BIRMINGHAM, AL – Two national finalists in the 200-individual medley put Florida Southern on the board Wednesday night, and a sixth-place finish by its 200-medley relay team pushed the Moccasins into fifth place in the overall team standings on day one of the 2017 NCAA Division II National Swimming and Diving Championships.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- In the first event of the meet, sophomore Luka Planinc finished 20th out of 34 swimmers in the 1,000-freestyle by turning in a time of 9:21.03. That was third among swimmers from the Sunshine State Conference, putting him behind only two from Nova Southeastern, including national champion Franco Lupoli.
- Florida Southern's first points came from sophomore Matthew Holmes and senior Antonio Nunez-Alvarez in the 200-individual medley. Holmes placed fourth in 1:46.81, beating his seed time from the regular season by 1.52 seconds, and missing Jeb Halfacre's school record by 0.18 seconds. Nunez-Alvarez came in eighth to join Holmes on the All-American list with a time of 1:48.74. Marius Kusch of Queens (NC) won the race in 1:44.36, and Holmes and Nunez-Alvarez were the only swimmers from the SSC to reach the championship finals.
- Florida Southern's best swimmer in the 50-freestyle was senior Diego Gimenez, who just missed the cut for the consolation finals with his time of 20.35 seconds. He was tied for 19th and 0.04 seconds off the time needed to advance. Sophomore Nico Campbell, in his first Nationals race, had a season-best time of 20.58 seconds, and junior Noah Franz, also in his first Division II National Finals, had a time of 20.64 seconds.
- In the final event of the night, the Moccasins finished sixth in the 200-medley relay in a time of 1:27.95, topping both their best regular season time and their time in Wednesday's prelims. On the relay for Florida Southern were senior Marco Palacios, junior Luis Jasso, Gimenez and Franz. Their 26 points pushed the Moccasins into fifth place in the overall team standings, and equaled their total number of points prior to that event. Queens (NC) won the 200-medley relay with a record time of 1:25.89.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Sitting at the top of the standings after the first day was Queens (NC) with 142 points, with Grand Valley State (MI) in second with 77 points. Drury (MO) was third with 74 and Nova Southeastern was fourth with 61, followed by Florida Southern with 52 points. The Moccasins were eight points ahead of sixth-place Lindenwood (MO).
UP NEXT: Day two of the National Finals begins with prelims at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time, and the finals in five events get underway at 7 p.m. EST.