By Kevin Hudec
By Kevin Hudec
The Riverside City College swim team dominated Palomar College in a meet March 30, held at California Baptist University. RCC took the first place position more than 15 times and only allowed Palomar to take two events.
RCC took the first 13 events, before Palomar managed to take first place in the men’s 200-meter butterfly. Later in the day, Palomar took the women’s 50-meter backstroke.
The day’s first event was the women’s 200-meter relay medley, in which Katelyn Frost helped to start RCC’s winning streak. Frost had been sick all week and wasn’t able to practice her technique, but she still swam the 50-meter breaststroke in the relay and increased RCC’s lead during her portion of the event.
Still, being at the meet was great for Paloma Dinkel, one of Frost’s relay partners, as she placed first multiple times. While swimming the women’s 200-meter individual medley, she not only qualified for the state championships with a finishing time of 2:09.55, but also set a college record.
“In more than nine years of swimming… sometimes I wanted to quit, but I’m still here,” Dinkel said. Her motivation is due to her motto, “Don’t give up, even when it’s hard.”
It seemed that her teammates thought the same. Tamara Hoyt, another relay swimmer, was also fast enough to qualify for state in the women’s 100-meter individual medley with a time of 1:04.59.
“We have six different swimmers who have broke to state already… and one diver as well. Stacey Bloom will be in the State (Diving Preliminaries) in two weeks… We are close in a lot of individual events, and will probably see a few more soon,” coach David Almquist said.
RCC did not just dominate with how many times they placed first, but also with the large margins by which they usually won.
“It’s always nice to win, but the best part of the meet was the times,” Almquist said. “The times were the best we’ve had. Tamara Hoyt and Kelsey Arnold, our butterfly and backstroke swimmers, had their best times of the season.”
Taking first in the men’s 200-meter individual medley was Jeff Gouailhardou, who outpaced his opponents by more than 15 seconds.
“The 200 (individual medley) is my favorite event, but I hate it when I get to the backstroke part,” Gouailhardou said. “The sun gets in my eyes.”
Having done well all season, the team’s overall record of 7-1 won the Orange Empire Conference. With the women’s team record of 4-0 and men’s of 3-1, they will be going to the Southern California Regional Tournament in three weeks and hope even more swimmers will make it to State Championships the next month.