CLEARWATER, Fla. - Saturday's final day of competition at the 2013 Sunshine State Conference Women's Swimming Championship came down to the last event of the meet, with Tampa winning the conference title compliments of a victory in the 400 freestyle relay. The Spartan men also turned in a third place finish.
Having led for most of the four-day meet, Florida Southern sealed its first Sunshine State Conference Men's Swimming Championship. The Moccasins compiled 940 total points en route to their title. Nova Southeastern, which claimed the first two SSC men's swimming titles in 2011 and 2012, placed second with 780 points. Tampa took the third spot in the final standings with 726 total points. Saint Leo finished fourth with 443. Florida Tech (308) and Rollins (235) rounded out the men's order.
In women's action, the Spartans held a narrow 13-point lead over Nova Southeastern with only the 400 free relay remaining, and the quartet of Kristine Kassl, Kylie Piche, Erin Plachy, and Heather Glenday turned in a meet and overall conference record time of 3:25.12 to give UT the gold and the SSC crown.
The event win gave Tampa a total of 892 points for the meet, and the squad staved off second-place Nova Southeastern, which tallied 867 points over the four-day championship.
Florida Southern took home third place with 706 total points. Saint Leo placed fourth with 323 points, followed closely by Rollins in fifth with 316. Lynn (238) and Florida Tech (211) rounded out the final women's standings.
Nova Southeastern sophomore Lauren Chapple claimed Women's Swimmer of the Meet honors after posting 57 individual points. Chapple secured the honor by posting new championship meet and overall conference records in both the 400 individual medley and 200 butterfly. On Saturday, Chapple notched a first-place time of 2:02.74 in the 200 fly. On Friday, she had clocked a record-setting mark of 4:19.97 in the 400 IM.
Saturday's final day of action at the Long Center in Clearwater, Fla., began with Florida Southern's Ali Crenshaw picking up gold in the 1,650-yard freestyle. Crenshaw swam to new meet and overall conference records in 16:45.44 and secured an NCAA Division II automatic qualifying time.
The 200 backstroke went to FSC's Lauren Reynolds, who won with a mark of 1:59.93. The Moccasins' streak continued with a 100 freestyle victory by Kelsey Gouge (50.89).
NSU's Ashley Bransford stood atop the medals podium in the 200 breaststroke, winning with a time of 2:17.53.
All told, the 2013 SSC Swimming Championship produced 24 new meet records for both the women's and men's events combined. A total of 20 Division II automatic qualifying times were posted.
Tampa's SSC women's swimming title is the second in the three-year history of the sport, as the Spartans also won the inaugural conference swim meet in 2011.