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Tolosa and Palacios Win on Saturday as Florida Southern Remains Third at Shark Invitational

Tolosa and Palacios Win on Saturday as Florida Southern Remains Third at Shark Invitational

DAVIE – Florida Southern got wins from Juan Tolosa and Marco Palacios, and second-place showings from Jesus Marin and Diego Gimenez early in Saturday's finals, and the Moccasins later got a runner-up finish in the 800-freestyle relay at the end of the night that helped them remain in third place in the team standings after day three of the Shark Invitational.

Florida Southern took charge right from the start Saturday night with Tolosa (Guipuzcoa, Spain) and Marin (Cumana, Venezuela), a pair of juniors, finishing 1-2 in the 500-freestyle. Tolosa set the meet record at 4:23.89, which was an NCAA automatic qualifying time and also broke the school record set last year by Franco Lupoli at the NCAA National Finals. Marin had a runner-up and NCAA "B" time of 4:30.07 after beating Tolosa during Saturday morning's preliminaries.

Even after taking first and second in the 500-freestyle, the Mocs did even better in the 100-backstroke where they pushed five swimmers into the A finals, led by Palacios. The sophomore from Madrid, Spain has now won that event in all three meets this season, and on Saturday his time of 48.80 seconds was exactly half a second ahead of Gimenez (Burgos, Spain), another Moccasin sophomore.

Palacios and Gimenez each swam the 100-backstroke in NCAA provisional qualifying times, as did junior Edson Lima (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), who finished fifth. Senior Luis Rojas (Caracas, Venezuela) and sophomore Evan Coleman (Yarmouth, Maine) were seventh and eighth respectively.

In the 100-breaststroke, the Moccasins were led by senior Spencer Rowe (Ringgold, Ga.) and senior Dylan Lake (Los Alamos, N.M.), who finished third and fourth, while sophomore Mason York (Kingfisher, Okla.) reached the A finals too and placed tenth.

The final individual race of Saturday night was the 200-butterfly, where two more Moccasins made it to the A finals, and junior Raul Garrastazu (Dorado, P.R.) gave them another runner-up finish. Garrastazu swam the race in 1:49.04, a little over half a second behind the winner, Zane Hranac of Tampa. It was still an NCAA "B" qualifying time, and the Moccasins almost got another one from redshirt sophomore Alec Wathen (Sunrise, Fla.), who missed by only two-tenths of a second while placing fifth.

Day three of the Shark Invitational came to a close with the 800-freestyle relay, an event that saw Florida Southern place second with an NCAA "B" time of 6:37.62, just 0.73 seconds behind Tampa. Marin swam the leadoff leg for the Moccasins, Tolosa was in the anchor position, and Rojas and Wathen were in the middle two positions.

Tampa remains in first place in the team standings with 1,357 points, followed by Tampa (1,176½) and Florida Southern (1,007) in the 5-team meet.

Sunday marks the final day of the Shark Invitational with prelims starting at 10:00 a.m., and the finals getting underway at 4 p.m.