CLEARWATER, Fla. – It was another record setting day and NCAA qualifying night in the pool for the Saint Leo men's and women's swim teams as the second day of the Sunshine State Conference Swimming Championships comes to a close. As a team, the both the Lions' men's and women's teams sit in fourth place at the halfway mark of the event.
An exciting day for both teams was capped off by a thrilling 200 Free Relay for the 14th-ranked men that started with Matheus Assis leading off the race with a 20.02 second swim, which is the second fastest time in the country for 2012-13. His lead leg would help to propel the Lions' relay of Assis, Gabe Keown, Pawel Trenda and Milton Alberto-Requejo to a silver medal in the race with a time of 1:20.99, a tenth of a second slower than first-place Tampa.
The Saint Leo women also joined the record setting action by smashing the 400 Individual Medley Relay record of 4:03.64 with a new standard of 3:58.17. The team of Erin Bobsein, Sandra Stopczyńska, Chantal Bouthillier, and Bianca Muniz set the new mark as they finished fourth. In the swim, Erin Bobsein sets the school record in the 100 back school record going :58.84 seconds.
"I think we've upped our game at the right time," Head Coach Paul Mangen said. "After qualifying Matheus yesterday and putting the 800 Free Relay in a position to advance to the Show (NCAA Tournament), I was concerned of the mental hangover. The men fed off of that start and actually swam better in tonight's relay with his lead-off being the swim of the night for sure at the Long Center. So we are very excited about possibly having two different relays qualified for the NCAA meet. Both are top 10 for sure right now."
He continued, "Our ladies needed to have the night we had tonight and they were very exciting to watch. They were very solid on all four relay swims that were very close finishes. Tomorrow and Saturday are great days for us individually, so we need to continue to accumulate points and close out races the way we did tonight."
It really was a special day for Assis as he would go on to claim victory in the 50 Free individual event. Also setting individual marks for the men, Paweł Trenda had another record-breaking swim by breaking the school record in the 200 Individual Medley, going 1:48.42, better his own previously set record and good enough for second place. Michael Cozzi also set a new school record in the 500 Free going 4:32.40, better than his previous time by 1.5 seconds.
Tampa sits atop the women's standings with 367 points, just ahead of Nova Southeastern with 355. Florida Southern is third with 283 points. Saint Leo is fourth with 131, while Rollins is fifth with 107. Florida Tech holds the sixth spot with 103 points, and Lynn is seventh with 96.
Florida Southern leads the men's standings with 351 points. Nova Southeastern is second with 313 points. Tampa is third with 273 points, and Saint Leo is fourth with 195. Florida Tech occupies the fifth spot with 150 points, and Rollins is sixth with 112.
Action continues at the Long Center on Friday, with preliminaries at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.