Gophers forgo first meet due to severe weather

Hurricane Matthew threatened much of Florida, but never made landfall.

Minnesota's Kierra Smith swims the 100-yard butterfly against Iowa State on Oct. 12, 2012, at the University Aquatic Center.

Ichigo Takikawa, Daily File Phot

Minnesota’s Kierra Smith swims the 100-yard butterfly against Iowa State on Oct. 12, 2012, at the University Aquatic Center.

Emily Polglaze

Both Minnesota swim and dive teams opted to stay home over the weekend, though they were set to kick off their seasons at Florida State.

The anticipation of Hurricane Matthew led the Gophers and the Duke Blue Devils to sit the meet out, and as a result, Florida State cancelled the meet.

“The storm affected the travel plans of both teams,” Florida State’s head swimming and diving coach Neal Studd told the media Friday. “We didn’t want to put any student-athlete in harm’s way and thought it was best to cancel. Hopefully, we can find another date that works best to have this meet.”

Tallahassee, where Florida State University is located, was not in Hurricane Matthew’s direct path, and the University was listed as fully operational as of Friday, but the meet was slated to be held outside, which likely added to the team’s concern.

Jacksonville and St. Augustine were two cities affected by Matthew’s wrath, and Tallahassee became something of a “safe space” for those that needed to evacuate their homes, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

Despite the weather threat, other Seminoles teams carried on business as usual. Florida State’s No. 23 football team departed for a game a day later than normal but still traveled to Miami and upset the aptly named No. 10 Hurricanes 20-19.

The National Hurricane Center reported Sunday that Matthew is pulling away from the East Coast, but is still continuing to threaten the Mid-Atlantic region, most notably on the coast of North Carolina, and will affect this area for the next couple of days.