Moccasins Finish Third at Shark Invitational With Tolosa and Rojas Winning on Final Day

Moccasins Finish Third at Shark Invitational With Tolosa and Rojas Winning on Final Day

DAVIE – Junior Juan Tolosa and senior Luis Rojas gave Florida Southern two more individual wins Sunday, with Tolosa setting school and meet records in the 1,650-freestyle, and the Moccasins used top-five finishes by five other individuals to secure third place in the team standings at the Shark Invitational.

Florida Southern had the top two swimmers in the 1650, with Tolosa (Guipuzcoa, Spain) winning and junior Raul Garrastazu (Dorado, P.R.) finishing second. Tolosa set a school record and a meet record with his time of 15:17.80, which qualifies him automatically for the NCAA National Finals. Tolosa held both of the previous marks too, setting the Shark Invitational record at last year's meet and the school record at the 2014 National Finals. It was Tolosa's third win and meet record this weekend, following his victories in the 500 and 1,000. He picked up an automatic NCAA qualifying time for the second day in a row after doing it in the 500 on Saturday.

Garrastazu's time was an NCAA "B" standard and the best of his career at 15:44.05. It was the second time in the meet that he and Tolosa finished 1-2 in one of the distance events.

Rojas (Caracas, Venezuela) gave Florida Southern its second win on Sunday by slipping past sophomore teammate Marco Palacios (Madrid, Spain) in the 200-backstroke. The two Moccasins were 0.73 seconds apart and both achieved NCAA provisional times, with Rojas' posting a winning time of 1:47.56. The Mocs nearly made it a clean sweep at the top with sophomore Evan Coleman (Yarmouth, Maine) placing fourth.

In the 100-freestyle, Florida Southern had three swimmers in the A finals, led by junior Luis Flores (Gurabo, P.R.), who swam the race in 44.42 seconds to place third. Flores, junior Allan Gutierrez (San Pedro Sula, Honduras) and sophomore Diego Gimenez (Burgos, Spain) all achieved NCAA "B" qualifying times, as did junior Jesus Marin (Marin, Venezuela), who won the Shark Invitational B finals.

The 200-breaststroke saw the Moccasins paced by senior Dylan Lake (Los Alamos, N.M.), who finished third with a time of 2:09.16. Sophomore Mason York (Kingfisher, Okla.) also reached the A finals Sunday and finished seventh.

The Moccasins closed out the Shark Invitational with a third-place showing in the 400-freestyle relay where they reached an NCAA provisional time at 2:59.20. Earning that time for the Mocs was Flores, Gutierrez, Gimenez, and Marin. Their second 400-freestyle relay team of sophomore Alec Wathen (Sunrise, Fla.), junior Edson Lima (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Garrastazu, and Palacios also achieved an NCAA "B" standard.

In the final team standings, Tampa finished with 1,875 points, followed by Nova Southeastern (1,535½) and Florida Southern (1,304) among the five teams competing.

Florida Southern will now break for Christmas before returning to competition on Saturday, January 3, when it hosts Wingate at 1 p.m.