MELBOURNE, FL – For the first time this season and the second time in his career, Florida Southern sophomore Matias Lopez has been selected as the Sunshine State Conference Men's Swimmer of the Week. Lopez claims the award after winning four of his five individual races in a pair of dual meets over the weekend against Division II No. 3 Emory, and No. 18 Nova Southeastern.
In Friday's 148-114 win over Emory, Lopez won the 200-backstroke and 200-IM. He then won the same two events on Saturday at Nova Southeastern, though the Moccasins dropped a 132-130 decision to the Sharks that was decided by the final race of the meet. Those four wins give Lopez nine for the season, tying him with Matthew Holmes for the team lead.
His winning time in the 200-back (1:54.00) against Emory gave him a margin of 2.12 seconds, and he improved on that Saturday at Nova with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:49.96 to win by 1.52 seconds. In the 200-IM, Lopez had a winning time of 1:53.36 on Friday for a 1.29-second win over Holmes, and again bettered that time less than 24 hours later by swimming a 1:51.73, with Holmes just four one-hundredths of a second behind him. He also posted a time of 1:40.89 for a third-place finish in the 200-freestyle at Nova, just 0.16 seconds off the pace set by Holmes, while swimming that event for the first time this season.
As a relay swimmer, Lopez helped the Mocs' B team in the 400-medley relay place third against Emory, swimming the backstroke leg in 52.18 seconds, giving them the lead over Emory's A team at that point. On Saturday at Nova, Lopez was on the leadoff leg for the Mocs' B team in the 200-medley relay that finished fourth.
Lopez was a First Team All-American in the 200-back and honorable mention All-American in both of the individual medley events. He was the SSC Men's Swimmer-of-the-Week last year during the same period as this year after posting 200-backstroke and 200-IM victories over Emory and Nova Southeastern.
The Moccasins have now had three SSC Men's Swimmer-of-the-Week award winners this season, with Holmes claiming the other two on October 29 and November 5.