Sunshine State Conference (SSC) – Men and Women
- Dates: Thursday-Sunday, February 21-24th
- Location: Long Center, Clearwater, FL
- Defending Champions: Nova Southeastern women (2x); Nova Southeatern men (2x)
- Live Results: Available
- Live Video: Available
- Championship Central
- Full Results
CLEARWATER, Fla. – Nova Southeastern University wrapped up its third straight Sunshine State Conference Men’s Swimming Championship Sunday night, the University of Tampa ended the Sharks’ two-year reign as the women’s champion, and Florida Southern senior Matt Holmes completed a perfect run through the meet with his fourth individual gold medal to bring the 2019 SSC Swimming Championships to a close.
The Sharks out-scored the Spartans 852.5 – 819 to win the men’s title for the fifth time overall, which marked the first time in five years Nova Southeastern and Florida Southern did not occupy the top two positions in the standings. Florida Southern was third this year with 761 points, followed by Saint Leo (423.5), Florida Tech (319), and Rollins (285). Florida Southern led the final medal count with 20, Tampa was second with 16, and Nova Southeastern was third with 15, but won with superior depth. The gold medal count was split almost evenly between those three schools with Florida Southern and Tampa collecting seven each and Nova Southeastern picking up six. (There was one tie for first in the meet.)
Holmes ran away with the men’s swimmer-of-the-meet award by winning the 200-breaststroke Sunday night, giving him four wins in four individual events. He joins former Nova Southeastern swimmer Franco Lupoli as the only men to win four SSC individual titles in a single meet. The senior from Rockledge, Florida won both individual medley events and both breaststroke events this year, giving him seven SSC gold medals in his career. Holmes is also just the second two-time SSC Men’s Swimmer-of-the-Meet, with Saint Leo’s Matheus Assis the first in 2013 and ‘14. Finishing second to Holmes in this year’s point race were Florida Southern teammate Luka Planinc and Tampa’s Luke Hene, who each scored 70 points and picked up gold medals on Sunday in the 1650-free and 200-back respectively.
The SSC Women’s Championships were largely dominated by Tampa and Nova Southeastern, with the Spartans outscoring the Sharks 976 – 939, and third-place Florida Southern scoring 391 points. Lynn was fourth with 369 points, followed by Saint Leo (335), Rollins (310), and Florida Tech (280). The championship was Tampa’s first since 2014, but fourth overall. The Spartans had been runner-up each of the last two seasons before their 37-point victory over the Sharks this year. The Spartans and Sharks combined for 40 of the 57 medals awarded (23-17 in favor of Tampa), with the Sharks holding a 9-8 edge in gold medals. Tampa, however, clinched the title by winning three of its gold medals Sunday night in the 100-free (Hana Van Loock), 200-back (Courtney Sherwood) and the 400-freestyle relay. The Spartans, in fact, had a 1-2-3 finish from Van Loock, Lisa Bazarova, and Megan Waddell in the 100-free, who then combined with Molly O’Hara for the winning time in the 400-freestyle relay.
Nova Southeastern sophomore Emma Sundstedt was the women’s SSC Swimmer-of-the-Meet after collecting her third gold medal of the week. Combined with one silver, it gave Sundstedt 77 points to put her just four points ahead of freshman teammate Sasha Maslova, who also had three gold medals.
NOTE: Eight SSC meet records were broken at the 2019 championship (five men, three women) and three overall conference records were eclipsed (men’s 200 IM, women’s 400 IM, and women’s 200 Fly). New 2018-19 conference top times were set in all 19 women’s events and in 12 men’s events.