CLEARWATER, FL – For the second night in a row, junior Matthew Holmes won a gold medal, set a school record, a meet record, and a conference record, but he didn't stop there. After doing all of that in the 400-IM, later anchored the Moccasins' winning 400-medley relay team, which gave Florida Southern a third gold medal on the night following a win by Nico Campbell in the 200-freestyle.
Holmes, who had won the 200-IM on Thursday, gave the Mocs their first win of the night in the 400-IM, winning that title for the second time in his career. Campbell was then one of two Moccasins to earn medals in the 200-free as Noah Franz came in third for the bronze. Franz and Holmes then swam the final two legs of the winning 400-medley relay team, following Brandon Dyck and Luis Jasso. Dyck, Jasso, and Franz were also part of the winning 200-medley team on Thursday.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Florida Southern began Friday night with a fourth-place finish in the 200-freestyle relay, receiving a time of 1:20.93 to hit an NCAA provisional mark for the first time this season. It came from Talor Hamilton, Franz, Campbell, and Dyck. Florida Tech won in 1:20.24, with the top four teams separated by less than seven-tenths of a second.
- Holmes took center stage in the 400-IM by defeating Samuel Brettmann of Nova Southeastern by almost two seconds in establishing new school, meet and conference records at 3:50.68. He broke his own school record by 0.59 seconds, which he set at the Spartan Invitational in December. The old conference record set by Tampa's Brett Saunders two years ago fell by 0.37 seconds, and the old meet record set by Nova's Marco Aldabe last year was topped by 1.76 seconds.
- Dyck was the Moccasins' best swimmer in the 100-butterfly, placing fifth in 48.58 seconds, the best time by a Moccasin this season and their first NCAA "B" time of the season as well. Miguel Bernotti gave them another "B" time by winning the consolation final in 49.08 seconds (9th overall), Jasso was 10th, and Hamilton was 14th. Magnus Poulsen won the 100-fly in 46.87 seconds, setting new meet and conference records.
- In the 200-freestyle, Campbell got the win he barely missed in 2017 by finishing 0.24 seconds ahead of Tampa's Cam Newton, and 0.45 seconds ahead of Franz. Defending champion Franco Lupoli finished sixth, though the top six swimmers in the championship race were within 0.96 seconds of each other. Campbell posted an NCAA "B" time of 1:37.28, the best by a Moccasin this year, and Franz had their second best time. Luka Matacin, who won the consolation final, and Luka Planinc, who was 12th overall, also had NCAA "B" times in the 200, and Levi Parsons gave Florida Southern a fifth swimmer in the scoring column in that event.
- Florida Southern's third gold medal of the night came in the 400-medley relay where Dyck, Jasso, Franz, and Holmes swam a time of 3:12.83 to beat Nova Southeastern by almost four seconds. Dyck gave them a lead of more than two seconds from the outset on the backstroke. They improved their previous NCAA provisional time from December by nearly three seconds and ended Nova's three-year run as SSC champions in the 400-medley relay.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Holmes has now finished first, second, and first in the 400-IM at the SSC Championships in his career. He's the second swimmer to win both individual medley events in the same championship meet, joining Marco Aldabe who did it twice (2014 and 2017).
- Matias Lopez did not reach the finals of the 400-IM after he was DQ'ed for a false start during prelims. He still has an NCAA provisional qualifying time from earlier in the season.
- Florida Southern has never finished lower than second in either the 200- or 400-medley relay.
- Halfway through the meet, Nova Southeastern has the lead with 440 points, Florida Southern is second with 385, and Florida Tech is third with 290. Tampa sits in fourth place with 272 points, followed by Saint Leo with 191, and Rollins with 100.
Day three of the SSC Championships begins Saturday morning with prelims at 10 a.m. and concludes with finals in five events Saturday night at 6 p.m.