By Justine Chavez
2017 was a victorious year for Las Positas college athletics but specifically, swimming and diving.
Both men’s and women’s swimming teams completed historic seasons and placed within the top five at the CCCAA State Championship at East Los Angeles College in May of 2017.
Going into this season, many changes will be made to the roster due to students graduating and continuing their academic careers.
It will be interesting to see how the Hawks adjust to the adversity of essentially a brand new team. If they want a chance at winning conference this year, the rookies are going to have to step up. They will either sink, or they’ll swim.
“We’re going to do everything we can to repeat last year. Our mindset is to win every year and compete at a state level. It’s not only a goal to win conference but an expectation,” said coach Jason Craighead.
There are some key assets to look at when breaking down why this team did so well last season. First is the power diver Valentina Barbalinardo, who found herself in the top four nationally in 1-meter and 3-meter diving.
Gabriella Perez, Paris Sinclair, Caleb Wagner and Jonny Stalie also all placed All American in the conference at East Los Angeles College. Since all three of these competitors will not be returning, coach Craighead is looking to develop some new players to place and perform as well as the veterans did.
“It’s more than just competing. We want to develop students that represent our college not only in swimming, but developing great people/athletes,” said coach Craighead.