CLEARWATER, FLA. – Matias Lopez and Luka Planinc gave Florida Southern two more top-three finishes, and three other Moccasins hit NCAA provisional qualifying times too as the Moccasins wrapped up the 2018 Spartan Invitational in third place overall.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Planinc kept a streak going for Florida Southern that started Sunday night with a third-place finish in the 1,650-freestyle. That made it eight consecutive events in which the Moccasins had a top-three swimmer, and it was Planinc in two of them. He also had a bronze medal finish in the 500 before doing the same in the 1,650 with an NCAA "B" time of 15:45.96. Daniel Rodriguez was eighth in 16:00.52, improving on his own NCAA "B" time from the Panther Invitational, Cole Smith was 12th, and Charles Gotsch was 15th. No other team had as many swimmers place that high in the 1,650. Indian River's Jarryd Baxter, the earlier champion in the 500-free, was the winner in 15:17.27, with Nova Southeastern's Samuel Brettmann 25.96 seconds behind him, and Planinc in turn 2.73 seconds behind Brettmann.
- Florida Southern's streak ended in the 100-freestyle, but Nico Campbell still won the B final in 45.09 seconds to give the Moccasins an NCAA provisional qualifier in that event for the first time this season. Carlos Bernotti was a little over half a second off the qualifying time while competing in the C final. Winning the 100-free was Indian River's Ruben Van Leeuwen in 44.19 seconds, putting him three-tenths of a second ahead of Tampa's Cam Newton.
- Florida Southern had two of the top four swimmers in the 200-backstroke, with Lopez finishing second in 1:46.74, and Brandon Dyck coming in fourth in 1:47.53. Both of those were NCAA provisional qualifying times, but each had already hit those marks earlier this season. Lopez, however, shaved more than two seconds off his "B" time and Dyck knocked more than one-and-a-half seconds off his. The Moccasins also got an 11th-place finish from Calvin Giang, who was competing in the 200-back for the first time this season. Indian River's Conor Lynch was the winner in 1:46.68, just six one-hundredths of a second faster than Lopez.
- The Moccasins had back-to-back finishers in the 200-breast where Matthew Holmes was fourth in 2:01.20, and Dorian Bachlaj was fifth in 2:02.01, and Holmes fell just 0.37 seconds short of the NCAA provisional qualifying time. They also got points from Bryce Johnson in the B final where he was 14th overall in 2:09.90. Saint Leo's Henrik Dahrendorff completed a sweep of the breaststroke events by winning the 200 in 1:56.02, more than three seconds ahead of Indian River's Ollie Williamsson.
- The Mocs wrapped things up with a fourth-place finish from their A team in the 400-freestyle relay, where Campbell, Planinc, Carlos Bernotti, and Holmes fell only 0.32 seconds shy of an NCAA provisional qualifying time at 3:00.11, which was still their best of the season. Campbell did, however, improve on his own individual "B" time by swimming the leadoff leg in 44.77 seconds.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Indian River State was the team champion in the four-day meet with 1,002 points and Tampa was second with 929½. Florida Southern scored 665 points for third, followed by Nova Southeastern (512½), Saint Leo (487), and Catawba (123).
- Holmes and Dyck tied for the team lead in individual points with 64, Lopez scored 59, and Planinc had 51.
- Baxter won four individual events for national junior college power Indian River State, earning gold medal status in the 200-IM on Saturday, the 400-IM on Sunday, the 500-free on Monday, and the 1,650 Tuesday night. Van Leeuwen also won three individual titles for the River, taking gold in the 50-free on Saturday, the 200-fly on Monday, and the 100-free on Tuesday.
Florida Southern will break for the Christmas holiday and resume competition with back-to-back dual meets on Friday, January 11, and Saturday, January 12. The first of those will also be their first home meet of the season against Emory, with a 4 p.m. scheduled start time at the Hollis Wellness Center pool.