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Florida Southern Wins Three of Five Events on First Day of Tampa Spartan Invitational

Matthew Holmes
Matthew Holmes

CLEARWATER – With senior Jesus Marin and freshman Matthew Holmes posting individual wins, and a 1-2 finish by its two 400-medley relay teams, Florida Southern won three of the five events held and finished the first day of the Tampa Spartan Invitational in second place. The host Spartans had an unofficial lead of 133 points, and the Moccasins had more than double the point total of third-place Lenoir-Rhyne. Rollins ended day one in fourth.

Marin won the 500-freestyle in a time of 4:30.50, beating out Tommy Reminger for his second straight win in the 500, and his second straight NCAA provisional qualifying time. Senior Raul Garrastazu came in third before the Spartans took the next three positions. The Moccasins also got a win from freshman Charles Gotsch in the consolation finals of the 500, with his time of 4:44.80 nearly 15 seconds faster than his time in a dual meet earlier this year against the Spartans.

Holmes then took gold in the 200-IM, his second such victory of the season. His time of 1:50.30 was also an NCAA provisional qualifying mark and 1.63 seconds ahead of Tampa's Marc Caron. Holmes was one of four Moccasins who reached the finals of the 200-IM too, with junior Antonio Nunez-Alvarez, freshman Sean Kim, and sophomore Luis Jasso completing that group.

Florida Southern's third win of the night came in the 400-medley relay where junior Marco Palacios (backstroke), Jasso (breast), senior Edson Lima (fly), and Marin (free) posted an NCAA "B" time of 3:15.35. The Moccasins also had their number two team of junior Diego Gimenez, Kim, Garrastazu, and freshman Nico Campbell place second.

In Friday's other two races, Florida Southern was second and fourth in the 200-freestyle relay, but Tampa took the top five positions in the 50-freestyle. It was those two events where the Spartans largely built their lead. The Moccasins still had an NCAA "B" time in the 200-freestyle relay though, with Gimenez, Palacios, Lima, and Garrastazu clocking in at 1:22.29. Palacios then led Florida Southern with a sixth-place finish in the 50-freestyle with another "B" time of 20.80 seconds. Gimenez also had a "B" time in that race by finishing .04 seconds behind Palacios.

Day two of the Tampa Spartan Invitational will again have prelims at 9:30 a.m., and finals in seven events at 6 p.m.