MELBOURNE, FL – The Florida Southern men's swimming team has landed its fourth Sunshine State Conference Men's Swimmer of the Week award as Luka Planinc has been selected for the January 21 honor. The senior from Zagreb, Croatia has already been a two-time All-SSC swimmer for the Moccasins in his career, but is the league's swimmer of the week for the first time.
Facing Indian River State in their final meet of the regular season, the Moccasins used a big day by Planinc to pull out a 135½-126½ win. After the River won the opening race to take the early lead, Planinc put Florida Southern on top by taking the 1,000-freestyle in 9:46.03 as the first of the three straight Moccasins at the top of that event. Later, after Indian River had cut the deficit in the meet down to eight points, Planinc won the 500-freestyle in 4:40.74, touching just 0.23 seconds ahead of the River's Tiger Pilkington, who sits number two on the junior college national times list. That win of less than a quarter of second represented a 10-point swing in favor of Florida Southern and gave Planinc his first multi-win meet of the season.
When the meet came down to the final event, Planinc anchored the Mocs' winning 400-freestyle relay team that had a time of 3:03.88, putting them 1.13 seconds ahead of Indian River's top team to secure the meet victory. Planinc also swam the 50-freestyle for only the second time this season and placed fourth in 21.95 seconds. He scored a total of 20 points as an individual in the meet.
Planinc joins Matthew Holmes (Oct. 29 and Nov. 5) and Matias Lopez (Jan. 14) as SSC Men's Swimmers of the Week this season. It's the first time in six years the Moccasins have won four of the league's weekly awards. The last time three different men's swimmers were honored in a single season was 2012-13 when Miguel Ferreira (twice), Raul Garrastazu and Juan Tolosa won those awards.
Florida Southern's next competition will be at the 2019 Sunshine State Conference Championships, February 21-24, in Clearwater.