LAKELAND – Junior Marco Palacios swept the two backstroke events, senior Edson Lima led a dominating Moccasin performance in the 50-freestyle, and freshman Matthew Holmes earned his fourth individual medley win of the season as #8 Florida Southern dropped a 146½ - 115½ decision to #4 Nova Southeastern.
Palacios was the Moccasins' first winner of the day by capturing the 100-backstroke in his fourth consecutive meet. His time of 50.13 seconds put him less than one-tenth of a second ahead of junior teammate Diego Gimenez and .52 seconds ahead of third-place Marco Aldabe of Nova Southeastern. Later in the meet, Palacios made it 2-for-2 on Saturday with an even closer win in the 200-backstroke, this one by .07 seconds over Aldabe. Florida Southern junior Evan Coleman was third.
In the 50-freestyle, Florida Southern grabbed the first four spots, led by Lima's winning time of 21.45 seconds. Gimenez was second in 21.51 seconds, followed by freshmen Taylor Eaddy and Luka Planinc.
Holmes turned in an impressive showing in the 200-IM by tying Aldabe (the 2014 SSC Champion and 2015 SSC champ in the 400) for first in 1:53.45. It was Holmes' second 200-IM victory in the last two meets, his third of the season, and fourth win overall.
The Moccasins also got a pair of runner-up finishes from senior Jesus Marin in the 200-freestyle and 100-freestyle. The 200-freestyle also saw freshman Nico Campbell third and redshirt junior Alec Wathen fourth, and Campbell was third in the 100-freestyle too.
The Moccasins' top performers in the butterfly were Lima and junior Antonio Nunez-Alvarez. Lima was second in the 100-butterfly and Nunez-Alvarez matched him in the 200-butterfly. Meanwhile, senior Raul Garrastazu was the Mocs' best swimmer in the 1,650 and 500-freestyle.
Nova Southeastern won both relay races, with the opening 400-medley relay decided by only 0.58 seconds. The Sharks had a winning time of 3:19.32, with the Mocs' team of Palacios, Kim, Lima, and Marin also putting together an NCAA provisional qualifying time of their own.
Florida Southern will end the regular season next Friday (January 15) on the road with a 2 p.m. dual meet at Indian River State College.