Tolosa Goes the Distance, Gutierrez Does the Sprints, and Rojas is All-American Again on Day One of NCAA Finals

Tolosa Goes the Distance, Gutierrez Does the Sprints, and Rojas is All-American Again on Day One of NCAA Finals

INDIANAPOLIS – With Juan Tolosa setting a school record in the 1,000-freestyle, senior Allan Gutierrez turning in an impressive performance as both an individual and relay swimmer, and senior Luis Rojas picking up another All-American award, Florida Southern wrapped up day one of the NCAA Swimming Championships in eighth place.

Tolosa got the night started for Florida Southern with third place in the 1,000-freestyle, his third straight top-eight finish at the National Finals, which gave him his third straight All-American award as well. The junior from Guipuzcoa, Spain clocked in at 9:06.19 to break his own school record by a little over three seconds. He had previously set that mark earlier this season at the Nova Southeastern Shark Invitational. Tolosa's time also gave Florida Southern 16 points in a race won by Nick Arakelian of Queens (NC) in 8:58.47. Saint Leo's Daniel Bis was second, and Florida Southern junior Raul Garrastazu (Dorado, P.R.) was 17th in a season-best time of 9:23.02.

In the 200-IM, the Moccasins pushed one swimmer through prelims, and it was Rojas (Caracas, Venezuela) who did the honors by finishing sixth in the consolation finals. That was good enough to make him honorable mention All-America, the 22nd All-American award the senior has won in his career. His time of 1:48.58 in prelims was the best for a Moccasin since last year's National Finals.

Gutierrez was up next in the consolation finals of the 50-freestyle and turned in his best performance of the year. The senior from San Pedro Sula, Honduras swam the race in 20.09 seconds, which was actually faster than three swimmers in the championship finals. It was his seventh career individual All-American award.

In the last event of Wednesday's program, Florida Southern's 200-medley relay team placed sixth after topping their seed time for the second time that day. The Moccasins were seeded 11th coming into the finals but finished fourth in prelims before the foursome of sophomore Marco Palacios (Madrid, Spain), freshman Luis Jasso (Monterrey, Mexico), junior Edson Lima (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and Gutierrez as the 50-yard anchor clocked in at 1:27.81 in the championship finals. Gutierrez was even more impressive there, swimming that leg in 19.43 seconds, a time that was topped by only one other anchor on the night.

The 26 points scored by the 200-medley relay team gave Florida Southern 51 for the night, putting the Moccasins in eighth place. They trail 7th-place Saint Leo by just seven points and are 14 behind 6th-place Bridgeport. Lindenwood and Grand Valley State are tied for the lead with 94 points apiece, and 10-time defending national champion Drury is third with 91.