Championships

University of Florida finished second among the men’s teams and third among the women’s team Saturday night at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn.

Auburn won its 16th men’s title in a row with 730.5 points. Florida finished with 700.

Georgia defended its women’s title for the third straight year with 781 points. Tennessee was second with 629.5.

The Gators won five men and three women’s individual events and earned eight automatic qualifying times to the NCAA Division I Championships March 15-17.

Sophomores Elizabeth Beisel and Brad deBorde combined to break three school records. Beisel and Marcin Cieslak were named SEC Female and Male Freshman Swimmers of the Year and the meet’s high point winners. Tennessee women’s coach Matt Kredich was named SEC Coach of the Year. Auburn men’s coach Brett Hawke was named men’s Coach of the Year.

“I was really proud with the effort that we got from everyone,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said. “It was a team effort, everyone battled and raced real well. They gave their all until they touched the wall.”

ESPNU will televise highlights of the men’s meet on Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. and women’s meet Feb. 28 at 5 p.m.

Big Ten Conference Championships

Minnesota won the women’s team title with 456 points at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Brittney Phelan, a sophomore at Indiana, qualified 23rd in the 100-yard

breaststroke in 1:03.77 just off her seed time of 1:03.30 and finished fifth in the “C” final and 21st overall in 1:03.63. Indiana was second with 441 points.

Big East Championships

Louisville won the women’s team title with 758.5 points and Notre Dame won the men’s team title with 887 points at Trees Pool in Pittsburgh. Also in the men’s field featuring SOFLO swimmers, Louisville was second with 859.5, West Virginia was fourth with 509.5 and Seton Hall was eighth with 139.

Seton Hall’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy was 13th in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:01.83, faster than his prelim time of 2:02.14. His seed time was 2:05.94.

Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Kyle Bandy of West Virginia was fifth in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:51.57. His prelim time was 1:50.54 bettering his seed time of 1:52.08. Twin brother Kevin Bandy of Louisville finished the 200-yard butterfly in 1:48.15, off his seed time of 1:48.09.

MAAC Championships

SOFLO’s Justin Grigull was a member of Iona College’s second place 400-yard freestyle relay that finished in 3:05.64 on the final day of the championships in Buffalo, N.Y. Grigull was also third in the 100-yard freestyle in 45.96. The men’s team finished fifth among teams with 305 points. The Gaels will now compete in the ECAC Championships at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Patriot League Championships

Host Navy set a league record by combining to win 33 of the 44 events on their way to sweeping the men’s and women’s team titles in Annapolis, Md.  The women’s team won its second title in three years with a record 933.5 points. Defending champion Colgate was second with 241 points. The men’s team won all 18 swimming events and totaled a record 1,029.5 points for its ninth title. Bucknell, with SOFLO swimmer Gina Gautieri, a freshman, was third with 593 points.

Coastal Collegiate Swimming Championships

Florida Gulf Coast University won its fourth consecutive women’s team title with 840 points at the University of Georgia.  Liberty was second with 538.50. College of Charleston won the men’s title with 890.50 points edging Davidson College with 884.50. FGCU’s Maegan Butler was named Most Outstanding Diver of the Meet, after sweeping the 1- and 3-meter springboard titles. FGCU freshman Emma Svensson was named Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet after earning three “B” cuts and winning the 50-yard freestyle. The team is coached by former Florida Atlantic coach Neal Studd.

More conference notes

Emory men’s team won its 14th consecutive UAA Championships…Gustavus Adolphus College women’s team won its third straight MIAC Championships with 687 points. They have won the title seven of the last 11 years. St. Thomas edged St. Olaf for the men’s title, 765-762…Ohio Northern won the Ohio Athletic Conference Championships at Ocasek Natatorium. Mount Union head coach Eric Mojock and his staff won Women’s Staff of the Year. Mount Union placed second with 776 points, 83 points behind Ohio Northern.

