Moccasins Edge Spartans 134-128 in Back-and-Forth Battle All Night

Moccasins Edge Spartans 134-128 in Back-and-Forth Battle All Night

TAMPA – Returning junior All-Americans Juan TolosaJesus Marin, and Raul Garrastazu allowed Florida Southern to dominate the two longest races of the night, and sophomore Marco Palacios came up with two wins of his own and a key 2nd-place finish as the Moccasins defeated Tampa 134-128 in their first dual meet of the 2014-15 season.

Florida Southern was competing in a night-time dual meet for the first time ever, and it was a tight affair all the way throughout. Both the Moccasins and Spartans won seven of the 14 events held, but the Mocs had all seven of their wins in individual races, allowing them to come out ahead. Tolosa (Guipuzcoa, Spain) and Palacios (Madrid, Spain) each won twice, while Marin (Cumana, Venezuela), Garrastazu (Dorado, P.R.) and senior Dylan Lake (Los Alamos, N.M.) picked up one win apiece.

There were also seven lead changes based on event scoring, with the Mocs finally taking the lead for good in the ninth event, the 200-backstroke. That's where Palacios, senior Luis Rojas (Caracas, Venezuela), and sophomoreEvan Coleman (Yarmouth, Maine) finished 1-2-3 to put the Mocs ahead 88-81.

Marin gave Florida Southern its first win in event two, taking the 200-freestyle, with a third-place finish by Tolosa and fourth-place showing by redshirt sophomore Alec Wathen (Sunrise, Fla.) giving the Mocs their first lead of the meet. With Palacios then winning the 100-backstroke in the first individual race of his FSC career, Rojas finishing third, and sophomore Diego Gimenez (Burgos, Spain) finishing fifth, the Mocs expanded their lead to 11 points. However, the Spartans went back on top, 38-36, immediately after that by taking the top three positions in the 100-breaststroke.

The Mocs surged in front again in the 200-freestyle with a win by Garrastazu helping them go ahead by a single point, 47-46. Back came the Spartans again with three of the top four swimmers in the 50-freestyle, broken up by only a second-place finish from Moccasin senior Allan Gutierrez (San Pedro Sula, Honduras).

Then, in the 500-freestyle, Tolosa, Marin, and Garrastazu went 1-2-3, and two events later, it was Palacios, Rojas, and Coleman who did the same in the 200-backstroke. That gave Florida Southern an 88-81 lead, and Lake added to it with a win in the 200-breaststroke.

Tampa would cut the deficit down to three points in the 100-butterfly, though Gutierrez placed second and juniorEdson Lima (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) was third.

Once again though, the Moccasins used a 1-2-3 finish to open up their lead, as Tolosa won the 1,000-freestyle, followed by Garrastazu and Marin. Palacios then placed second in the 200-IM, with Gimenez third and Rojas fourth, sealing the meet victory for Florida Southern.

The Moccasin men will next compete on Friday, November 7, when they travel to Tallahassee to face Florida State.