For the first time in nearly 20 years, the Riverside City College men's swimming and diving team has hauled in the Orange Empire Conference (OEC) title by landslide. The TIgers finished 348 points ahead of Golden West College to prove their sheer dominance. The women placed second by earning a point total of 726 points – just 90 points behind first-place Orange Coast College.
Head Men's Swimming Coach Jason Northcott was named the OEC Men's Coach of the Year after hauling in the first place trophy. Freshman tandem Erick Fathoni and Zach Thelwell were named the Co-Swimmers of the Meet following dominant performances.
"I'm excited to be involved with bringing the first OEC Championship to RCC in 20 years," said Northcott.
Fathoni and Thelwell earned a team-high 60 points to pace their squad. Both finished in first place in all three of their events. Fathoni set a new OEC record in in the 200 Free (1:38.51) backed by a first place mark in the 200 IM (1:50.11). He capped his performance with a gold medal finish in the 100 Free (45.89).
Thelwell was equally as impressive by earning a trio of first place marks. He began his inaugural finals appearance with a gold medal mark in the 50 Free (21.12) backed by touching the wall first in the 100 Back (52.73). He capped his showing with a top finish in the 200 Back (1:57.29).
Sophomore Javier Bernal reeled in two top finishes coming in the 400 IM (4:11.82) and the 200 Fly (1:54.52), backed by a second place finish in the 200 IM (1:55.27). He earned a total of 57 points at the meet.
Freshman Aiden Mojica was the next-best swimmer for the Tigers as he landed on top of the podium twice. He placed second in the 400 IM (4:19.64) and third in the 200 Back (1:59.74). Freshman Zakkary Schively followed with a second place finish in the 100 Fly (53.28) and a third place finish in the 200 Fly (2:00.74).
Freshman Brochton Troutman reeled in a third-place finish in the 500 Free (4:58.19), while freshman Jake Paulino mirrored his bronze medal finish coming in the 200 Breaststroke (2:13.15).
The women thrived and earned their second-consecutive second-place finish in conference. Freshman Hannah Beth Cain paced the squad with a team-high 50 points.
Cain finished top-five in all three of her events highlighted by a first-place showing in the 200 Back (2:12.20). She finished fourth in the 400 IM (4:59.07) and the 100 Back (1:02.59).
Freshman Amelia Bennett earned a pair of silver medals coming in the 500 Free (5:25.17) and the 200 Fly (2:17.82). Freshman Liz Bouffort landed on the podium in one event coming in the 200 Free (2:00.07).
Sophomore Calen Loroff earned a second place finish in the 1,650 Free (19:11.83), while freshman Michelle Hiller reeled in the bronze medal in the 100 Free (55.23).
Freshman diver Celina Melgoza dominated the one-meter and three-meter dives by earning a pair of gold medals. She began with a 132.75 score in the one meter, backed by a 117.15 score in the three meter. Her efforts earned her 2019 Diver of the Year honors.