CLEARWATER, FL – Luka Planinc took third place in the 1,000-freestyle, the only individual race Friday night, and easily had an NCAA provisional qualifying time in the process to highlight day one of the Tampa Spartan Invitational for Florida Southern.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Moccasins opened the meet by taking fourth in the 200-medley relay, a race where the top four teams were separated by just 1.11 seconds. The Mocs had a time of 1:30.51, turned in by Brandon Dyck, Luis Jasso, Sean Kim and Noah Franz. Saint Leo won the 200-medley relay in 1:29.40, with Nova Southeastern second in 1:29.49, and Indian River State third in 1:29.62.
- Planinc gave Florida Southern a third-place finish in the 1,000-freestyle, which was the only individual event held on Friday's limited schedule. Planinc turned in a career-best time of 9:09.27, well into the range for an NCAA provisional qualifying time, and barely three seconds away from an automatic qualifying time. Charles Gotsch and Jonathan Sawyer also scored for the Mocs in the 1,000-freestyle with their own season-best times. Saint Leo's Matija Rafaj had a winning time of 9:06.06, which was an NCAA "A" time.
- The 200-freestyle relay saw Florida Southern take fifth and sixth place, with the Mocs' top team of Franz, Dyck, Talor Hamilton and Nico Campbell posting a time of 1:22.91, and their B team of Matthew Holmes, Matias Lopez, Planinc and Luka Matacin coming in at 1:23.83. Saint Leo made it 2-for-2 in the Friday night relays by winning in 1:20.83.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Nova Southeastern holds the lead after the first night with 225 points, Indian River State is second with 166, and Tampa is third with 138. Saint Leo sits in fourth place with 130 points, followed by Florida Southern with 114.
Day two of the Spartan Invitational begins Saturday morning with prelims in four more events at 9:30. The finals session begins at 6 p.m.