CLEARWATER, FL – Kyra Fraser became Florida Southern's first NCAA provisional qualifier in the backstroke this season, and along with Haley DeGrace gave the Moccasins a pair of runner-up finishes Tuesday night, as the Spartan Invitational drew to a close with Florida Southern finishing fourth as a team.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The finals session began with the 1,650-freestyle, with the Mocs competing in that event for only the second time this season. Katie Moore was their top swimmer, placing 11th in 17:41.13, with Mariah Sawyer their only other competitor in 18:55.79. Nova Southeastern's Emma Sundstedt, who won the 1,000-free on Saturday, earned her second distance title of the meet, posting a time of 16:50.07 for a 15-second margin over Indian River's Sule Van Der Merwe, the champion in the 500-free on Monday.
- Moore also advanced to the B final in the 100-freestyle along with Mallary Meyer after both swimmers narrowly missed provisional qualifying times during prelims. Tampa's Hanna Van Loock and Megan Waddell finished 1-2 after they tied for first in the 50-freestyle on Saturday.
- Not long after her runner-up finish in the 1,650-free, Van Der Merwe won the 200-backstroke by finishing 2.33 seconds ahead of Fraser. Van Der Merwe had a winning time of 2:00.74, but Fraser's time of 2:03.07 was still the best by a Moccasin this year and made her the first Moccasin to reach the NCAA "B" standard in either backstroke events this year as well.
- The Moccasins had their second silver medalist of the night when DeGrace finished second in the 200-breaststroke, swimming that race in 2:18.21. That was just 0.79 seconds behind Indian River's Savanna Best who had won the 100-breast earlier in the meet. Best and DeGrace had been 1.48 seconds apart during Tuesday morning's prelims.
- Florida Southern finished the meet with its A team in the 400-freestyle relay finishing 10th and its B team placing 11th, separated by 1.42 seconds. Meyer had the leadoff leg on the A team and was joined by Maria Di Bella, Moore, and Fraser in posting a time of 3:34.80. The B team consisted of Allison Greenwood, Erin McCann, Rachel Ringley, and DeGrace. Tampa won the 400-freestyle relay in 3:23.35, putting the Spartans 1.47 seconds ahead of second-place Nova Southeastern.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Tampa won the four-day meet with 1,329 points, Nova Southeastern was second with 949, and Indian River State was third with 722. Florida Southern scored 316 points in fourth place, followed by Saint Leo with 252, and Catawba (N.C.) with 149.
- Moore led the Moccasins individually with 55 points, Fraser scored 38, and DeGrace had 31.
- Best was the only swimmer to win three individual titles, claiming gold medals for junior college national power Indian River State in the 200-IM on Saturday, the 100-breast on Monday, and the 200-breast on Tuesday.
Florida Southern will break for the Christmas holiday and resume competition with back-to-back dual meets on Friday, January 11, and Saturday, January 12. The first of those will also be their first home meet of the season against Emory, with a 4 p.m. scheduled start time at the Hollis Wellness Center pool.