CLEARWATER, FLA. – A runner-up finish by sophomore Matthew Holmes in the 200-individual medley, and two more NCAA provisional times from one individual and one relay team highlighted the second night of the Spartan Invitational, where Florida Southern remained in fourth place.
The Moccasins have 286 points, putting them 91½ behind third-place Nova Southeastern. Indian River State out-scored Tampa on Saturday to move into first place with 447 points, and the host Spartans are now second with 383½, just six ahead of Nova. Lenoir-Rhyne is fifth with 42 points, and Rollins is sixth with 14.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Florida Southern got its first points of the night from sophomore Luka Planinc, who finished seventh in the 500-freestyle in 4:38.36. Though that time was short of an NCAA provisional qualifier, Planinc did reach that mark in Saturday's prelims where he was fourth in 4:32.47. Nova Southeastern's Franco Lupoli was the winner with an automatic qualifying time of 4:22.81.
- Holmes gave the Moccasins their best individual finish of the meet through the first two nights as the runner-up in the 200-IM. His time of 1:49.04 was an NCAA provisional time and trailed only Nova Southeastern's Marco Aldabe by 0.25 seconds. Senior Antonio Nunez-Alvarez was sixth in the 200-IM in 1:53.05, his best time of the season.
- Nova Southeastern and Indian River State combined for seven of the eight positions in the championship finals of the 50-freestyle (won by Nova's Thiago Sickert in 20.23 seconds), but the Moccasins still nearly got two NCAA provisional times in the consolation finals. Sophomore Nico Campbell won that race in 20.84 seconds, and senior Marco Palacios was right behind him in 20.85 seconds. The NCAA "B" standard in the 50-free is 20.83. The Mocs also had junior Noah Franz swim that race in 20.93 seconds and senior Diego Gimenez touched the wall in 20.94.
- Nova Southeastern made it a clean sweep of the four events held on Saturday by winning the 400-medley relay in 3:14.56. Florida Southern's first of three teams entered in that race came in third at 3:16.69, topping their previous best time of the season by nearly 12 seconds and earning them an NCAA "B" time in the process. That team was comprised of Palacios, junior Luis Jasso, Gimenez and Franz. The Mocs' second team of senior Evan Coleman, freshman Sean Kim, Nunez-Alvarez and junior Luka Matacin placed fifth in 3:21.78.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Freshman Jonathan Sawyer and sophomore Esteban Velasquez reached the consolation finals of the 500-freestyle where each of them had their best times of the season.
- Jasso earned a spot in the consolation finals of the 200-IM.
- The Moccasins had three swimmers (Campbell, Palacios and Gimenez) miss NCAA "B" times in the 50-freestyle by a combined 0.06 seconds. Gimenez had his best time Saturday in the prelims.
- Day three of the Spartan Invitational will feature prelims that begin at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, with finals in six events at 6 p.m.