MELBOURNE, FL – Haley DeGrace won the 200-breaststroke with an NCAA provisional qualifying time, and Krystal Karas and Malin Wallen had NCAA "B" times of their own with second- and third-place finishes in the 100-freestyle to lead Florida Southern on the final day of the Panther Invitational.
West Florida won the three-day meet with 1,014½ points, North Florida was second with 860, and Florida Southern scored 649½ to finish third. Florida Tech was fourth with 522, and Rollins placed fifth with 382.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- With the 1,650-free on the schedule for the first time this season, the Moccasins got a third-place finish from Katie Moore in that event, with the senior swimming the race in 17:34.26, putting her just 0.73 seconds behind Sydney Willis of Rollins. Another Rollins swimmer, Makenzie Grider, won the 1,650 in 17:19.78.
- The Moccasins got another third-place finish from Kyra Fraser in the 200-backstroke where she posted a time of 2:04.51 to finish 3.16 seconds behind the winning Pia Hulley of West Florida and 0.24 seconds behind the runner-up, Jacqueline Barklund of North Florida. Fraser was a little over one second away from the NCAA "B" standard in the 200-back.
- In the 100-freestyle, Karas did one spot better by finishing second to West Florida's Ester Rizzetto. Karas had an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 51.07 seconds, and Wallen also hit that mark by finishing third in 51.94. The Mocs also had the second and third swimmers in the consolation finals of the 100-free, with Maria Di Bella and Mallary Meyer claiming those spots.
- DeGrace did even better in the next event, the 200-breaststroke, which she won in 2:17.61 to hit an NCAA "B" standard. DeGrace defeated Morgan Ayers of West Florida by 1.86 seconds. The Mocs also got a second-place finish in the consolation finals from Kris Davis.
- Rebeka Dics was the Moccasins' top performer in the 200-butterfly, winning the consolation finals in a season-best time of 2:10.87, which put her 1.13 seconds ahead of runner-up Madelyn Snodgrass. Rollins swimmer Beatriz Olivieri was the event winner in 2:01.80.
- West Florida took the 400-freestyle relay in 3:27.47 to finish just 1.66 seconds ahead of the Moccasins' team of Meyer, Wallen, Di Bella, and Karas, who put together a season-best time of 3:29.13.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- DeGrace and Ayers were the top breaststroke swimmers in the meet overall, with each of them winning one of the two events in that category. Ayers edged out DeGrace in the 100 on Saturday, and their positions were reversed in the 200 on Sunday.
- Karas had a third-place finish in the 50-free on Friday before her runner-up Sunday in the 100-free. Karas was also fourth in the 200-free where she had an earlier NCAA "B" time.
- Florida Southern's two wins in the meet came from Wallen in the 400-IM on Saturday night and DeGrace in the 200-breast on Sunday. Both of them had NCAA "B" times in the meet, with DeGrace doing that in both breaststroke events.
- Moore fell a little short of a "B" time in the 1650 on Sunday, but had one earlier in the 500-free on Friday.
Florida Southern's next meet will be the Spartan Invitational hosted by the University of Tampa, December 15-18 in Clearwater.