The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

SBCC swim team continues dominating run with WSC title


The City College women’s swimming and diving team recently won the Western State Conference championship for sixth years straight, continuing a run of dominance that has lasted since the program was formed, including a state championship in 2016.

Head coach Chuckie Roth, who has been with the program since it was founded over six years ago, has won three WSC Coach of the Year awards and has been named Southern Cal Coach of the Year and USA Water Polo Sandy Nita Women’s Elite Distinguished Coach of the Year one time each.

Roth credits the success of the program to the dedication of his swimmers.

“The kids do a really good job of motivating themselves,” he said.

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Team captain Melissa Walk, who is in her second year, gave coach Roth credit when asked about the team’s success.

“It starts with Chuckie, our coach,” she said. “He’s always preaching for us to better ourselves as individuals. He makes it more about our growth as people and our effort than the score.”

Roth said that his most important role as a coach is to recruit more talented swimmers to the program and finding versatile athletes who have personalities that fit well with the team. According to Roth, it is not hard to convince someone to join the team.

“Santa Barbara sells itself,” he noted.

One thing that makes City College’s program unique is how much of the team is composed of water polo players.

According to Walk, most schools in the area have some overlap, but a large chunk of the team still specializes in swimming. The Vaqueros only have three swimmers in the team that do not also participate in water polo.

This connects to Roth’s desire for versatility in his recruiting.

When asked about how they continue to stay motivated after achieving so much success, Walk and Roth both talked about the other girls on the team.

“When one girl is super passionate about it, it ripples down,” Walk said. “Everyone knows that they are going to try their best.”

Roth focused specifically on the new players each year who were achieving the success for the first time.

“It’s always a different group of kids, and there are always a few that haven’t won yet,” he said. “That keeps it fresh and lively.”

He also noted that the group of swimmers that is about to graduate went undefeated in their two years.

“Sometimes we really need to step back and look at all the success as a whole,” he said.

Despite all the success on the scoreboard, Roth said that his favorite part of coaching happens outside of the pool.

“My favorite part is watching them grow as people,” he said.

He added that not the swimming, but watching them grow into independent, self-motivated people is “what it’s really about.”

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