Erin Daugherty 

The men’s and women’s swim team will be competing in the 2018 Sunshine State Conference Championships next weekend.

The SSC Men’s and Women’s Championships will be held at the Long Center in Clearwater, Fla. This is the first time since 2013 that the meet is held in Clearwater instead of at the YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando.

The meet consists of eight total sessions between Feb. 22 and Feb. 25. This is the longest meet of the year where the Mocs will compete all four days.

It has been a tight race for first place between the Florida Southern and Nova Southeastern men’s teams since 2011. Last year’s loss ended the Mocs’ four-year winning streak since 2013.

“It was definitely an amazing experience winning conference in 2016, especially because it was my freshman year,” Nico Campbell, a member of the Florida Southern swim team, said.

The women’s team got their first SSC Championship in 2016.

“Sometimes there’s a misconception about swimming being an individual sport—but at the [SSC Championship] meet we all worked as a team to win that conference title,” said Peyton Breault, a senior on the Florida Southern swim team, said.

For freshmen swimmers, the first conference meet is something to be excited, yet nervous for. It is unlike any other meets of the season because of its length and tough competition against all teams in the SSC.

“I’m super excited for a real team experience,” Matt Curran, freshman swimmer, said. “I’m ready to step up and perform.”

In the last month, both men’s and women’s swimming have moved up in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) rankings. As of Jan. 16, women are now ranked 18 and the men are ranked 13.

Swimmers also have the opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Championships in postseason. Individual qualifiers are determined by “A” and “B” time standards.

On the women’s side, seven individuals have qualified in nine events and two relay teams. So far these qualifiers include Katja Hajdinjak, Peyton Breault, Katie Moore, Krystal Karas, Haley DeGrace, Jacinda Whittenburg and Allison Greenwood.

“I’m truly excited to swim with this group of athletes as I take on conference as a senior,” Breault said.

The men have had eight individuals qualify for the NCAA Championships in all but the two butterfly events and three of the five relay events. Among these qualifiers are Matthew Holmes, Noah Franz, Nico Campbell and Luka Planinc.

The SSC Champsionships will be the last opportunity for more Mocs to qualify for the NCAA postseason meet. Two potential national qualifiers on the men’s side are Luis Jasso and Sean Kim, who both have “B” times in the 100 and 200 breaststroke.

“The team is starting to feel good and there is a certain vibe amongst the team which says that everyone is ready to compete and swim fast,” Campbell said.

For the last couple weeks, the swim team has been working hard in preparation for conference tournament.


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