Women's Swimming & Diving

Relay perfection propel OCC Women, Ilin's distance freestyles lead Sierra Men to State Swim Titles

Orange Coast women with its 20th state  swim team title.
Orange Coast women with its 20th state swim team title.



By Robert Lewis, CCCSIA

CUPERTINO - The dynasty known as the Orange Coast College women's swim program continued at the 2019 California Community College Athletic Association State Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday at De Anza College. The Pirates won their 20th state title in the sport and third in the last four seasons thanks in part to a perfect 5-for-5 in relay titles.

Sierra wins its second ever men's state championship, defeating second-place and fellow Big 8 opponent Diablo Valley by just 28 points. 

Winning nine events overall, OCC was led by Meghan Kluck and Riley Crow, who each won two individual golds and were both a part of four of the relay wins. Sophomore teammate Kennedy Hood also was a leg in four relays while Kylie McCormick and Cheyenne Morris picked up medals in three each. Amber Theders participated in two relay victories. Orange Coast's Anthony Iacopetti and San Diego Mesa's Jim Fegan were picked as Women's Co-Coaches of the Year. Mesa finished as state runner-up, including two event champs on Saturday by Julie Parsons and Allyson Hansen. 

The Wolverines can credit a lot of their success to the performance of Men's Swimmer of the Year Daniel Ilin, who won three events, including Saturday's 1,650-yard freestyle (won for the second straight year in the mile race). Sierra won seven events overall, including two relays, and titles by Ilin in the 200 and 500 freestyle, Noah Scholar in the 100 breaststroke, and Eric Thias in the 200 backstroke. Sierra head coach Chris Breitbart was named Men's Coach of the Year.

San Joaquin Delta's Madeline Wittkowske was named the Women's Swimmer of the Year after winning the 1,650 freestyle on Saturday to go with her 200 freestyle gold and a silver in the 500 freestyle.  

The state meet featured three new records, two by American River's Amy Crayne in her triumphs in the 1-meter and 3-meter board competition. Crayne was named Women's Diver of the Year and her mother Dede Crayne was Women's Diving Coach of the Year. Ironically, both Craynes were double state champions with Dede doing the feat in 1985 for Santa Rosa. But it's the daughter who is now a state points record holder on both boards. 

El Camino's Ida Due earned Women's Swim Performance of the Meet with her meet record in the 400 individual medley. Another South Coast Conference member in Mt. SAC's Jason Harary had Men's Swim Performance of the Meet with his 10-plus second margin of victory, also in the 400 IM. San Joaquin Delta's Josh Hamby (three titles in two years) and Rio Hondo's Aaron Augustine (1-meter board champ) were named Co-Men's Divers of the Year and their coaches were Co-Men's Diving Coaches of the Year in Delta's Robert Wimberly and the Roadrunners' Charlie Collins. 

The state record count since 2010 now stands at 60 records that have been broken in various events.

In both genders, the Big 8 Conference accounted for 16 event champions. The Orange Empire had 10. The SCC did well with six event champions while the Western State Conference was represented with four event champions from four different colleges.  

1. Orange Coast 553, 2. San Diego Mesa 332, 3. Sierra 318, 4. Diablo Valley 313, 5. San Joaquin Delta 234, 6. American River 221, 7. Las Positas 201, 8. Riverside City 172, 9. Santa Rosa JC 170, 10. Santa Barbara City 157.

1. Sierra 528, 2. Diablo Valley 500, 3. Mt. San Antonio 319, 4. Riverside City 246, 5. Santa Rosa JC 225.5, 6. Las Positas 215, 7. Santa Monica 197, 8. Grossmont 182, 9. Ventura 129, 10. Merced 128.

Event by Event Capsules

1. Madeline Wittkowske, San Joaquin Delta, 17:38 flat
Wittkowske repeats as the state mile freestyle champion by showing what a champion is all about. Two of her fastests three laps were her final 100 yards as she closed with a 30.69 and then 29.38 final 50 to cap a near 10-second win over Orange Coast's Amber Theders, who took second in 17:47.54, and El Camino's Ida Due who scored third in 17:58.10. 

M-1,650 Freestyle
1. Daniel Ilin, Sierra, 15:55.38
Just like the women's side, the men see a repeat mile champ in Ilin, who completed his dominating performance this meet with his third event victory. He beat his time from last year by 3.27 seconds and won the the race by a stunning 26 seconds faster than the rest of the field. Diablo Valley's Kenneth Suhaili took the silver in 16:21.45 while Santa Rosa's Cameron Flood scored bronze in 16:31.82.

