CLEARWATER, FL – Junior Matthew Holmes made it a clean sweep in the record book Thursday night with meet, conference and school records in the 200-individual medley. The Moccasins' 200-medley relay team then added another gold medal by the end of the night as Florida Southern closed out the first day of the Sunshine State Conference Men's Swimming Championships just 12 points behind Nova Southeastern.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Luka Planinc was Florida Southern's first male medalist of the night and the meet when he finished third in the 1,000-freestyle, coming in at 9:13.55. The Moccasins got another top-eight finish and NCAA "B" time from Charles Gotsch who placed eighth in a season-best 9:29.58. A third NCAA "B" time and season-best came from Jonathan Sawyer, who was 12th in 9:31.03. Nova Southeastern's Franco Lupoli was the 1,000-freestyle champion for the second year in a row, and his NCAA automatic qualifying time of 9:02.20 fell a little over one second off the meet record.
- The 200-IM was Florida Southern's best individual event of the night, as five Moccasins scored points, four reached the championship finals and two picked up medals. Holmes not only won the event, he had an NCAA automatic qualifying time and set three records in the process. His time of 1:46.28 broke the meet record previously held by Pawel Trenda of Saint Leo (set in 2016), the overall SSC record held by Trenda (set in 2015), and the Florida Southern record held by Jeb Halfacre (set in 2013). He broke Halfacre's record by 0.35 seconds. Grabbing the silver medal in the 200-IM was Luka Matacin in 1:48.38, and Matias Lopez was fourth in 1:49.35, both with improved NCAA "B" times. Luis Jasso placed eighth in 1:56.82, and Calvin Giang was 16th in 1:55.46.
- Florida Southern was led by Noah Franz and Talor Hamilton in the 50-free, as they finished fourth and sixth respectively. Both had NCAA "B" times, with Franz in a season-best 20.12 seconds, and Hamilton in 20.36. Nico Campbell was 12th in 20.49, and Brandon Dyck was 13th in 20.66, both of which were also NCAA "B" times. Florida Tech's Victor Rocha Furtado won in 19.72 seconds, breaking a record set at last year's championship meet by former teammate Nir Barnea, a 2-time 50-freestyle champion.
- Florida Southern captured the 200-medley relay in 1:27.82, its fastest time of the season by almost three seconds and enough to provisionally qualify for nationals. The winning team of Dyck, Jasso, Franz, and Campbell finished 0.25 seconds ahead of Nova Southeastern, and 0.75 seconds ahead of Florida Tech.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Planinc's time in the 1,000 was the second fastest ever posted by a Moccasin at the SSC Championships, with only Juan Tolosa better by 0.12 seconds in 2014 when he won the gold medal.
- Lupoli, who has won the last two SSC titles in the 1,000-free, was runner-up in 2016 while swimming for Florida Southern. His win this year came by 0.23 seconds over Saint Leo's Matija Rafaj, the first time the 1,000-free has been decided by less than one second at the conference championships.
- Holmes' time in the 200-IM is the best by any swimmer in Division II this season. He has now set the school record for both IM events this season, with the 400 coming at The Long Center in December during the Spartan Invitational.
- Florida Southern's winning time in the 200-medley relay was the fastest the Moccasins have had at the SSC Championships. The Mocs have never finished lower than second in that event. In addition to anchoring the gold-medal winning team this year, Campbell was the anchor on last year's silver medal Mocs team.
- Florida Southern sits in second place in the team standings with 183 points, trailing Nova Southeastern by 12. Florida Tech is third with 123 points, followed by Tampa (101), Saint Leo (76) and Rollins (45).
Day two of the SSC Championships begins Friday morning with prelims at 10 a.m. and concludes with finals in five events Friday night at 6 p.m.