TALLAHASSEE – Florida Southern's trip to Florida State on Friday for a split meet with the Seminoles produced numerous personal-bests, season-bests, and even more importantly, a whole collection of NCAA qualifying times. The Moccasins also got a few wins in the process against a top-25 Division I program, provided by juniors Jesus Marin and Juan Tolosa, and sophomore Marco Palacios.
The two schools competed in 16 different races Friday, with eight in the morning and eight later in the afternoon. That gave the Moccasins plenty of opportunity to hit Division II time standards, which they did in 11 events.
The Moccasins got two wins in the morning session from Marin (Cumana, Venezuela) in the 200-freestyle and Tolosa (Guipuzcoa, Spain) in the 500-freestyle. They also got six second-place finishes, with Marin among that number too, while junior college transfer Luis Flores (Gurabo, P.R.) had an impressive debut as an individual, and as part of two 2nd-place relay teams. Flores then had another second place in the afternoon coming in the 100-freestyle, and Palacios (Madrid, Spain) and Tolosa gave the Mocs a pair of wins in the 100-backstroke and 1,000-freestyle.
The Mocs started strong with a 2nd-place finish in the 200-medley relay that featured a final-leg, 50-freestyle time of 19.89 seconds from Flores. Though Flores' time came in a relay event, the NCAA "A" time in the 50 is 19.96 seconds. Sophomore Marco Palacios (Madrid, Spain), senior Dylan Lake (Los Alamos, N.M.), and junior Edson Lima (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) all contributed to the Mocs' NCAA "B" time of 1:31.20, which was only 0.13 seconds behind Florida State.
Marin and Tolosa then placed first and third in the 200-freestyle with two more NCAA "B" times, and Flores and senior Allan Gutierrez (San Pedro Sula, Honduras) were second and third in the 50-freestyle. Flores' time of 20.43 seconds gave him his first individual NCAA "B" time, and Gutierrez barely missed one as well.
After a third-place finish by junior Raul Garrastazu (Dorado, P.R.) in the 200-butterfly and a runner-up by Palacios in the 200-backstroke, the Moccasins turned in their best performance of the meet in the 500-freestyle with Tolosa winning in a time of 4:31.74, and Marin placing second in 4:35.33. Both of those were NCAA "B" time, and Garrastazu missed one by just 0.35 seconds with his fourth-place finish.
Senior Luis Rojas (Caracas, Venezuela) gave Florida Southern its fifth runner-up spot of the morning in the 200-breaststroke, and the Mocs finished the morning session strong with an NCAA "B" time in the 200-freestyle relay behind Flores, Gutierrez, Lima, and freshman Dan Pliss (Largo, Fla.).
In the afternoon, Lima gave the Mocs another "B" time in the 100-butterfly before three Moccasins (Flores, Marin, and Gutierrez) achieved that standard in the 100-freestyle). Then it was time for Palacios to win the 100-backstroke in a "B" time of 50.07 seconds.
Following a second-place finish by Lake in the 100-breaststroke, the Mocs got another win from Tolosa in the 1,000-freestyle where his "B" time gave him a 1.07-second winning margin. They then finished the meet with a "B" time in the 400-freestyle relay, manned by Flores, sophomore Diego Gimenez (Burgos, Spain), Gutierrez, and Marin.
The Moccasins will be off from competition for a little over a month before taking part in the Shark Invitational hosted by Nova Southeastern, December 18-21.