LAKELAND – With senior Raul Garrastazu winning all three of his individual races, and fellow senior Jesus Marin winning twice, Florida Southern defeated Tampa 143-119 to open the season Friday, and gave Mike Blum a win in his first meet as the Moccasins' head coach.
After Tampa had started the meet with a win in the 200-medley relay, Garrastazu gave Florida Southern a win in the first individual race of the day. His time of 9:52.43 was a little over two seconds faster than Tampa's Alberto Orejuela in the 1,000-freestyle, though the Spartans did take second, third, fourth and fifth in the race.
Garrastazu also won the 200-butterfly by edging out teammate Antonio Nunez-Alvarez by 0.96 seconds, and finished his sweep in the 500-freestyle, this time finishing 3.54 seconds ahead of Marin. That capped a run of four straight wins by the Moccasins, which included Marin in the 100-freestyle, junior Marco Palacios in the 200-backstroke, and sophomore Luis Jasso in the 200-breaststroke.
In addition to winning the 100-freestyle and finished second in the 500, Marin also captured the 200-freestyle. It was the eighth time in the last two seasons Marin has won that race.
It wasn't just the seniors or returning All-Americans who were in the win column either. Freshman Sean Kim was victorious in his college debut in a photo finish for the 100-breaststroke. His time of 57.70 was only two one-hundredths of a second ahead of Jasso. The 200-breaststroke was almost as close between the two Moccasin swimmers, though Jasso was first and Kim second by 1.37 seconds.
Freshman Matthew Holmes was third in the 200-breaststroke, giving Florida Southern the maximum 16 points in that event, then turned around and won the 200-IM, which was the final individual race of the meet. The Mocs also got a second-place finish in that race from Nunez-Alvarez, with the two separated by 0.82 seconds.
Tampa won three individual races and both relay events, with Khalid Aldaboos playing a role in four of those first-place finishes. He won the 50-freestyle and 100-butterfly, and also helped the Spartans win the 200-medley and 400-freestyle relays.
Florida Southern's next meet will be next Friday, October 23 at Florida Tech. Scheduled start time is 3 p.m.