Auburn, FSU Split in Wochomurka’s Dual Meet Debut; FSU Pool Records Fall

by Robert Gibbs 0

October 16th, 2021 ACC, College, News, SEC

Florida State vs. Auburn

  • Friday, October 15, 2021
  • Morcom Aquatics Center, Tallahassee, FL
  • SCY
  • Dual Meet Format
  • Full Results
  • Scores
    • Women: Auburn 177, Florida State 123
    • Men: Florida State 153, Auburn 147

The Auburn Tigers and the Florida State Seminoles split in new Auburn head coach Ryan Wochomurka‘s dual meet debut, as the Auburn women won 177-123, and the Seminole men edged the Tigers by a score of 153-147.

Women’s Recap

Neither team factored into the team standings at last season’s NCAA championships, but the Auburn women won relatively easily here, taking 10 of 14 swimming events en route to a 54-point victory.

Individually, Auburn’s Emily Hetzer was the star of the day with three wins in a distance sweep. She won the first individual event, the 1000 free, with a time of 10:00.59, winning by over nine seconds.

After the men’s 1000 free, she jumped back in the pool for the 200 free. This time, it was a much closer race, but Hetzer hung on to beat teammate Mykenzie Leehy 1:49.39 to 1:49.69, as Auburn swept the top four spot in the race. Leehy is a grad transfer who followed Wochamurka over from the University of Houston.

Hetzer last win may have been her biggest, as she won the 500 free by over eight seconds with a time 4:51.84. She also split 51.67 on Auburn’s ‘B’ 400 free relay.

Auburn also got a strong showing from their freshman class, which we ranked at #9 coming out of high school. Ellie Waldrep, #8 on our final list of individual recruit rankings, set a FSU pool record with her 53.07 victory in the 100 back, not too far off of her lifetime best of 51.7. Fellow freshman Rebekah Hamilton won the 100 free in 50.40 and Avery Bargeron won the 100 fly in 54.27.

Nina Kucheran was the top scorer for Florida State. The senior swept the breaststrokes with times of 1:01.07 and 2:12.58, was part of the Seminoles’ winning 1:39.54 medley relay to open up the meet, and took 2nd in the 200 IM (2:02.81).

Men’s Recap

It was a much closer contest on the men’s side, where the outcome came down to the final relay, but Florida State won by 6 points. Until last year, the FSU men had never beaten Auburn in a dual meet, but they’ve now won two in a row.

Sophomore Mason Herbert powered the Seminoles with three individual wins and participated in three pool records over the course of the day. The first pool record came in the 200 medley relay, where he led off in 21.70 as Florida State touched in 1:25.88 to Auburn’s 1:27.33.

Next, Herbert swept the backstrokes in 47.37 and 1:46.67, before closing out his day with a 1:48.75 win in the 200 IM. Those 100 back and 200 IM times also set new FSU pool records.

Junior Peter Varjasi swept the sprint freestyles with a 20.00 win in the 50 free and a 44.09 win in the 100 free, while diver Joshua Davidson swept the 1m and 3m diving events, as diving proved crucial in the final score.

Auburn battled the whole way, and had a pair of men win two individual events each. Sophomore Michael Bonson swept the distance free events, going 9:11.60 in the 1000 and 4:25.30 in the 500, along with a 45.27 split on Auburn’s ‘B’ 400 free relay. Fellow sophomore Reid Mikuta swept the breaststrokes with a strong 53.28 in the 100 and a 1:58.14 in the 200, and he also took 2nd in the 200 IM with a 1:49.24.

The Tigers closed out the day with a win in the 400 free relay. Auburn got a pair of sub-44 splits from Ryan Husband (43.99) and Christian Sztolcman (43.63) en route to a 2:56.92 finish. Florida State’s Kuba Ksiazek anchored the Seminoles in 43.16, touching about half a second behind at 2:57.43.

Auburn Release

Courtesy of Auburn Athletics 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Auburn swimming and diving team split a dual meet at Florida State on Friday in what was the first meet of the 2021-22 season.

The Auburn women, ranked No. 23, knocked off the Seminoles for the second year in a row with a 177-123 victory while the men dropped a hard-fought contest, 153-147, to No. 15 Florida State – an improvement from last year’s result.

