INDIANAPOLIS – Florida Southern ended day three of the NCAA Division II National Swimming & Diving Championships with its second silver medal of the meet and third medal overall as the Moccasins' finished runner-up in the 800-freestyle relay for the second year in a row.
Half of last year's NCAA silver medal 800-freestyle team was back this year in seniors Matthew Holmes and Nico Campbell, and they were joined in the lineup by sophomore Matias Lopez and senior Charles Gotsch. Swimming in the final heat of the night, Holmes was on the leadoff leg, followed by Lopez and Gotsch, with Campbell on anchor. That quartet put together the Mocs' best time of the season in 6:29.64, with only Queens ahead of them in 6:25.13. The Moccasins were 2.36 seconds ahead of third-place Simon Fraser.
Florida Southern has now medaled in the 800-freestyle relay four times, all of them either gold or silver in the last eight years. It's the ninth year in a row the Mocs have been All-American or honorable mention All-American in that event. The relay award was also the eighth for Campbell in his career.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Florida Southern's first swimmer on Friday was Luka Planinc in the 500-freestyle, but the senior was eliminated during prelims with a time of 4:38.40. Alex Sobers of Emmanuel won the title in 4:21.09.
- Sophomore Brandon Dyck was the first Moccasin in the points column by reaching the consolation final of the 100-backstroke. He finished 15th overall in 48.54 seconds after a season-best 47.88 in the prelims. It was Dyck's second All-American award in the 100-back after doing that for the first time last year as a freshman. The Moccasins had Matias Lopez in the event too, but Lopez was eliminated in prelims with a time of 49.56. Queens senior Marius Kusch collected his third individual title of the meet by winning the 100-back in a Division II record 45.09 seconds.
- Sophomore Miguel Bernotti advanced to the consolation finals of the 200-butterfly and for the second year in a row earned honorable mention All-American honors by placing 15th in 1:49.09. Queens freshman Alex Kunert won the 200-fly in 1:41.19, setting a new Division II national record. It was his third individual title of the meet following the 1,000-free and 200-free.
- The Moccasins had no one swimming in the 100-breaststroke, which was won by Wayne State (MI) junior Sasha Palazzo in 52.24.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Queens (NC) once again increased its lead in the overall standings over second-place Delta State (MS) and is ahead of the Statesmen 450-273½. Indianapolis is third with 270 points, Wayne State (MI) is fourth with 174½, and Grand Valley State (MI) is fifth with 170. Four Sunshine State Conference schools are bunched together from 11th through 16th place with Nova Southeastern 11th (133 pts.), Florida Tech 13th (109½), Florida Southern 14th (97½), and Tampa 16th (73). A total of 31 teams have scored with one day remaining.
The 2019 NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships conclude Saturday with prelims at 10 a.m. and finals in five more events that night at 6 p.m.