CLEARWATER, FL – Nico Campbell gave Florida Southern its fourth individual win of the meet by capturing the 100-freestyle, and three other Moccasins had at least their second top-three finish of the meet to wrap up the four-day Spartan Invitational. The Moccasins pulled ahead of Saint Leo in the first two events Monday night to secure fourth place in the team standings, while Indian River State finished 9½ points ahead of Nova Southeastern to take the overall win.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Florida Southern started strong Monday night behind Luka Planinc, who placed third in the 1,650-freestyle to match his finish in the 1,000-free which was held on Friday. Just as he did in that event, Planinc easily achieved an NCAA "B" time on Monday at 15:37.71, which was less than four seconds behind runner-up Matika Rafaj from Saint Leo, who had won the 1,000-free three nights earlier. Nova Southeastern's Franco Lupoli took gold in the 1,650 in 15:24.16. Also scoring for the Moccasins were Charles Gotsch and Jonathan Sawyer.
- Matias Lopez had his third top-three finish of the meet when he came in second in the 200-backstroke, swimming that race in an NCAA "B" time of 1:46.09 to finish 0.55 seconds behind Luka Tomic from Indian River State. Lopez was 0.94 seconds ahead of third-place Clayton Howerton from Saint Leo. The Mocs got another NCAA "B" time in the 200-back from Brandon Dyck who placed fifth in 1:48.16, while Luka Matacin won the consolation finals in 1:50.90, and Talor Hamilton was third in that same race in 1:54.35.
- In the third event of the evening, Campbell picked up Florida Southern's fourth individual win of the meet by edging out Nova Southeastern's Julian Coster by 0.07 seconds in the 100-freestyle. Campbell's time of 45.01 was another NCAA provisional time, and Noah Franz also had one by finishing sixth in the 100-free. Including the first two swimmers in the consolation finals, the top 10 swimmers in that event all finished less than one second apart.
- Yet another extremely close finish occurred in the 200-breaststroke as Saint Leo's Henrik Dahrendorff touched the wall 0.12 seconds ahead of Florida Southern's Luis Jasso. Still, Jasso's mark of 1:58.57 was a strong NCAA provisional qualifying time, and it was 2.38 seconds ahead of third-place Brett Saunders from Tampa.
- In the final individual race of the meet, Florida Southern's top swimmer in the 200-butterfly was Calvin Giang, who finished 13th in 1:54.79. The 200-fly was won by Indian River's Ruben Van Leeuwen in 1:45.34, which was 2.50 seconds ahead of Nova Southeastern's Magnus Poulsen.
- In the final race of the meet, Florida Southern's lead 400-freestyle relay team of Matthew Holmes, Campbell, Franz, and Matacin finished third in an NCAA provisional time of 2:58.61, with Holmes picking up a 100 leadoff leg time of 45.11 seconds for another individual mark. Indian River State won the relay in 2:56.56, and Saint Leo was second in 2:57.87. The Moccasins were a little over one second ahead of fourth-place Tampa.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Indian River did not win the team title at the Spartan Invitational until it won the final event of the meet to out-score Nova Southeastern by 12 points in the 400-freestyle relay. That gave IRSC 918½ points in the meet to Nova Southeastern's 909. Indian River won just four of the 19 events held (matching Florida Southern's total), but three of them came on the final day. Nova Southeastern had three wins. Tampa was third overall with 740 points followed by Florida Southern with 592, and Saint Leo with 541½. The Lions did win a meet-high eight events.
Florida Southern will be off for Christmas break before returning to action with back-to-back home meets on Friday, January 12, and Saturday, January 13. The first of those meets will be against Emory at 3 p.m., and the second is against Nova Southeastern at 1 p.m.