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Moccasins Start Shark Invitational With Two Wins on Thursday

Moccasins Start Shark Invitational With Two Wins on Thursday

DAVIE – Florida Southern took the top two spots in the 1,000-freestyle Thursday night behind another record-setting performance from junior Juan Tolosa, and later added first- and third-place finishes in the 200-medley relay. In between, the Moccasins also put four swimmers into the A Finals of the 200-IM, and three in the 50-freestyle to end day one of the Shark Invitational in second place among five competing teams.

Florida Southern had a team score of 293 points, putting the Mocs behind only Tampa, which scored 405. Nova Southeastern was third with 269.

Tolosa (Guipuzcoa, Spain) set new meet and school records in the 1,000 by swimming that race in 9:09.36. Junior Raul Garrastazu (Dorado, P.R.) was second in 9:23.17, with both Moccasins hitting NCAA "B" standards in the process. Tolosa broke his own school record in the 1,000 by a little over four seconds, and the previous meet record set by Tampa's Norbert Kovacs in 2011 by an almost identical margin. It gives Tolosa three wins in three 1,000-freestyle races to start this season.

The 1-2 finish by Tolosa and Garrastazu started the night for Florida Southern, and a win by the 200-medley relay team of sophomore Marco Palacios (Madrid, Spain), senior Spencer Rowe (Ringgold, Ga.), junior Edson Lima (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and junior Luis Flores (Gurabo, P.R.) ended it. Their time of 1:29.37 was 0.14 seconds faster than Tampa's top team turned in, with Palacios giving them the lead right from the outset.

Right behind the second-place Spartans was Florida Southern's B team in the 200-medley relay, comprised of senior Luis Rojas (Caracas, Venezuela), senior Dylan Lake (Rogue River, Ore.), senior Allan Gutierrez (San Pedro Sula, Honduras), and sophomore Diego Gimenez (Burgos, Spain). That helped the Mocs add a few more points to their lead over Nova Southeastern in the overall meet standings.

The Mocs acquitted themselves well in the other two events held Thursday, as Rojas and junior Jesus Marin (Cumana, Venezuela) were second and third in the 200-IM, and Flores and Gutierrez were third and fourth in the 50-freestyle. The Moccasins also got fifth- and sixth-place showings from Lake and redshirt sophomore Alec Wathen (Sunrise, Fla.) in the 200-IM, and a seventh-place finish from Gimenez in the 50-freestyle.

Rojas hit an NCAA "B" time in the IM event, swimming that race in 1:50.54, seventh-tenths of a second behind Nova's Marco Aldabe. The Moccasins then had four swimmers reach NCAA "B" times in the 50-yard sprint, led by Flores at 20.47 seconds. Gutierrez and Gimenez had two of the others in that event, with the fourth coming from Lima, who was the runner-up in the B final Thursday.

The second day of the Sharks Invitational begins Friday morning with prelims at 10:00 a.m.