W-200 Backstroke
1. Julie Parsons, San Diego Mesa, 2:02.87
A familiar theme of this state meet was the ability for several swimmers who were second-best as freshmen, then grabbing gold as sophomores. That was the case for Parsons who put up a magnificent swim and only little more than a second behind the meet record. Parsons won the race by 4.15 seconds over second-place Maiha Mizuta of Foothill (2:07.02). American River's McKenzie Ayala placed third at 2:10.75.

M-200 Backstroke
1. Eric Thias, Sierra, 1:49.85
Thias opening 100 (52.85) allowed him to get some breathing room with a 1.5 second lead as he went on to win the event title. Mt. SAC's Jason Harary finished strong to take second (1:50.69) and Canyons' Rowdy Feather was third in 1:54.21. 

W-100 Freestyle
1. Allyson Hansen, San Diego Mesa, 52.39
As the top seed coming in, Hansen swam to form to edge out defending champ Kennedy Hood (52.92) for the Olympians second straight team tilte win. Hood did lead after the opening 100, but Hansen's 27.34 finish was enough for gold. Diablo Valley's Taylor Cossu was a close third (53.12) and Bakersfield's Daran Towns was also in the thick of things at 53.22.

M-100 Freestyle
1. Esteban Perez Del Rio, Las Positas, 45.01
Perez Del Rio beat his state-best time this year by .08 and had enough to win this title. A couple of solid swimmers this meet finished second and third in Pierce's Mario Marshall (45.39) and Diablo Valley's Kai Nashan (45.59). Tied for fourth were Riverside's Erick Fathoni and Santa Rosa's Mark Sidorenko at 45.72. 

W-200 Breaststroke
1. Izzie Fraire, Allan Hancock, 2:19.62
The top four swimmers in this event put everything they had into this swim and it resulted in all four blowing away their top seed times in an epic battle to the finish. Fraire, who trailed after 50, 100, and 150 yards, found an extra gear in her final 50 and while others tired, the Hancock talent swam a 36.84 to win the gold. Sierra's Danielle Brown took second (2:20.49) while the top two swimmers from the 100 breaststroke placed third (Meghan Kluck, Orange Coast, 2:20.65) and fourth (Pasadena's Carmen Ung, 2:20.72). 

M-200 Breaststroke
1. Adam Fishbaugh, Diablo Valley, 2:04.74
While many swims are decided because of a good start, the longer breaststroke has a knack for what you do late in the race. Fishbaugh trailed through the first 150 yards, but caught leader Sierra's Noah Scholar down the stretch for a .31 victory. Fishbaugh swam 33.13 over the last 50 for the title. Scholar placed second at 2:05.05, and Wolverines' teammate Joseph Dutra took third with a fast last 50 (31.77) for a 2:05.65.

W-200 Butterfly
1. Riley Crow, Orange Coast, 2:07.25
Crow had a relatively easy time to win her second fly event by 5.78 seconds. Sierra occupied the next three spots as Natalie Nobili took second (2:13.03), Rory Nuuwiha was third (2:13.85) and Jacquelyn Laskey placed fourth (2:14.21).

M-200 Butterfly
1. Colin Casey, Santa Monica, 1:51.34
Second in the 100 fly, Casey enjoyed the longer fly event for the title by almost a second over Riverside's Javier Bernal, whose 1:52.32 gave him the silver in the event for the second straight year. Mt. SAC's Jonathan Olvera was third in 1:53.74

W-400 Freestyle Relay
1. Orange Coast, 3:35 flat (Kluck, Theders, Crow, Hood) 
It was a perfect 5-for-5 in relays for the Pirates in capping yet another state team championship. The consistency of the opening three swimmers did the trick with a 54.20 from Kluck, a 54.38 from Theders and a 54.14 by Crow. Hood did what any good anchor would do as she took the victory home with a 52.28 final 100. Finishing in second was San Joaquin Delta (3:38.66) and Diablo Valley placed third (3:39.82). 

M-400 Freestyle Relay
1. Riverside City, 3:04.80 (Zack Thelwell, Justin Gomez, Sennen Chow, Erick Fathoni)
The Tigers picked up the final gold medal, holding off second-place Diablo Valley by just .03 of a second. Fathoni's 44.61 close made the difference. Las Positas scored third in 3:07.14, followed in a furious finish by Santa Rosa at 3:07.26, Sierra in 3:07.35, and Mt. SAC at 3:07.40.

 Sierra men win the 2019 state title