Lynn University Adds Women’s Swimming

Boca Raton-based Lynn University has added a women’s swimming program to its NCAA Division II athletic program. The program will begin competition during the 2012-13 season. The team will be a member of the Sunshine State Conference which also boasts conference champion Nova Southeastern. For those interested in participating go to the school’s website and fill out the student-athlete questionnaire.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 109: Phelps Is Back On Track, Wins Five Golds At Minneapolis Grand Prix

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 109: Phelps Is Back On Track, Wins Five Golds At Minneapolis Grand Prix

November 13, 2011


Michael Phelps walked away from the Minneapolis Grand Prix encouraged by his results in the University Aquatic Center pool and more importantly his training.

Phelps, 26, dominated from the beginning. He won the 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly, 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter individual medley during the three-day meet, the first major step for swimmers preparing for this summer’s U.S. Olympic trials in Nebraska.

On Sunday, Phelps won his fifth event, the 200-meter individual medley in 1:57.58, fourth fastest time this year. He had the fastest qualifying time in the 200-meter backstroke but decided to scratch from finals.

In the 200-meter individual medley race, Phelps took control early, fast out in the butterfly leg (25.54), stayed in the lead on the backstroke leg (54.80), by then had a full body length lead which he extended on the breaststroke (1:29.07) and pulled away on the freestyle.

South African Darian Townsend, 27, of Ford Tucson was a distant second behind Phelps in 2:01.55.

“I know if I can set myself up to do what I want to do at the end of the summer, that’s all that matters,” Phelps said.

“I definitely have some very, very high goals for myself at the end of the summer and I know it’s not going to be easy to get there. But it can be done. Obviously, I’m aware of what other people are doing, but that’s not something I’m focused on.”

Phelps, who won eight gold medals and broke seven world records at the 2008 Olympics,  is training with his veteran coach Bob Bowman harder these past few weeks than he has since his 2008 U.S. trials and  Olympics lead-up.

“I think the biggest thing is I just started actually training,” Phelps said. “It really is true, the more you do practice, the better you get. That’s what’s happening right now. I’m showing up to work out and things are actually falling into place.”

Phelps was the high point winner of the meet with 106 points. Teenager Missy Franklin of Colorado Stars was the women’s high point winner with 106.

SOFLO’s Jessie Alcaide, competing in her third and final event of the three-day meet, was 91st out of a field of 138 in the 100-meter freestyle in 1:00.82.

In other Sunday night championship finals:

Women’s 800-meter freestyle: Frenchwoman Camille Muffatt, 22, led from wire-to-wire to win in 8:31.23. She held off a late charge in the final 50 meters from Chloe Sutton, 19, of Mission Viejo, who finished second in 8:31.85. Thirteen-year-old Becca Mann of Clearwater was eighth in 8:43.65.

Women’s 200-meter individual medley: Katie Hoff, 22, of Fast Swim Team surged out in front during the breaststroke leg with a 38.4 split and held off early leader Elizabeth Pelton, 17, of T2 Aquatics on the final leg of freestyle, to win in 2:12.02. Pelton was second in 2:12.23 and Missy Franklin was third in 2:13.12.

Women’s 200-meter backstroke: Thirty-two minutes after the 200 IM, top seed Missy Franklin 30.72 ahead of the field, body length lead, pulls away with the lead, 1:35.33 heading into final 50 meters, wins by more than four seconds in 2:08.03. Lauren Lavigna, 22, of Vanderbilt was second in 2:12.85 and Stephanie Proud, 23, of Gator Swim Club, was third in 2:12.87.

Men’s 200-meter backstroke: 28.05 lead split by Tyler Clary, 21, of Fast Swim Team in Lane 5, 1:27.66, a body length lead, wins in 1:58.39; german Christian Diener, 18, was second in 2:00.76 and Nimrod Bar-Or of Israel was third in 2:00.78.

Women’s 100-meter freestyle: Missy Franklin of the Colorado Springs poured it on to come from behind to win in 54.27. Allison Schmitt, 21, of North Baltimore was second in 54.69 and early leader Amanda Weir, 24, of Swim Atlanta was third in 54.80.

Men’s 100-meter freestyle: Cayman Islands’ Brett Fraser, 22, of Gator Swim Club led from start-to-finish (23.2 opening split) to win in 48.88. Frenchman Clement Lefert, 24, was second in 49.44. Brother Shaune Fraser was eighth in 50.55.

