The Clovis Community College Swim and Dive teams co-hosted the first ever “Ram Crush Invitational” with the help of fellow SCCCD college, Fresno City College, and sponsored by Arena Swimwear. The event covered a two-day format at Clovis North High School Aquatic Center, on Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23. The nine teams competing in this first offering included perennial CCCAA powerhouses Diablo Valley College (San Ramon) and Pasadena City College, as well as local rivals Merced College and College of the Sequoias (Visalia).
The women’s team finished an eye-opening second place, out of nine women’s teams. Diablo Valley won the meet with 998.5 points, Clovis scored 767 for second, and in-conference rival, COS finished third with 444.5 points.
The “Lady-Crush” athletes were responsible for winning two individual events, as freshmen, Sammie Rockey and Chloe Telian, won the 400 individual medley and the 200 butterfly, respectively. Arena swimwear donated awards for High Point winners for each stroke discipline, and Clovis swimmers were rewarded with three of them. Rockey earned honors for women’s breastroke, Telian took the women’s butterfly, and Hannah Carbajal picked the award for the women’s individual medley. Rockey continued to make an impression, as her times from the 100 breastroke and 200 breastroke events broke CCC school records in each event. Women’s team members who reached the podium include: Carbajal (400 IM 2nd, 200 IM 3rd, 100 IM 3rd, and 50 butterfly 3rd), Kristina Copeland (500 free 2nd, 1650 free 2nd, and 200 free 2nd), Dani Denton (50 free 3rd, 100 free 3rd), Rockey (400 IM 1st, 100 breast 2nd, 200 breast 2nd, 50 breast 2nd), Jade Standing (1m dive 2nd), Telian (200 butterfly 1st, 100 butterfly 2nd, 200 freestyle 3rd).
Women’s relay mojo was in full swing, as well. The medley relay teams of Denton, Rockey, Telian, and Helen Harris placed 2nd in both the 200 and 400 medley relays. The team of Telian, Carbajal, Harris, and Denton placed 2nd in the 200 free relay. Finally, the team of Telian, Carbajal, Harris, and Sara Barcelos placed 3rd in the 400 freestyle relay.
The men’s team placed a respectable 5th placed, out of eight men’s teams in the meet. The winning team, Diablo Valley, finished with 1513.5 points, while the Crush men’s team scored 335 points, just ahead of conference rival, COS who earned 306 points in the two-day competition.
Returning CCCAA “All-American,” Jaylan Neal, recorded the team’s only win of the weekend, with a victory on the 1m springboard, with a score of 224.0 (6 dive format). His score bettered his existing team record, set last year. Neal’s diving counterpart, Joshua Depaz managed a 3rd placed finish on the 1m board to earn a podium place in the event. Fellow returning All-American, Dante Ramos also provided some fireworks in the pool, as he took 2nd place in both the 500 freestyle and the 1650 freestyle events. His time in the 1650 was faster than the time invited to compete at the CCCAA championship meet, the past 3 years.
The men’s top relay finish came from the, meet closing, 400 freestyle relay, in which the team of Ramos, Colin Plank, Stuart Mallam, and Daniel Jones finished a in a solid 5th place to solidify their final team place ahead of perennial CVC Champion, College of the Sequoias.
Next up for the Crush Swim and Dive teams is the Cuesta Invitational, which will be held, this year, at Bakerfield College, as the host pool, in San Luis Obispo, is still down for repair. The meet will be another two day invitational, March 8-9, and typically features over 20 different schools, including many teams ranked in the top 20 in the state.