By: Austin Turner
After three days of championship racing at the Orange Empire Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, the Riverside City College Tigers just couldn’t catch Orange Coast College.
The OCC Pirates dominated the championships, capturing both the men’s and women’s titles while continuing their chase for state.
The RCC women’s team were able to finish in second, with 533 overall points, while the men settled for third place with 553 points.
Among the women earning podium finishes for the Tigers was Jaquelin Meza, who placed third in the diving competition. Freshman Monet Marquez was also able to earn a bronze with a time of 26.66 in the 50 yard freestyle.
The leading scorer for the Tigers with 44 points was the season-long standout for the team, Supavee Nilaad, who earned fourth place in both the 200 medley and the 100 breaststroke.
As for the men, freshman Javier Bernal once again stole the show with a pair of runner- up finishes and a conference title. Bernal posted a blistering time of 1 minute and 52 seconds in the 200 butterfly, good for a first place finish and conference championship in that event.
Sophomore Farouk Zaoui was another top finisher for the Tigers. He placed third in the 500 freestyle, 400 medley and 200 butterfly, putting up a crucial 48 points for the team.
Freshman Alexandre Piron scored 43 points, including a second place finish in the 100 butterfly stroke.
Though the OEC championships have concluded, the season is not over for some.
Bernal, Zaoui and Piron will each compete in the California Community College Athletic Association Swimming and Diving State Championships, beginning May 5 at De Anza College. RCC will also be competing in five relay events, in addition to the three individual competitors.