Men’s 1500-meter freestyle: Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli, 27, of Trojan Swim Club moved into a comfortable lead after 900 meters and led the rest of the way to win in 15:15.50. Michael Klueh, 24, of Fast Swim Team was second in 15:17.44.

It was the first of seven stops on the USA Swimming Grand Prix Series. The next stop is Jan. 13-15 in Austin, Tex. at the University of Texas. The overall winner of the series will be awarded $20,000.

FINA World Cup

South African teenager Chad Le Clos and veteran swimmer Therese Alshammar of Sweden won the overall titles of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2011.

Each swimmer earned $100,000 in prize money.

Le Clos, a rising star, won 35 medals including 23 golds, during the series and totaled 176 points.

Alshammar defended her title and won her fourth World Cup title. She won 18 medals including 14 golds and totaled 145 points. Teenager Missy Franklin was second with 70 points but turned down the $50,000 to protect her college eligibility.

College Swimming

Florida International University swept Nova Southeastern, 203-83, and Indian River State College, 166-134, on Saturday in Davie. SOFLO’s Linea Cutter, 18, a freshman competing for Nova Southeastern, competed in the 200-yard medley relay that finished third in 1:51.55 and 800-yard freestyle relay that was third in 7:54.84. She was also fourth in the 100-yard freestyle in 54.40 and sixth in the 50-yard freestyle in 25.18. NSU’s will host Tampa on Dec. 3 at 11 a.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Will Be Well-Represented At This Weekend’s Developmental Meet In Davie

SOFLO Will Be Well-Represented At This Weekend’s Developmental Meet In Davie


April 28, 2011

South Florida Aquatic Club will be well-represented by nearly two hundred swimmers at the three-day Area 2 Developmental Long Course Meters Swim Meet that begins on Friday at the Nova Southeastern University Aquatic Complex in Davie.

Swimmers from SOFLO, Coral Springs Swim Club and Comets will compete in either the 12-and-under or 13-and-over events against an impressive field that includes host team Davie Nadadores and Pompano Beach.

Among SOFLO’s top seeded swimmers are:

Alani Carrasco, 12, 200-meter individual medley, 3:03.13, 50-meter breaststroke, 45.97; 100-meter breaststroke, 1:39.11.

Tyler Gibson, 11, 200-meter breaststroke, 3:55.10.

Maya Hirian, 12, 100-meter butterfly, 1:52.49; 200-meter backstroke, 3:05.42.

Edward Kon, 14, 1500-meter freestyle, 19:43.73.

Rachel Ling, 16, 200-meter individual medley, 2:45.88.

Federico Maeso, 11, 100-meter backstroke, 1:28.62; 200-meter backstroke, 3:15.53; 50-meter butterfly, 41.25.

Matthew Menocal, 11, 50-meter freestyle, 34.50; 400-meter freestyle, 5:51.21.

Alfredo Mesa Jr., 12, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:40.18.

Stephanie Mlujeak, 12, 400-meter freestyle, 5:39.09.

Bianca Monti, 11, 50-meter backstroke, 42.01; 200-meter butterfly, no time available.

Nicholas Perera, 11, 200-meter individual medley, 3:11.12; 100-meter freestyle, 1:14.63.

Monica Rodriguez, 13, 50-meter backstroke, 38.35; 200-meter backstroke 2:55.38.

Rodrigo Rodriguez, 12, 200-meter freestyle, 2:47.14; 200-meter butterfly, no time available.

Teddy Sandoval, 14, 200-meter butterfly, 2:57.29.

Natasha Testa, 12, 50-meter butterfly, 38.30.

Gustavo Valery, 13, 200-meter backstroke, 2:43.82.


What: LCM Area 2 Developmental Swim Meet.

When: Friday-Sunday.

Where: Nova Southeastern University Aquatic Complex, 36th St. and 75th Ave., Davie

Timeline schedule: Friday, distance and individual medley events, 5:30-7:47 p.m.; Saturday, Session 2, 12-and-under races, 8:30-10:53 a.m.; Session 3, 13-and-over races, 12:30-2:36 p.m.; Sunday, Session 4, 12-and-under races, 8:30-10:47 a.m.; Session 5, 13-and-over races, 12:30-2:27 p.m.

