#9 Florida Southern Almost Upsets #2 Emory
Men’s Swimming Meet Against Emory Decided by Final Event as Emory Pulls Out 8-Point Win Over Florida Southern
LAKELAND – Ninth-ranked Florida Southern won eight of the 12 individual events held Saturday afternoon, including three solo victories by sophomore Matthew Holmes, and held a 1-point lead going into the final race of the meet before Division III No. 2 Emory won the 200-freestyle relay to pull out a 135-127 win over the Moccasins.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
With a total of 14 events being contested, Emory held the lead after every one of the first 12, though Florida Southern chipped away at an early 27-9 deficit by out-scoring the Eagles in seven of those races. That got the Mocs within six points going into the final break.
In the final individual race, the 200-individual medley, the Moccasins took three of the five point positions behind Holmes, senior Antonio Nunez-Alvarez and junior Luis Jasso. Led by Holmes’ win, the Moccasins took their first lead of the meet at 123-122 with only the 200-freestyle relay remaining to be held.
In what proved to be the deciding race, the Eagles 2016 National Championship team of Trey Kolleck, Ollie Smith, Alex Hardwick and Hayes Burdette-Sapp beat out the Mocs’ foursome of sophomore Nico Campbell, junior Noah Franz, senior Marco Palacios and Holmes by 0.66 seconds to secure the overall win.
Florida Southern received its individual wins from Holmes, Palacios, Nunez-Alvarez, Franz and senior Diego Gimenez. Holmes won all three of his individual races and Palacios posted two wins.
Holmes had his victories in the 200-freestyle, the 500-freestyle and 200-IM. That made him the first Moccasin to win three races in a single meet this season.
Palacios captured the 100- and 200-backstroke in the same meet for the second time this season and remained undefeated (4-0) in the 100 this season.
Nunez-Alvarez won the 200-butterfly, Franz won the 100-freestyle, and Gimenz won the 100-butterfly.
Sophomore Sean Kim and Jasso were again the Mocs’ top breaststroke swimmers, with Kim finishing second in the 100 and Jasso finishing second in the 200. The Mocs also got a second-place finish from Franz in the 50-free.
Sophomore Luka Planinc had the Mocs’ best performance in the 1,000-freestyle, taking third.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
Weather played a role throughout the meet, with rain falling through much of the early afternoon and temperatures dropping into the mid-50’s by the final events.
Florida Southern out-scored Emory 117-111 in the 12 individual races, but Emory had a 24-10 advantage by winning the two relays (the 200-medley and 200-freestyle).
Florida Southern will be on the road next Saturday, January 14, to face third-ranked Nova Southeastern at 2 p.m.