CLEARWATER – Senior Kelsey Gouge gave Florida Southern one individual win Sunday night and helped one more of the Moccasins' relay teams win too in a near-record performance, and sophomore Peyton Breault added her name to the gold medal list too. With Florida Southern winning three of the final six events in the 3-day meet, the Moccasins finished second out of five teams at the Tampa Spartan Invitational.
Even though Tampa won the meet, Florida Southern won more events overall with an 8-6 advantage over Lynn, which placed third in the team standings. Tampa won the remaining four events.
Gouge and Breault were the big guns for Florida Southern in Sunday night's wrap-up as each Moccasin swimmer had NCAA provisional qualifying times in their respective individual events and then helped the 400-freestyle relay team earn first place too. In that final race, Gouge swam the first leg followed by freshman Rebeka Dics and senior Alli Crenshaw. Breault had the anchor leg and their collective time of 3:26.30 was just 0.06 seconds off the school record set by Mary O'Sullivan, Rae-Lynn Sheffield, Lisa Menne, and Cara Potter at the 2011 Division II National Championships. It was enough to beat Tampa on Sunday by 1.14 seconds, and the Mocs' second team of sophomore Britt Aubley, freshman Krystal Karas, junior Leah Haney, and junior Riley McClendon came in third out of 14 squads competing.
That result also gave Florida Southern wins in four of the five relay races held at the Tampa Spartan Invitational, and Gouge and Dics were on all four victorious teams.
Breault was Florida Southern's first winner of the night when she took the 200-backstroke in an NCAA "B" time of 2:02.71. Senior Lauren Reynolds finished second but missed her own "B" time by 0.11 seconds by swimming the race in 2:03.68.
Gouge followed with a win in the 100-freestyle, a race that saw Florida Southern hold four of the top six spots with Dics second, Crenshaw fourth, and Aubley sixth. Gouge (51.25 seconds) and Dics (51.66) each had NCAA "B" standards with their respective times.
Sophomore Jacinda Whittenburg ended up second in the 200-breaststroke to Lynn's Rebecca Matthews, and freshman Haley DeGrace was third. Whittenburg was just 0.17 seconds off an NCAA "B" time in that event.
The Moccasins other top swimmers on Sunday were senior Heather Burns in the 1650-freestyle, and Karas in the 200-butterfly. Burns placed third in the 1650 with an NCAA "B" time of 17:14.60, and Karas was fourth in the 200-fly in 2:09.11.
Florida Southern will now break for Christmas before returning to action with back-to-back home meets on January 8 and 9. The Moccasins will host Emory on Friday, January 8 at 4 p.m., and Nova Southeastern on Saturday, January 9 at 1 p.m.