“We saw some great racing today,” Auburn head coach Ryan Wochomurka said. “I’m proud of the women in coming away with a win, and of the men in taking a top 15 team down to the wire on the road. We are learning how to execute and how to race. It’s exciting to see some of the performances we saw today this early in the season.”

WOMEN

Senior Emily Hetzer got the Tigers going with back-to-back first place finishes in the 1000 freestyle and 200 freestyle. It was two of three victories on the day for Hetzer who also won the 500 free with a time of 4:51.85, seven seconds faster than the next competitor.

In all, Auburn won 10 of the 14 swimming events on the women’s side.

Among the winners were freshmen Ellie Waldrep (100 back), Rebekah Hamilton (100 free) and Avery Bargeron (100 fly) who all secured their first career victories at Auburn. Waldrep set the Morcom Aquatics Center pool record with a time of 53.07 in the 100 backstroke.

Hamilton also led off the winning 400 freestyle relay, which featured graduate transfer Mykenzie Leehy along with Emma Steckiel and Claudia Thamm.

MEN

The Auburn men nearly pulled off the upset with a win in the 400 freestyle relay to close the meet. The winning relay team featured Aidan Stoffle, Ryan Husband, Mikkel Gadgaard and Christian Sztolcman.

It was sophomores Michael Bonson and Gadgaard who touched the wall first for the Tigers on Friday with Bonson winning the 1000 freestyle and Gadgaard taking first in the 200 freestyle. Bonson and Gadgaard also finished 1-2 in the 500 free later in the meet.

Fellow sophomore Reid Mikuta also had a standout performance with victories in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and a second-place finish in the 200 IM. Mikuta set the pool record in the 100 breast, finishing in 53.28.

DIVING

Though there were no victories for Auburn on the boards Friday, the divers still picked up valuable points with second-place finishes from Ashlynn Sullivan and Whit Andrus and third-place finishes from Conner Pruitt, Gretchen Wensuc and Abigail Farrar.

Pruitt finished third on both spring boards, earning a pair of NCAA Zone qualifying scores. Sullivan (3-meter) and Andrus (1-meter) also secured Zone scores.

“There were some really good performances, some really good dives, but overall I was a little disappointed and frustrated because the things we’re working on in practice to correct were kind of amplified by their lack of focus and lack of finish of dives,” head diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. I thought we could’ve been a little bit stronger.

“It’s a building block. It’s our first meet. We have a lot to improve upon and looking forward to seeing how we rebound in our competition against Kentucky and NC State next weekend.”

WHAT’S NEXT 

Auburn will make their home debut next Friday when the Tigers welcome Kentucky and North Carolina State to the James E. Martin Aquatics Center for a double dual meet.

Florida State Release

Courtesy of Florida State Athletics

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 15/RV Florida State swimming and diving teams split its home opener against NR/23 Auburn on Friday at the Morcom Aquatics Center.

FSU (0-1) fell to the Tigers (1-0) in the women’s meet, 123-177, while the 15th-ranked FSU men’s team (1-0) outlasted Auburn (0-1) 153-147.

“I’m really excited with how we competed today,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “It’s great for our guys to get their second win in-a-row over the Tigers and the women were right there and made it close for a while before they pulled away at the end. But overall, we had a great first meet here at home.”

The Seminoles set four Morcom Aquatics Center pool records. Mason Herbet was a part of three of those performances that included two individual records in the 100 back and 200 IM.

The men’s meet started with the 200 medley relay setting the pool record with a team of Herbet, Izaak Bastian, Max McCusker and Peter Varjasi at 1:25.88. The team took down the mark that was set last season by Herbet, Bastian, Domen Demsar and Varjasi (1:26.85)

Auburn picked up momentum by sweeping the 1000 free and winning the 200 free.  Hebert ended the Tiger streak by touching first in the 100 back, lowering his own pool record in the 100 back, at 47.37 (47.43).

The Tigers took first in the 100 breast, but the Seminoles answered with a sweep of the 200 fly, led by Zach Smith (1:48.29) in first, Rush Clark (1:48.80) in second and Brennan Hammond (1:50.31) in third.

FSU added three straight one-two finishes, putting some distance between the Tigers.

Varjasi took the 50 free (20.00) and Kuba Ksiazek (20.43) in second place.  On the boards, Joshua Davidson was dominant on 3-meter, winning with a total of 371.70, followed by Jesco Helling (336.15) in second, who edged out Auburn’s best diver by just under four points.

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