INDIANAPOLIS – The Florida Southern men's swimming team had its first medalist at the 2019 NCAA Division II National Swimming & Diving Championships when senior Matthew Holmes finished second in the 200-individual medley. It marks the second year in a row Holmes has medaled in the 200-IM following a bronze in 2018, and along with fellow IM swimmer sophomore Matias Lopez, he helped put the Moccasins in 12th place in the team standings at the end of day one.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Holmes posted a time of 1:46.27 in the 200-IM finals to collect the third NCAA medal of his career. In addition to his bronze last year in the 200-IM he also won a gold medal at the 2018 championships in the 400-IM, an event on Thursday night's schedule. Holmes finished 11th in the 200-IM as a freshman, and fourth as a sophomore before picking up his two medals as a junior and senior. His silver this year came behind three-time national champion and NCAA record holder Marius Kusch of Queens (NC), who had a winning time of 1:42.53. Holmes finished 0.03 seconds ahead of Delta State freshman Emanuel Fava, who was this year's bronze medalist. The Moccasins also got Lopez into the consolation final of the 200-IM where he placed 12th overall in 1:48.71 and gave Florida Southern 22 points in that event.
- The Moccasins had one swimmer in the 1,000-freestyle, which was the first event of the night. Luka Planinc swam that event for the second year in a row at the national finals, putting up a time of 9:45.90. Queens (NC) freshman Alex Kunert was the winner, starting a run of four straight swimming gold medals for the Royals. His time of 8:56.76 was a new Division II national record.
- Brandon Dyck and Nico Campbell competed in the 50-freestyle but did not advance beyond the morning prelims. Dyck had a time of 20.40 seconds, and Campbell came in at 20.73 seconds. Both were swimming that event for the second time at the national finals. Junior Brody Heck of Queens (NC) was the winner in 19.47.
- The Moccasins also put a team in the 200-medley relay but were eliminated during the prelims, falling a little over half a second from advancing. The foursome of Dyck, Holmes, Miguel Bernotti, and Campbell posted a time of 1:29.76. Queens won the gold medal in 1:25.22, beating Wayne State (MI) by one one-hundredth of a second.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- By going 4-for-4 in Wednesday's swimming events, Queens held the lead in the overall standings at the end of day, outscoring Delta State (MS), 165-110½. Indianapolis was third with 99 points, Colorado Mesa was fourth with 63 points, and Grand Valley State (MI) and Missouri S&T were tied for fifth with 51. Colorado Mesa picked up 44 of its points in the 3-meter diving competition, which Ammar Hassan won.
- Completing the top-10 scoring teams were Wayne State (MI) with 48½, Florida Tech with 42½, Cal-San Diego with 39, and McKendree (IL) and Simon Fraser (BC) each with 27. Florida Southern was tied for 12th with Northern Michigan after each team scored 22 points, putting the Moccasins two points ahead of Nova Southeastern.
Day two of the NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships begins Thursday at 10 a.m. with finals in five events Thursday night at 6 p.m.