A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

SRJC Swim and Dive Team makes big splash at Big 8

Courtesy of Mindy Breslin
Greyson McCaw places first in the 200-yard free. He is one of several swimmers on the SRJC Swim and Dive team who won during the Big 8 Conference April 20-22 in Stockton.

Swimmer of the year titles, personal bests and a high spirit marked the Santa Rosa Junior College swim and dive teams’ Big 8 Conference April 20-22 at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton.

“Seeing people put in the work every day and have it pay off at the meet was really exciting,” freshman Andrew Morris said.

And pay off it did. The women’s team won the 400 and 200 relays. Maia Chase placed second in the 1-meter diving with a score of 206.30. Stella Clarkson came in third in the 500-yard (5:27.79), and Ashley Simmons placed second in the 200-yard breaststroke (1:10.31). Stassi Holzhauer took first place in the 200-yard individual medley (2:10.34), 400-yard individual medley (4:41.68) and 200-yard fly (2:11.56). Ruby Gonzalez won the 50-yard freestyle (24.29), 200-yard freestyle (1:55.36) and 200-yard backstroke (2:07.31).

The men’s team placed third in the 200 relay. Juan Madrigal placed third in the 100-yard fly (52.27). Greyson McCaw won the 200-yard free (1:44.64) and came in fourth at the 500-yard men’s freestyle (4:48.80). Andrew Morris placed second in the 200-yard individual medley (1:24.01) and in the 100-yard backstroke (51:68).

The Big 8 Conference coaches awarded Gonzalez and Holzhauer as co-female swimmers of the year, a feat unprecedented in SRJC swim and dive history. “It was a very proud moment for me that I was able to share with a fellow teammate of mine,” Gonzalez said. “I’m very excited to see what happens for her in the future as well as for myself.”

The Big Conference 8 brought forth the best in both swimmers as they swept each of their competitions. “I couldn’t believe it,” Gonzalez said after winning her 50-yard free race by a split second. ”It was so surreal for me to achieve such a time. I was like, oh my goodness, I can still do this.”

Head coach Jill McCormick attributed part of the success to the team’s chemistry. “We had a great vibe going all weekend. The team was really doing a good job lifting each other up.”

For the swimmers winning is everything, and the team as a whole has created a high spirited environment. “It’s motivating to have people at this level who are able to compete with you,” McCaw said.

The swim and dive team looks to add to their success and end the season on a high note at the state championship May 4-6 at Monterey Park in Los Angeles.

State qualifiers for single races and relays are Holzhauer, Gonzalez, Morris, Greyson, Stella Clarkson, Chase, Simmons and Emily Nightingale. In addition Joy, Lila Clarkson, Dante Martinez, Juan Teo and Fernando will participate in relays.

Head coach Jill McCormick feels confident in the teams’ chances, based on the teams’ performance at the Big 8 Conference and her long history as a coach. “This is not my first rodeo,” McCormick said. “We have a pretty elaborate training plan over these next two weeks that we have fine-tuned and recalibrated over the last two decades, and we really trust it.”

For some, including Gonzalez, the state championship offers one last lap before moving from SRJC to a four-year university. “I hope to achieve a good last hurrah experience with my team,” Gonzalez said.

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About the Contributor
Roland Petty
Roland Petty, Reporter
Roland Petty is in his third semester at SRJC. His major is political science and he is planning on transferring to San Francisco State in fall 2023. He spends his time-off reading, hiking and playing basketball.

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