Pirates rule the Pool on Day 1 of CCCAA State Meet

Pirates rule the Pool on Day 1 of CCCAA State Meet

CUPERTINO -- The Orange Coast College men's and women's swim teams dominated the opening day of competition at the California Community College Athletic Association State Swim Meet, hosted by De Anza College, on Thursday.

Through Day 1 of this three-day state championship, the Pirate women racked up 173 points and hold a 40.5-point lead on runner-up Santa Rosa (132.5), followed by Diablo Valley (101), Sierra (101), San Diego Mesa (95), San Joaquin Delta (82), Palomar (52), Las Positas (51), Mt. San Antonio (48) and Santa Barbara City (47).

On the men's side, it's another sea of Orange and Blue, with the Pirates (193 points) holding a 41-point lead on Sierra (152), followed by Golden West (112), San Diego Mesa (99), Diablo Valley (95), Cuesta (77), Santa Monica (68), Pasadena City (56), Las Positas (52) and Riverside City (51).

Here is a recap of event, courtesy of Robert Lewis, state swim representative of the California Community College Sports Information Association.

Event 1: Women's 200 Freestyle Relay
Champion—Orange Coast (Meghan Cluck, Lilli Lindgard, Kylie McCormick, Kennedy Hood), 1:36.25

The Pirates opened up with a solid win with speedy splits from Lindgard (23.39) and anchor Hood, who swam a final 50 of 23.36. Santa Rosa finished second and Diablo Valley placed third.

Event 2: Men's 200 Freestyle Relay
Champion—Orange Coast (Michael Jones, Dawson Sloan, Reece Hemmens, Donny Hadden), 1:36.25
It made sense that four swimmers who qualified for the 50-freestyle championship final would combine their efforts for a first event win by the OCC men. Sloan swam a 20.11 second 50 and anchor Hadden had a 20.32 mark for the victory. Golden West was second, 2.61 seconds behind the fearsome foursome while Sierra was third.

Event 3: Women's 500 Freestyle
Champion—Melissa Cienega, Pasadena City, 5:04.30

Last year, Cienega waited until the last 50 yards to make her move, but the repeat champion Lancer stayed fairly close with Cheyenne Morris of Orange Coast and let San Joaquin Delta's Madeline Wittkowske set the pace. In the last 100 yards, Cienega kicked it up a gear and pulled away for the title by 4.4 seconds over silver medalist Wittkowske with Morris placing third.

Event 4: Men's 500 Freestyle
Champion: Hayden Hemmens, Orange Coast, 4:26.23

Hemmens had a classic duel with Sierra's Daniel Ilin as the pair went stroke for stroke for most of the 500 yards. In the final 25, it could have gone either way, but Hemmens just touched the wall ahead of Ilin for the title. Ilin took second just .20 behind and Marin's Nick Cruse was a distant third more than nine seconds behind the top pair.

Event 5: Women's 200 Individual Medley
Champion: Ashley Tse, Mt. San Antonio, 2:03.68
Tse tried her hardest to break the oldest standing record at the state meet of Chaffey's Elsa Nasution in 1997, but her furious final 25 yards was not enough, missing by just .20 of a second. Tse still enjoyed a terrific state championship swim, with a 5-second win over second-place Taylor Sargis of Santa Rosa. Orange Coast's Kylie McCormick picked up the bronze.

Event 6: Men's 200 Individual Medley
Champion: Santiago Rivera, Golden West, 1:50.91

Rivera jumped immediately into the lead and never looked back despite a late charge by Mt. San Antonio's Jason Harary in winning this title. Harary placed second at 1:51.88 and Riverside City's Javier Bernal grabbed third at 1:52.07.

Event 7: Women's 50 Freestyle
Champion: Kennedy Hood, Orange Coast, 24.10

It was an all-OCC trifecta in the freestyle sprint with Hood edging teammate Meghan Cluck by just .11 and fellow Pirate Lilli Lindgard by .19. All eight racers in the final combined to be within .47 of a second in one of the most competitive 50s in state history.

Event 8: Men's 50 Freestyle
Champion: Brandon Crabtree, San Diego Mesa, 19.94

A three-time state champ two years ago, Mesa's Crabtree returned to the state meet and broke the 20-second mark in taking gold in the fast sprint. Crabtree was followed by four Orange Coast swimmers with Michael Jones scoring second (20.37) and Reece Hemmens in third (20.48).

Event 9: Women's 400 Medley Relay
Champion: Orange Coast (Lauren Weins, Meghan Cluck, Kylie McCormick, Cheyenne Morris), 3:52.60

The Pirates made it look easy in the skills relay, winning by 6.16 seconds over silver medalist Santa Rosa and 6.48 over third place Diablo Valley. Those three teams were the only schools to break the 4-minute mark. Weins' opening 56.76 sparked Orange Coast's victory.

Event 10: Men's 400 Medley Relay
Champion: Orange Coast (Hayden Hemmens, Jace Hong, Akili Allen, Reece Hemmens), 3:21.27

For 300 yards, at least five teams traded leads as it seemed to be anyone's race. Then, Reece Hemmens landed in the pool as he took over the race and anchored a Pirates' victory by a healthy 1.40 seconds. Hemmens 44.02 split held off second-place Golden West (3:22.67) and Sierra (3:23.52) in third.

Event 11: Women's Diving 1-Meter Board
Champion--Alejandra Gomez, Cypress, 254.10 points—State Meet Record

Gomez breaks the record set just last year by Santa Barbara's Gina Jacobson (246.85) in winning the shorter board. Gomez won by nearly 50 points over second-place Ashley Dettman (San Diego Mesa) and third-place finisher Sarah Duke (Saddleback). She took the lead by the second of her six dives. Gomez wins after taking the silver at the 2017 state meet.

Event 12: Men's Diving 3-Meter Board
Champion—Josh Hamby, San Joaquin Delta, 301.95 points
Hamby scored 50 or more points on five of his six dives, including a meet high 57.4 points on his third dive—a backward, 2-1/2—in capturing the high board title. Only one other diver scored 50 points on any of their dives. Chaffey's Noah Luna took the silver medal for the second straight year although he scored 269.20 points, 40 more than his performance in '17. SoCal champion Jon Rios-Brady of SD Mesa placed third with a strong 260.90.