Admission: $3, heat sheets $2 per session. For questions, meet director Alex Pussieldi, 954-612-7281. Meet referee Kathleen Fish.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Miami, Nova Southeastern Make History; Florida State Finishes Third

Miami, Nova Southeastern Make History; Florida State Finishes Third


February 21, 2011

Florida State, with SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver and Ashley Hicks, finished third at the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

Oliver finished her freshman year with a sixth place in the 100-yard freestyle in 49.58.

The Seminoles finished out the meet with a fifth place finish (3:21.84) in the 400-yard freestyle relay with Oliver leading off.

The Seminoles earned four All-ACC honors and broke two schools records on the final day. The Seminoles finished with 417 points.

“The girls that swam tonight really made the most of their opportunities,” FSU coach Neil Harper said. “We fought off Virginia Tech, Miami and Maryland to hold on to third which is a big thing for us.”

The diving team, one of the nation’s best coached by former local diver Patrick Jeffrey, finished the meet with three more All-ACC honors and two school records.

“We ended on a good note and we still have some things to swim for this year,” Harper said. “I’m really proud of the girls banding together and swimming strong on the last day.”

Virginia took a 34-point lead after the last individual event and won the 400-yard freestyle relay to clinch the women’s team title for their fourth straight ACC title and ninth overall in school history.

Virginia won with 776 points and North Carolina was second with 734.

University of Miami, with SOFLO’s Dana Hatic, earned its highest finish ever at ACC’s with a sixth place finish and 349 points.

“This week was a giant leap for this program,” UM coach Christie Shefchunas said. “We definitely taken it to another level and we plan to stay here. Now we just wait to see if we get an invite to NCAAs for our “B” cuts and look forward to being in Austin, Texas in four weeks.”

Hatic, a junior, picked up an NCAA “B” cut time in the 200-yard breaststroke touching the wall in a UM season-best time of 2:15.47.

Southeastern Conference Championships

After a week of record-breaking performances, University of Florida finished second among the men’s and women’s teams at the Stephen O’Connell Center.

The defending women’s team fell short of the University of Georgia, 720-678 and men’s team finished second to Auburn, 799-782.

“I am extremely proud of the way both of our teams competed throughout this entire week,” Florida coach Gregg Troy said. “We left a couple of points on the board, but we also had some outstanding performances that qualified performances that qualified us for the NCAA Championships in several events.”

The Gators ended the meet with 14 conference titles (10 men, four women), five SEC records and seven school records.

Gators diving coach Donnie Craine, a Stranahan High graduate, was named SEC Women’s Diving Coach of the Year for the third time.

NSU Men Win First Conference Team Title

Nova Southeastern University won the inaugural Sunshine State Conference Men’s Swimming Championship in its first collegiate season.

NSU totaled 956.5 points during the four-day competition that ended Sunday at the Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando. NSU won with a 213-point margin.

Tampa, with SOFLO’s Les Moore, finished second with 743.5.

NSU’s Jorge Ospina won Male Swimmer of the Year. On the final day of competition, Ospina won the 200-yard butterfly with an NCAA Division II “A” standard time of 1:47.84.

Ospina amassed 60 points to earn the meet’s top honors. NSU teammate Armin Hornikel earned an “A” standard in the 200-yard breaststroke with a second place time of 2:01.83.

Moore made the 200-yard butterfly championship final where he finished eighth in 1:55.11 bettering his prelim time of 1:55.14. He was sixth in the 400-yard individual medley in 4:07.29 bettering his prelim time of 4:07.55.

University of Tampa won the women’s team title with 932 points. St. Leo College, with SOFLO’s Bianca Muniz, was fourth and NSU finished fifth. Florida Southern’s Mary O’Sullivan won Female Swimmer of the Year. NSU’s Ewa Jamborska earned an “A” standard time in her win in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:16.29.

Muniz qualified for the consolation final in the 100-yard freestyle and finished 16th in 55.76 bettering her prelim time of 56.92. She also made the consolation final of the 200-yard breaststroke and finished 10th in 2:41.47 bettering her prelim time of 2:50.27. She was also a member of the eighth place 400-yard freestyle relay.

