MELBOURNE, FL - Florida Southern had a league-high eight swimmers named to the 2017 All-Sunshine State Conference Men's Swimming Team that was voted on by the league coaches. Two of those, sophomores Matthew Holmes and Luka Planinc, were First Team selections, while seniors Diego Gimenez, Antonio Nunez-Alvarez and Marco Palacios, and juniors Noah Franz and Luis Jasso were on the Second Team. Junior Luka Matacin was an honorable mention selection.
Holmes is a First Team All-SSC swimmer for the second year in a row. The sophomore from Rockledge, Florida was an NCAA provisional qualifier in a team-high five different individual events this season, among them the 200- and 400-IM where he was their top swimmer and an NCAA Finals selection in both. Holmes was also second on the Florida Southern times list in the 500-freestyle and manned one leg of their national top-10 teams in the 400- and 800-freestyle relays.
A sophomore from Zagreb, Croatia, Planinc is a first-time member of the All-SSC Team. He's been Florida Southern's best distance swimmer this year by achieving the Mocs' top times in the 500, 1000 and 1650-freestyle events, and added an NCAA "B" time in the 200 as well. He could compete in all four of those races at the National Finals. At the conference championships, Planinc also anchored the Mocs' 800-freestyle relay team that earned a top-10 seed for the Finals.
A senior from Burgos, Spain, Gimenez is making the all-conference team for the first time in his career though he's been an All-American each of the last two seasons. He was an NCAA qualifier this year in two freestyle events (the 50 and 100), one backstroke event (the 100) and one butterfly event (the 100). As a relay swimmer he also provided the leadoff segment of their 200-freestyle team, anchored their 400-freestyle team, and manned the butterfly leg of their top 200-medley relay squad.
Palacios is now a 3-time All-SSC swimmer after earning First Team honors as a sophomore and junior. The senior from Madrid, Spain leads the Moccasins with 12 individual wins going into next week's National Finals and won gold medals at the conference championships in the 100- and 200-backstroke. He is undefeated in the 100 this season (7-0) and will go to nationals as the top seed in that event in addition to being the second seed in the 200. Palacios also provides the backstroke leg for both of the Mocs' top-10 medley relay teams and has their best time this year in the 100-butterfly.
Nunez-Alvarez, a senior from Oviedo, Spain, is second on the team with five individual wins and has now been All-SSC in each of his two seasons since transferring from the University of Bridgeport. Three of his five wins came in the 200-butterfly where he owned the Moccasins' top time this year, and he also picked up wins in each of the individual medley events where he was number two on their times list.
Jasso is a junior from Monterrey, Mexico who is on the All-SSC for the first time in his career following another outstanding season as a breaststroke swimmer. Jasso was an automatic NCAA qualifier in the 200-breast and will head to nationals as the number three seed in that event. He also had NCAA "B" times in the 100-breast and 200-IM and has been on the breaststroke leg for their fifth-seeded 400-medley relay team.
Franz, a junior from Raleigh, North Carolina who transferred this year from North Carolina State, was the Moccasins' top performer in the 100- and 200-freestyle and was second on their times list in the 50. He was also a key member of all three freestyle relay teams that earned spots at the National Finals, helping him earn All-SSC status in his first year as a Moccasin.
Matacin is another newcomer making the All-SSC Men's Swimming Team during his first year at Florida Southern. The junior from Rijeka, Croatia was already an All-American relay swimmer at Drury (MO) prior to transferring this year. With the Moccasins he earned a spot at the National Finals in the 200-freestyle, and could also compete in the 100 as well as the 200-back and the 200-IM.
This is the first year the all-conference teams were determined by a vote of league coaches. Prior to 2017, the All-SSC Swimming Teams were determined automatically by swimmers' performance in the conference meet. The SSC Coach-of-the-Year, Swimmer-of-the-Year and Freshman-of-the-Year awards will be voted on after the National Finals.
The complete 2016-17 All-SSC Men's Swimming Team can be found here.