MELBOURNE, FL – With a runner-up finish from its 200-freestyle relay team of Maria Di Bella, Mallary Meyer, Allison Greenwood, and Krystal Karas, and a third-place finish from Karas in the 50-free, Florida Southern finished day one of the Panther Invitational hosted by Florida Tech in third place.
The Moccasins scored 186½ points, putting them behind West Florida, which had 313½, and Division I North Florida, which had 266. Florida Tech is currently fourth with 152 points, and Rollins is fifth with 113.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Moccasins had a strong second-place finish in the 200-freestyle relay where the team of Di Bella, Meyer, Greenwood, and Karas had a time of 1:36.24 that put them 1.18 seconds behind North Florida's A team. The Mocs also beat out West Florida by five one-hundredths of a second, pushing the Argonauts to third. The Moccasins B team also topped each of the other B teams in the field, with Malin Wallen, Rachel Ringley, Haley DeGrace, and Erin McCann in that group that placed fifth overall.
- The first individual race of the meet, the 500-free, went to Rollins' Beatriz Olivieri, with McCann finishing ninth out of 18 finalists. Her time of 5:17.31 shaved more than eight seconds off her previous season-best coming into the day. She had an even better time in prelims at 5:12.57. Madelyn Snodgrass reached the consolation finals and finished 15th while knocking more than 18 seconds off her best time.
- Florida Southern's top performer in the 200-IM was Wallen, who placed 10th in 2:06.58, the best this season for the Moccasins in that event. She was a little over one second away from an NCAA "B" time while winning the consolation final in a time that would have been good for third in the championship final won by West Florida's Morgan Ayers in 2:05.82. DeGrace was in the consolation final as well, and finished 17th overall.
- The best finish for any individual Friday night belonged to Karas in the 50-freestyle. The senior took third place in 23.99 seconds, the best this season for the Moccasins. West Florida's Ester Rizzetto won the race in 23.23 seconds. The Moccasins also got an eighth-place finish from Di Bella, while Meyer, Greenwood, and McCann all reached the consolation final with their best times of the season too.
- In the final race of the night, Florida Southern finished sixth in the 400-medley relay, with Di Bella, DeGrace, Ringley, and Karas turning in a time of 4:01.62. West Florida picked up the win in 3:49.43.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Not only did the Mocs get a season-best time from their A team in the 200-freestyle relay, the B team posted what is now the second fastest time of the season. The Mocs had also been beaten by more than three seconds by West Florida two weeks ago in Tallahassee but turned that around for a win over the Argonauts this time.
- Katie Moore had the number one qualifying time in the 500-freestyle during the morning prelims (4:57.83), but did not swim in the finals Friday night. Nevertheless, she was the first Moccasin this season to hit an NCAA provisional qualifying time.
- Though swimming in the consolation final where she could only officially finish as high as 10th, Wallen's time in the 200-IM was only 0.76 seconds behind champion Morgan Ayers of West Florida. Wallen missed qualifying for that race by less than two-tenths of a second earlier on Friday.
Day two of the Panther Invitational begins with prelims Saturday morning at 10 a.m., and finals in seven events Saturday evening at 6 p.m.