Lions join Four other Institutions in First-Ever Championship
ORLANDO, Fla. - The first ever Sunshine State Conference Swimming Championship is set to take the blocks at the Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center beginning today, Thursday, February 17. The event will run through Sunday, February 20, with a total of seven sessions slated at the Orlando-based facility.
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Five SSC institutions will compete for the inaugural conference swimming titles. Florida Southern, Nova Southeastern, Rollins, Saint Leo, and Tampa will vie for the women's and men's crowns.
"This meet has been highly anticipated since it came to fruition and looking at the talent that will assimilate in Orlando is the reason," Saint Leo head swim coach Paul Mangen said. "All teams will be vying not only for conference laurels, but also for a berth in the NCAA champs so that too raises the level of intensity."
Action kicks off at 6 p.m. on Thursday with timed finals in the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 800-yard freestyle relay.
Friday will feature 10 a.m. preliminaries in the 200-yard freestyle relay, 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley, 50-yard freestyle, and 400-yard medley relay. Finals for each of those races will be contested at 6 p.m. Friday.
On Saturday, preliminaries for the 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, and 100-yard backstroke will begin at 10 a.m. The finals for each event will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Action will conclude on Sunday with 10 a.m. preliminaries in the 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly, 400-yard freestyle relay, and the 1,650-yard freestyle. Finals will be held in the closing session at 5 p.m.
The SSC Championship promises to be an exciting event, with all 10 conference teams currently ranked in the top 25 of the latest College Swimming Coaches Association of America poll. On the women's side, Tampa is ranked No. 9. Florida Southern is slated No. 13. Saint Leo is tied for No. 23, and Nova Southeastern is tied at No. 25. Rollins also received votes in the DII poll.
For the men, Tampa is currently ranked No. 13, followed by Florida Southern at No. 14. Nova Southeastern is close by in the No. 18 slot, while Saint Leo sits at No. 23. Rollins received votes.
A number of SSC swimmers have also posted preliminary time standards for the NCAA Division II Swimming Championships, which will be held in San Antonio March 9-12.
A host of conference swimmers will hope to make the final NCAA field with "B" standard times. SSC women's swimmers have posted 49 NCAA DII "B" standard times, while their male counterparts have notched 48 "B" standard marks.
A total of 32 swimmers will earn All-Sunshine State Conference distinction based on their performance at the SSC championship. The top eight female and male swimmers based on points accumulated throughout the meet will be named All SSC first team. Swimmers whose points rank ninth through 16th will be named All-SSC second team. A Female and Male Swimmer of the Meet will also be recognized.
Mangen concluded with one final statement that properly summarized the upcoming action in Orlando - "We are looking forward to mixing it up with some of the best in the country."
Admission for the event is $8 per session. An all-session pass is available for $45 and will include a championship program and heat sheets for each session. SSC students will be admitted free with proper school ID. Tickets may be purchased at the door.
The Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center is located at 8422 International Drive in Orlando.