Women’s swim is heading to state

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By Javier Cabrera / Editor In Chief

State swimming (Na’ilah Thomas / Staff Photographer)

By Javier Cabrera / Editor In Chief

A second place finish at the Orange Empire Conference swim championship meet on April 21 is the best result the Riverside City College women’s swim and dive team could have wanted.

Led by Andrea Antonissen’s wins in the 50 and 100 backstrokes, the Tigers were able to rack up 634 points to finish behind Orange Coast College, who calculated 919.5 and win the conference title for a second straight season.

Antonissen set a record with a time of 52.38 in the 100 backstroke and finished 23.49 in the 50 back stroke.

Kamaehu Alboro finished the 50 event of the backstroke with a time of 27.24 and in the 100 event of the backstroke, she finished at 58.76. She was the only competitor to finish under the one minute mark.

The Tigers also took first place in the one-meter diving event as Haley McValey defeated Cypress College’s Megan Morse by three points as McValey finished the event with 174.20 points.

“We set four school records,” said David Almquist, coach of the RCC women’s swim and dive team. “Andrea Antonissen was selected as the Orange Empire Conference swimmer of the meet.”

Almquist said he is happy with the results of the meet and of the season.

“The first 16 swims that we had (this season), I think 14 of them were lifetime best in the conference meet , so we are going to label that as a huge success,” he said.

Almquist said the conference meet has to be the hardest thing he had to do as a coach.

“The conference meet was the most difficult I have coached in at least 10 years, in terms of quality at the top level,” he said. “It was really hard.”

Almquist said the conference meet served as a way to prepare the team for state and it turned into something positive for the team.

“We were pretty happy because Golden West College was really close to us the whole time, and we had to really compete,” he said. “We beat them by 19 points and out of 650 points, that is not a lot of points.”

Almquist said the team had a lot of goals as a team and as individuals.

“We had a lot of goals, one of them was for every single swimmer to do a lifetime best in the conference finals,” he said. “And we got that goal accomplished.”

Another goal the team had was to make the state finals.

“Another one was to just be the best team we could be and when you qualify with nine swimmers out of 16 on our team to the state championship, that’s a pretty good number,” Almquist said.

He said there are not many teams that can say they can send a high number of swimmers to the state championship.

Sarah Quinte, the assistant coach of the women’s swim and dive team, said the team has come a long way since the beginning of the season.

“I think as the season started, each meet was just a little bit harder, in terms of each meet was one or two days, so the swimmers from the beginning of the season, in January and February until now, did a much better job of being able to perform while the whole time versus one season and one meet,” she said.

Another highlight to the season has been swimmer Aimee Gingerland. As Almquist said, she has been a surprise.

“She actually improved enough to qualify for the state championship,” he said.

The state championship is scheduled to be on April 28 at East Los Angeles College at 9 a.m. 

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