CLEARWATER, Fla. – With two relay teams achieving NCAA provisional qualifying times, and sophomore Luka Planinc doing the same as an individual, Florida Southern finished the first day of the 2016 Spartan Invitational in fourth place among six teams. Tampa, the host school for the 4-day meet, leads Indian River State by 19½ points, and Nova Southeastern is third.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The first event of the night was the 200-medley relay where senior Marco Palacios, sophomore Sean Kim, junior Noah Franz and senior Diego Gimenez combined for a time of 1:30.62, which put them in fourth place out of 21 teams. That made them the first Florida Southern relay team to hit an NCAA "B" time this season.
- In the only individual race, Planinc swam the 1,000-freestyle in 9:29.54 to place sixth out of 26 swimmers. He was 1.16 seconds out of fourth, and it was strong enough to put his name on the Mocs' list of NCAA provisional qualifiers this season. The Moccasins also got season-best times from three other distance swimmers in the 1,000, with freshman Jonathan Sawyer, sophomore Esteban Velasquez and sophomore Charles Gotsch finishing 3.15 seconds apart.
- Gimenez, Palacios, and Franz helped Florida Southern pick up its third NCAA "B" time of the night and teamed up with sophomore Nico Campbell to swim the 200-freestyle relay in 1:21.92, again placing fourth in a field of 21 teams. That was more than two seconds faster than they swam in the Mocs' most recent meet on November 5 against Florida State.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Three different schools won the three races held Friday night, with Indian River State taking the 200-medley relay, Nova Southeastern's Franco Lupoli winning the 1,000-freestyle, and Tampa winning the 200-freestyle relay.
- The top four teams (Tampa, Nova, Indian River and FSC) in the 200-freestyle relay were separated by only 0.68 seconds.
- In the overall team standings, Tampa had 228½ points, Indian River State had 209, Nova Southeastern scored 177½, and Florida Southern had 138. Lenoir-Rhyne (14) and Rollins (8) rounded out the day one scores.
- Day two of the Spartan Invitational will feature prelims that begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, with finals in four events at 6 p.m.