GREENSBORO, NC –Matthew Holmes won All-American or honorable mention All-American awards in both of the individual medley events as a freshman and sophomore. He's halfway to doing that again as a junior. Holmes finished third in the 200-IM on Wednesday, setting a new school record while giving Florida Southern its first medalist of the 2018 NCAA Division II Men's Swimming & Diving Championships.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Florida Southern had swimmers in both the B final and A final of the 200-IM, as Holmes and freshman Matias Lopez combined to give the Moccasins 22 points. Lopez took 11th overall and third in the B final with a season-best time of 1:48.55. Holmes then finished third overall in a school-record time of 1:45.68, his best finish in any race at the national finals in his career. He joins Jeb Halfacre as the only Moccasins to earn medals in either of the individual medley events at the finals. Marius Kusch of Queens (NC) won the 200-IM for the second year in a row, posting a time of 1:41.61 to finish more than three seconds ahead of his teammate Nicholas Arakelian. That set a new Division II overall and championship record that had previously been set by another Queens swimmer, Matthew Josa, in 2015.
- Just before the 200-IM, junior Luka Planinc was in the final heat of the 1,000-free, and as such, did not swim until the finals session Wednesday night. He knew any time under 9:28.53 would score points, and he easily surpassed that at 9:16.69. That was good for 12th place, the best finish for a Moccasin in the last three years. Defending champion Franco Lupoli of Nova Southeastern finished second to Tim Samuelson of Missouri S&T, who had a winning time of 8:59.45.
- The Moccasins had three swimmers competing in the 50-freestyle but were unable to get any through to the finals. Freshman Brandon Dyck had their fastest time at 20.38 seconds, a new season-best, but was 0.15 seconds short of advancing. Senior Noah Franz, who still has the Mocs' fastest time this season in the 50-free, had a time of 20.60 seconds in the prelims. Florida Southern's second-fastest swimmer in the 50, sophomore Talor Hamilton, was disqualified after a false start.
- Florida Southern's 200-medley relay team of Dyck, Luis Jasso, Franz, and Nico Campbell finished 10th overall and second in the B final, turning in a time of 1:28.17. The Moccasins were three-tenths of a second behind Wingate and 0.25 seconds ahead of Florida Tech. Queens (NC) won the 200-medley relay in a meet and Division II record 1:24.83.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- In addition to Holmes and Lopez, the Moccasins had Luka Matacin in the prelims of the 200-IM where he posted a time of 1:50.02.
- Halfacre was a bronze medalist in the 200-IM in both 2012 and 2013. It was Halfacre who previously held the school record in the 200-IM, which he set in 2013, but Holmes initially broke that mark at the conference championships before doing it again Wednesday night by exactly six-tenths of a second.
- David Lambert of Oklahoma Baptist won the 50-freestyle in 19.29 seconds, finishing 0.37 seconds ahead of runner-up Victor Rocha Furtado from Florida Tech. Lambert had set the Division II national record in the 50-free earlier this season in 19.17 seconds.
- At the conclusion of day one, Queens (NC) leads the meet with 127 points, followed by Oklahoma Baptist with 79, Drury with 75, Fresno Pacific with 64, and Indianapolis with 57. Cal Baptist is in sixth place with 47 points, with Florida Southern seventh with 41. The Moccasins are 10 points ahead of eighth-place Wayne State (MI). SSC schools Florida Tech, Nova Southeastern and Saint Leo are ninth, 12th, and 13th respectively.
Day two of the national finals begins Thursday with prelims at 10 a.m. and ends with finals in five events at 6 p.m.