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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Florida State Seminoles Beat 4th Ranked Florida Gators Under Moonlight Swim Meet

It was a full moon last night in Tallahassee and the temperature was in the 60s as the Seminole beat the 4th ranked Gators under the stars at their new competition pool at the Seminole Golf Course just south of town near the airport.

By The Democrat's Jim Lamar

The full moon. The lights. Packed bleachers. It was an atmosphere never seen before for the Florida State swimming and diving programs.

The Seminoles swept rival Florida in a dual meet held under the lights at the Mor­com Aquatic Center. The victory marked the second time FSU swept the Gators in a dual meet.

“What a beautiful night,” FSU coach Neil Harper said. “Perfect weather. A fun night for Seminoles. Great crowd. It was a meet where two teams went at it and battled.”

FSU’s men, ranked 20th nationally, won 10 of the 16 events, including both diving events and both relays. The unranked FSU women won nine events and swept the diving and relays.

Though the dual meet has no bearing on this spring’s NCAA competition, it was still a huge night for the FSU athletes.

“The atmosphere was incredible,” said junior Stephanie Sarandos, who won the 200-yard back stroke. “I’ve never seen that many fans. Never seen our team that excited. I was shocked. I’m still shocked. I’m insanely proud of what we accomplished.”

Senior Rob Holderness swepth both breastroke events and senior Landon Marzullo won both diving events to lead the FSU men. Holderness said he was amazed at the scene for the outdoor meet.

“It was the most pumped I’ve seen the team -- ever,” Holderness said. “Everyone swam out of their skin.”

FSU diving coach Patrick Jeffrey was all smiles as he talked about his divers performing under the lights.

“The kids really brought it tonight,” he said. “They stepped up.”