Louisville Makes History, Sweeps Big East

Louisville men’s team defended its title and the women won their first team title in their short history in the Big East Conference Championships.

The men won by more than 200 points and the women won by 170 points and snapped Notre Dame’s 14-year reign as champions.

Florida Gold Coast swimmer Brendon Andrews won three events and was a member of the Big East record 400-yard freestyle relay team (2:54.04). His sister Sarah was eighth in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:04.95.

SOFLO’s Kevin Bandy of Louisville finished seventh in the 1,650-yard freestyle in a lifetime best 15:39.29. His previous best time was 15:48.68.

He was 14th in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:51.63 ahead of his brother Kyle of West Virginia, 15th in 1:51.71. and finished the 500-yard freestyle in 4:28.83.

WVU finished fourth among teams with 470 points.

Seton Hall, with SOFLO’s Ryan O’Shaugnessy, finished sixth. O’Shaughnessy was 12th in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:02.39, bettering his prelim time of 2:04.60. O’Shaughnessy was tenth in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:51.11, bettering his prelim time of 1:52.04. He was 16th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 57.03.

Big Ten Three-Peat For Hoosiers

Indiana women’s swimming and diving team, with SOFLO’s Britney Phelan, won their third straight Big Ten Championship and fourth in the last five years.

Indiana finished with 821 points. Indiana freshman Brittney Phelan swam a lifetime-best and NCAA “B” cut time of 2:15.27 to finish 12th in the 200-yard breaststroke.

No. 16-ranked Michigan, with SOFLO’s Natasha Moodie, was sixth with 367 points.

Moodie, competing in her final conference meet led the way with a sixth place finish in the 100-yard freestyle in 49.38, an NCAA “B” time. Her prelims time of 49.08 gives her the fourth-best career performance in school history in the event. She was second in the 50-yard freestyle in 22.26, a school record and NCAA “B” time.

Moodie led off the 400-yard freestyle that finished seventh in 3:20.88, another NCAA “B” time. She was a member of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay team in 1:29.44, an NCAA “A” time.

Moodie was named to the All-Big Ten team.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships

SOFLO’s Justin Grigull, a freshman at Iona College, helped the men’s team to a fourth-place finish at the MAAC Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. with 423.5 points. Grigull earned 17 points with a second place finish in the 100-yard freestyle in 1:41.94, an ECAC “A” time.

Grigull picked up another 15 points in the 100-yard freestyle with a fourth place finish in 46.93, an ECAC “A” time. He was second after the first 50 yards in 24.33. Grigull was also fourth in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:38.17, another “A” time. The workhorse was a member of the Gaels’ third place 400-yard freestyle relay that finished in 3:06.42, picking up another 32 points and member of the fifth place 800-yard freestyle relay that finished in 6:55.44. Grigull anchored his team’s fifth place 400-yard medley relay that finished in 3:27.66, also an “A” time. Loyola University men (796) and Marist College women (843) won the team titles.

Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championships

Florida Gulf Coast University won its third consecutive CCSA women’s crown Saturday night at the University of Georgia’s Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga.

The team won with 879.5 points.

Fourth-year coach Neal Studd, formerly of Florida Atlantic University, earned his third straight Women’s Coach of the Year honors

“I am so excited and blessed that we have won three post season titles in a row,” Studd said. “I am so happy for the team and the girls that started this whole thing with me four years ago. We swam lights out this weekend and it was a blast. My girls worked so hard and they saw that hard work pays off.”

FGCU picked up 13 gold medals, 11 silver and five bronze and won three out of five relay events. Florida Gold Coast swimmers Lindsey Meeder was second in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 17:05.13, Alessandra Cianci was second in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:02.90 and FGC diver Gaby Shaw was fourth in 3-meter diving with 241.80 points.

Despite earning seven NCAA provisional cut times, FGCU will not be competing at NCAAs because of the reclassifying period. The school will be eligible for the 2011-2012 season.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Oliver Comes Home To Shine, Florida State Sweeps Nova Southeastern

SOFLO’s Oliver Comes Home To Shine, Florida State Sweeps Nova Southeastern


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