State Preview: Swimming & Diving Set for CCCAA State Championships

Photos by Bobby R. Hester
Photos by Bobby R. Hester

After a strong showing at the Orange Empire Conference (OEC) Championships, the men's and women's swimming and diving squad is set to make more waves at the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championships beginning Thursday, May 2 through Saturday, May 4 at De Anza College in Cupertino, CA.

The men recently hauled in the OEC Championship for the first time in 20 years, while the women placed second overall. Freshman Erick Fathoni and freshman Zack Thelwell were named the OEC Co-Swimmers of the Meet, while freshman Celina Melgoza was named the OEC Female Diver of the Year.

The swimmer to watch will be Fathoni. The conference champion will compete in the 200 Free (1:38.51), the 100 Free (45.89) and the 200 IM (1:50.11). He holds the top seed time in the 200 IM and the 200 Free. He is coming off a 200 Free clip that snapped the OEC and RCC record at the conference championships.

Thelwell is set to compete in the 100 Back (52.73), 200 Back (1:57.29) and 50 Free (21.12). He was the conference champion in all three events. Freshman Kenny Wulf will look to compete in the 1,650 Free (17:20.26), while freshman Zakkary Schively will participate in the 200 Fly (2:00.74).

Freshman Matthew Carney will hold down the diving board for the Tigers as he is slotted in the one meter (171.15) and the three meter (190.80). Riverside qualified for the 200 Free Relay (1:43.04), 200 Medley Relay 91:37.29), 800 Free Relay (7:00.18) and the 400 Free Relay (3:06.56). The Tigers are a mere half a second away from the top seed time in the 400 Free Relay.

Melgoza will look to follow her dual conference championship in the one meter (135.35) and the three meter (153.59). Freshman Hannah Beth Cain qualified for the 200 Back (2:12.20) 100 Back (1:01.58) and 400 IM (4:54.69). She is ranked fifth overall in the 200 Back after haling in the gold medal at the conference championships.

Freestyle specialist and freshman Liz Bouffort will compete in the 100 Free (54.32), 200 Free (2:00.07) and the 50 Free (25.28). She earned a podium appearance in the 200 Free at the conference championships. Freshman Amelia Bennet qualified for a pair of events in the 200 Fly (2:17.82) and the 500 Free (5:25.17), while sophomore and Cal Baptist commit Calean Loroff will compete in the 1,650 (19:11.83) and the 500 Free (5:30.36).

Riverside qualified for a grip of relay events. They will compete in the 200 Free Relay (1:43.04), 400 Free Relay (3:44.16), 800 Free Relay (8:07.47), 200 Medley Relay (1:55.81) and the 400 Medley Relay (4:09.27).