MELBOURNE – With wins from Daniel Rodriguez, Matias Lopez, Dorian Bachlaj, and Miguel Bernotti, Florida Southern secured the team championship in the Panther Invitational Sunday and closed out the meet by taking nine of the 13 individual events overall.
Florida Southern out-scored Florida Tech 441-374 over the three-day meet, and Rollins was third with 106 points. The Panthers kept things close by winning four of the five relays.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Moccasins were competing in the 1,650-freestyle for the first time this season and captured the top four spots in that race on Sunday. Rodriguez earned the win in 16:02.57, finishing 2.54 seconds ahead of Charles Gotsch, with Cole Smith third and Luka Planinc fourth. The time by Rodriguez was an NCAA provisional qualifying time, and Gotsch was 0.32 seconds away from that mark.
- The Moccasins had a similar finish in the 200-backstroke where Lopez, Brandon Dyck, and Jacob Tuckerman went 1-2-3. Lopez and Dyck had NCAA provisional times, with Lopez winning the race in 1:48.77, putting him 0.42 seconds in front.
- In the 100-freestyle, the Panthers got another win from Victor Rocha Furtado in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 43.23 seconds. Nico Campbell finished third for Florida Southern in 45.54, missing a "B" time by two one-hundredths of a second. Carlos Bernotti was right behind him in fourth place, and Talor Hamilton and Gotsch were in the championship final as well. JJ Saslo won the consolation final for the Moccasins where Levi Parsons, Ethan Oliva, Planinc, and Christian Gilbreath were also competing.
- Florida Southern's third win on Sunday came from Bachlaj in the 200-breaststroke. His season-best time of 2:04.38 was 1.58 seconds faster than runner-up Jose Coiman-Acosta of Florida Tech and more than two seconds faster than the Panthers' Dain Rust, who won the 100-breast on Saturday. The Mocs also got Andrew Brown, Bryce Johnson, and Jacob Cole into the championship finals, and Pedro Bernotti won the consolation finals.
- The Mocs' final individual win came from Miguel Bernotti in the 200-butterfly, and his time of 1:49.16 added to the Mocs' list of NCAA "B" times over the weekend. He won by 0.98 seconds over Florida Tech's Adi Davidov, with Calvin Giang third in 1:52.54.
- In the last event of the meet, Florida Tech won the 400-freestyle relay in 2:58.97, giving the Panthers a 4.68-second victory over the Florida Southern quartet of Dyck, Carlos Bernotti, Saslo, and Campbell. Their time of 3:03.65 was still the Mocs' best of the season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Lopez won three individual events in the meet, taking the 200-IM on Friday, the 400-IM on Saturday, and the 200-back on Sunday.
- Bachlaj won the 200-breast on Sunday after finishing as runner-up in the 100 on Saturday.
- The Moccasins also got wins from Planinc (500-free), Campbell (200-free), and Dyck (100-back) in the meet.
- Campbell, Rodriguez, Lopez, Dyck, and Miguel Bernotti all had at least one NCAA provisional qualifying time over the weekend, and Planinc and Gotsch barely missed at least one in the distance events.
- Florida Tech's Victor Rocha Furtado matched Lopez by winning three individual events: the 50-free, 100-fly, and 100-free. He was also part of all four of the Panthers' winning relay teams.
Florida Southern's next meet will be the Spartan Invitational hosted by the University of Tampa, December 15-18 in Clearwater.