CLEARWATER, FLA. – Matthew Holmes had a narrow runner-up finish in the 200-IM Saturday night, and Nico Campbell was third in the 50-freestyle, leading Florida Southern into third place in the team standings after day one of the Spartan Invitational.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- In Saturday night's first event, Luka Planinc gave the Moccasins a sixth-place finish in the 1,000-freestyle by knocking almost 20 seconds off his previous season-best time with a 9:28.25. That was the Mocs' first NCAA provisional time this season in the 1,000-free, and he not only had his best time of the season, he jumped ahead of four others to assume the top position on the Florida Southern times list. Daniel Rodriguez was the only other Moccasin to score, placing 16th with his own season-best time of 9:37.85. Saint Leo's Matija Rafaj was the winner in 9:09.48 and won by more than 13 seconds, with the next five swimmers finishing less than six seconds apart.
- The 200-IM was decided by just 0.25 seconds with Jarryd Baxter of Indian River State touching just ahead of Holmes who still easily hit an NCAA "B" standard in 1:46.98. He was 0.83 seconds off an automatic qualifying time. Matias Lopez, who had the Mocs' best time of the season coming into the meet, finished sixth overall in 1:49.88 with his own NCAA "B" time.
- The Moccasins had another medalist in the 50-freestyle where Campbell finished third in 20.53 seconds, pushing past the NCAA "B" standard in the process. Brandon Dyck had an NCAA "B" time as well, finishing fourth in 20.60 seconds. Talor Hamilton reached the consolation final and gave the Moccasins a few more points by tying for 14th. Campbell finished three-tenths of a second behind winner Ruben Van Leeuwen of Indian River, and 0.14 seconds behind another Indian River swimmer, Ryen Van Wyk.
- In the final event of the night, the Moccasins' top 200-medley relay team of Dyck, Dorian Bachlaj, Miguel Bernotti, and Campbell placed sixth in 1:31.79. That was a new season-best for the Moccasins, though still a little over two seconds away from an NCAA provisional qualifying time. Tampa won the 200-medley relay in 1:29.35.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Indian River State and Tampa were separated by just five points at the top of the team standings (207-202), with Florida Southern scoring 123½ points for third. Nova Southeastern was fourth with 117½, Saint Leo was fifth with 101, and Catawba was sixth with 24.
Day two of the Spartan Invitational begins Sunday morning at the Long Center with prelims at 10 a.m., and concludes with finals in five events Sunday night at 6 p.m.