SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo men’s and women’s swim teams opened up the 2009-10 season with a narrow loss to Blue Grass Mountain Conference opponents Florida Southern College, Friday evening from University Pool. The men fell 112-89, while the women dropped a close 14-point decision, 109.50-95.50.

Overall the men claimed four, first-place finishes while the women swam their way to five, first-place touches.

Junior Matt Attal got things going in the right direction for the Lions’ men, scoring a first-place victory in the 1000 Yard Freestyle with a time of 10:29.36. Fellow junior teammate, Tim Olson also had an outstanding afternoon for the Green & Gold, solidifying a pair of first-place finishes. He registered his victory during the 200 Yard Freestyle with a time of 1:47.71, more than a second a half ahead of his nearest competitor. Six events later, Olson notched his second individual win in the 200 Yard Butterfly, closing as the only swimmer in the group to stay under two minutes with a time of 1:59.28

Derek Maddigan added the Lions fourth and final first-place finish of the meet in the 200 Yard Breaststroke; as he edged out Mocs’ swimmer Charlie Dolan by less than a second at 2:23.46.

Kyle Gramm also had a solid day in the pool, earning a pair of second-place finishes in the 50 Yard Freestyle and 100 Yard Freestyle, respectively. Alexander Parada finished second in the 200 Yard Backstroke, four seconds off the first-place pace.

On the women’s side, Mindy Pierce immediately gave the Lions a boost with a first-place time of 11:37.74 in the 1000 Yard Freestyle. She also answered later in the race with silver showing in the 200 Yard Breaststroke. After Alicia Thompson and Erin Lucas combined to give SLU seven points in the 50 Yard Freestyle, Jessica Pall took home the prize in the 200 Yard IM with a finishing time of 2:21.41. She rounded out her day with a runner-up showing in the 1000 Yard Freestyle. One event later, Erin Hotchkiss added to the Lions’ point total with an individual heat victory in the 200 Yard Butterfly, closing with a time of 2:15.10.

After Lucas finished runner-up for the second consecutive time in event 13, Alisha Adams locked up the teams fourth win of the meet in the 200 Yard Backstroke. The junior soared past her opponents and concluded the race more than five seconds better than the nearest Mocs’ swimmer at 2:15.02.  Freshman Sarah Earls made a splash in her first collegiate event, locking up the top spot in the 500 Yard Freestyle with a time of 5:50.90.

Unfortunately for the 200+ Lions’ fans in attendance, the efforts in the pool came up just shy.

About their first meet, Head Swim Coach Paul Mangen said, “Both the men’s and women’s teams showed a lot of heart and for a small team; they swam big.” He went on to state, “I look forward to our next opportunity to get in the pool so we can continue improving as a squad.”

Both Lions’ teams return to the pool October 31, for a Halloween morning dual meet against Blue Grass Mountain Conference foe Rollins. Both teams will hit the pool at 11:00 a.m. from Winter Park, Fla.