LAKELAND, FLA. – With the two teams never separated by more than eight points, and having split each of the first 10 races held on Friday, Indian River State was able to pull out a 106-99 meet victory over 9th-ranked Florida Southern by winning the 400-freestyle relay finale. It was the final regular season meet of the year for the Moccasins.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- In a sign of how close the battle would be, Indian River State won the 200-medley relay to start the meet by 0.34 seconds, and Florida Southern sophomore Matthew Holmes won the 1,000-freestyle by 1.67 seconds. Aided by second- and third-place finishes in the opening relay, it left the two teams tied with 18 points apiece after two races.
- The Pioneers won the 200-free and 50-free to take the largest lead for either team all afternoon, putting them ahead 41-33 four events into the meet. Sophomore Nico Campbell and junior Noah Franz were second and third respectively in the 200, and senior Diego Gimenez and freshman Talor Hamilton were second and third in the 50.
- Senior Antonio Nunez-Alvarez got Florida Southern another individual win in the 400-IM, defeating Gabriele Sasia by 3.02 seconds. A third-place finish by junior Luis Jasso ensured the Moccasins would out-score the Pioneers in that race and go into the first break trailing only by a single point.
- The second session began with Indian River's Nicholas Loomis winning the 100-butterfly by 1.17 seconds over FSC senior Marco Palacios, and Campbell winning the 100-freestyle over IRSC's Guillaume Bolivard by 0.06 seconds. That left the Pioneers ahead by five points.
- The Moccasins took their first lead of the day when Palacios and senior Evan Coleman finished 1-2 in the 100-backstroke where they were separated by 0.12 seconds. The Mocs then expanded on that lead when Holmes picked up his second win of the afternoon by beating out Luka Tomic of IRSC in the 500-freestyle by 2.72 seconds. That sent the Mocs into the second break ahead 88-81 with two events still to be held.
- Indian River's John Fauteux won the 100-breast with a 0.08-second margin of victory, but with Jasso and sophomore Sean Kim coming in second and third, the Moccasins still had the overall lead at 95-93.
- In yet another extremely close race, the Pioneers 400-freestyle relay team of Gavin Erdmann, Cameron Newton, Luka Tomic and Guillaume Bolivard edged out the Mocs' team of Holmes, Franz, sophomore Luka Planinc and Nunez-Alvarez by 0.39 seconds. That gave them enough points to come from behind for the meet victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Indian River State has won the last 42 national titles at the junior college level. The Moccasins and Pioneers have now split their last four meetings.
- Holmes was in the 1,000 for the first time this year and only the second time in his 2-year college career. His winning time of 9:37.03 was 2.14 seconds away from a provisional NCAA qualifying time.
- The 400-freestyle relay team of Holmes, Franz, Planinc and Nunez-Alvarez gave Florida Southern its second NCAA "B" time of the year in that race.
- The women's swimming meet ended with the same 106-99 score, but Florida Southern won that one to leave the total points scored in the meet even at 205 apiece.
Florida Southern will be off until February 16 when the Sunshine State Conference Championships begin at the Orlando YMCA.