CLEARWATER, FLA. – Seniors Marco Palacios and Diego Gimenez finished first and second in the 100-backstroke after a runner-up finish in the 400-individual medley resulted in a school record for sophomore Matthew Holmes. In between, the Moccasins also had four other swimmers reach NCAA provisional qualifying times on day three of the Spartan Invitational, with Florida Southern remaining in fourth place.
Indian River State still leads the team standings with 700 points, followed by Tampa with 638½, Nova Southeastern with 595½, and Florida Southern with 542. Lenoir-Rhyne is fifth with 126 points, and Rollins is sixth 27.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- With two swimmers in the championship finals of the 400-IM, the Moccasins got a second-place finish from sophomore Matthew Holmes and a fourth-place showing from senior Antonio Nunez-Alvarez. Both of them had NCAA provisional qualifying times, and Holmes' time of 3:52.66 was 0.03 seconds faster than his own school record coming into the weekend. Holmes beat defending SSC champion Marco Aldabe and was 1.61 seconds behind Tampa's Brett Saunders who had an automatic NCAA qualifying time.
- Gimenez was the Mocs' top swimmer in the 100-butterfly where he placed fourth with an NCAA "B" time of 49.21 seconds. Nicholas Loomis from Indian River State won the event in 47.07 seconds.
- Florida Southern had three swimmers advance to the championship finals of the 200-freestyle where sophomore Nico Campbell, junior Noah Franz and junior Luka Matacin finished fifth, sixth and seventh. Campbell and Franz had NCAA "B" times and Matacin missed by 0.65 seconds. Sophomore Luka Planinc took second in the consolation finals of the 200-free and also just missed a provisional qualifying time by 0.34 seconds. The 200-free was won by Victor Tarin of Nova Southeastern in 1:37.30.
- In the fourth event of the night, junior Luis Jasso and sophomore Sean Kim combined for a third- and fourth-place finish in the 100-breaststroke, and each of them had NCAA "B" times of 54.21 and 54.49 seconds respectively.
- Palacios won the 100-backstroke in his third consecutive meet by posting a time of 47.82 seconds, and Gimenez was second in 49.29 seconds. Both of those times were strong enough for NCAA provisional qualifying status. Matacin gave the Mocs three of the top five swimmers in the 100-backstroke, and senior Evan Coleman and freshman Talor Hamilton took the top two spots in the consolation finals of that event.
- Florida Southern ended the night with a fourth-place finish in the 800-freestyle relay behind an NCAA "B" time of 6:43.40 from Holmes, Matacin, Campbell and Franz. Nova Southeastern won the race in 6:32.26.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Holmes set the school record in the 400-IM three different times as a freshman before he broke it again on Sunday. The first time he broke it came in last year's Spartan Invitational, and he was the third different Moccasin to hold that record that day. It belonged to Alec Wathen initially before Nunez-Alvarez broke it in the prelims. Holmes then claimed the record later that night before going on to break it two more times last season and once this year.
- Palacios finished second in the prelims of the 100-butterfly in 48.05 seconds, the best time by a Moccasin this year and a provisional qualifying time too but he did not participate in the evening finals.
- Hamilton finished second in the consolation finals of both the 100-butterfly and 100-backstroke.
The Spartan Invitational wraps up on Monday with prelims that begin at 9:30 a.m., and finals in six events that begin at 5 p.m.