By Izaiah Cerratos
The Riverside Aquatics Complex hosted the 2023 CIF-Southern Section Swimming and Diving from May 2 to May 6.
With a division title on the line and a chance to qualify for a state title, every swimmer and diver had their game face on from the first warmup session.
RCC hosted all championship events for divisions 1-4 in CIF-SS. The events included short and long distance swimming and springboard diving.
The playoff feeling ran through the stands and outside the Complex all week with fans and teams crowded around to watch high level swimming and diving.
However, Division 1 and Division 2 championship races were in danger of being delayed past the original start time at 3 p.m. When the start time loomed closer, an announcement was made over the Aquatics Complex’s speaker system asking for fan’s help in helping timing the races.
Fortunately, fans volunteered willingly to see the show go on.
“It has been an amazing experience as a fan, you can feel the excitement and passion everyone has to win a championship today,” Maria Santos, a supporter from the crowd, said.
Spectators battled for parking throughout the week and for seats in the stands. People were shoulder to shoulder standing on their feet for hours on end in the Complex cheering for their school.
The talent level was well noticed throughout the competition. Scouts from some of the most well respected collegiate athletic programs such as Texas Tech University, The University of Arizona and UC Berkeley filled the stands to spectate the talent that was on display.
“The competition was amazing these past couple of days,” Jack Painton, a junior from Roosevelt High School, said. “It was a great experience to compete against many great swimmers and divers from so many different schools.”
Division 1 and Division 2 championships had the crowd on the edge of their seats with every race or relay. Esperanza High School claimed the first win of the day, winning the D2- consolation bracket final in the Women’s 200 yard medley relay with a time of 1:45.06 seconds.
AJ Sorensen, a senior of WoodBridge High School, placed first in the mixed 500 yard freestyle with a time of 1:00.03 seconds. Rex Mauer, a senior from Loyola, finished first in the boys 500 yard freestyle at 4:24.48 seconds.
The competition brought out the best in the athletes and coaches. The desire to win showed in every stroke.
“All you can ask for is for these boys and girls to compete at the best of their ability,” Mater Dei High School head coach Kelly Dullard said. “Everyone here has put in the work and deserved a chance to showcase themselves and school.”
Many coaches reminded their players to continue to have fun no matter the outcome of the races.
“Enjoy this, enjoy being with your teammates and having your family and friends cheering, this could be it,” Redondo Union assistant coach Rick Crump said.
Although the name of the game is competition, every player, coach and fan understood they were in the presence of a highly intense swimming and diving showcase.