SBCC swimmers take first in 10 of 11 events in opening meet

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Ryan Cullom

Santa Barbara City College’s Addison Seale dominated the field in the women’s 200 yard individual medley at the first Western State Conference swim meet on Saturday, March 5, at the Ventura Aquatic Center. The Vaqueros won 10 of the 11 events they swam in.

JAZMIN AGUAYO, Channels Staff

Freshman Kristina Hill smashed a school record Saturday and led the City College women’s swim team to a decisive first-place win in the opening Western State Conference meet at the Ventura Aquatic Center.

Hill finished first in the longest event of the meet, the 1,000-yard freestyle, with a time of 10:25.93. She blasted through the school record set last year by Katherine Warren, who finished the event in 11:29.4.

“I was nervous and excited before the race,” said Hill, also a competitive ocean-swimmer and the assistant swim coach at Santa Barbara High School. “I had not competed in a while.”

“It was a smooth and fun swim, and it felt great congratulating the other girls and watching my teammate finish afterwards.”

Hill’s victory added nine points to the Vaqueros score and contributed to the team’s powerful win over the Ventura College Pirates, Cuesta College Cougars, The College of the Canyons and Santa Monica College. The final scores were City College, 134; Ventura, 101;  Canyons, 53; Cuesta, 49; and Santa Monica, 14.

“This win is a great confidence boost and a great opportunity for the girls to see all their hard work pay off,” said assistant coach Micaela Velasquez.

The conference featured a total of 11 team events. The Vaqueros took first place in 10 out 11 events and were disqualified from the last 200-yard freestyle relay.

The Ventura Pirates placed first in one event, second in four events and third in five events. The Cuesta Cougars followed with two second-place positions and three times in third place. College of the Canyons placed second in two events and third in two more, and Santa Monica placed fourth in two events.

The Vaqueros kicked off their win during the first event of the meet. Freshmen swimmers Reese Ellestad, Alex Humann, Alina Hudson and Haley Crowley finished in 2:00.44 and gained 18 points in the 200-yard medley relay, establishing the team’s lead.

The Vaqueros were disqualified from the 200-yard freestyle relay because of an early start from the second swimmer, Halie Johnson. Freshman Anna Manfreda was the first swimmer off the block for the 200-yard freestyle relay, but Johnson dove in before Manfreda touched the wall during their transition.

“It is disappointing for this to happen in the beginning of the season,” Manfreda said. “We need to work on our transitions.”

Later on in the meet, after recovering from the 1000-yard race, Hill went up for the 500-yard freestyle. 

Allison Olney from Ventura College was proving to be a challenge for Hill. At the beginning of the race, Olney kept a narrow lead over Hill.  But as the heat came to an end, Hill accumulated a 12-second lead, finishing in 5:36.15 and gaining nine points for the Vaqueros.

The women’s swim team will participate next week in the Cuesta College Invitational at 10 a.m. March 11, in San Luis Obispo.