Sports — 22 March 2013
Charlie Anne Urcia
Staff writer

 

The Las Positas College swim team just keeps winning.

The women’s division outperformed the competition in their dual meet against City College of San Francisco and Solano Community College with a 62-34 and a 72-19 victory respectively. The men’s division did equally well, beating the SCC team 67-29. The meet followed a 13-event format, which included one race in each of the strokes, a few distance races, sprint races and two relays.

“They kicked some booty,” Assistant Swim Coach Loren Pearson said. “We’ve had a tough training season with being in the weight room, throwing more yards at them and lots of these guys had to dig deep in order to swim some really good times.”

Devin Shepodd did so well in one of his races that he took the team record in the 1000 freestyle race. “I had three really nice races. I’m proud of ‘em and I got a new team record which is awesome,” Shepodd said. He placed first in all three of his races against SCC.

Shepodd, along with Chris Mowry, placed first and second in three individual events: the 1000-meter freestyle, men’s 200-meter individual medley relay and 500-meter freestyle relay.  That really boosted the team’s score. Teams earn five points for every first place, three for every second, and one for every third.

“We got first and second; that’s an eight to one score,” Swim Coach Jason Craighead said. “We did that a couple of times and that creates a huge gap in the points.”

For this meet in the women’s team, Sidney Wagner and Nichole Maria Cui stood out, according to Craighead. Wagner won in the women’s 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. Cui placed first in the women’s 100 individual medley and 50 backstroke.

They were not comfortable wins. “The pool was kinda gross and cold,” Cui said. “It was, like, disgusting in the indoor pool because it was all chlorine-y, but the water was really cold. But it went okay.”

To cope with those conditions, she did extra warming up to prepare her muscles for her races.

“There was very little time between each event,” Shepodd said. “The events go bang-bang-bang and we have less time to recover.”

Craighead sees these challenges as an opportunity for the team to learn.

“It was kind of a learning day for them to swim some tougher races and be more mentally tough than anything, I guess,” Craighead said.

Before the CCSF/SSC meet, the team spent a little more time in training and preparation. On top of two hours of swim practice five times a week, they spend 45 minutes in the weight room. It has been paying off.

“We’ve had a very difficult training week and I didn’t expect them to perform as well,” Craighead said. “We did focus on the smaller things — learning how to race, the technical aspect of the swim, not worrying about time. Ended up with their times doing really well.”

“This is the largest team we’ve had and I think they’re the hardest working team we’ve had as well,” Pearson added. “So, I think we have a great group of swimmers.”

With another swim invite coming up on March 22 at DeAnza College, Craighead is cautious about showcasing the team’s talents.

“All the teams in our conference will be there. We kinda see how we score out with them,” Craighead said. “I’m not gonna show all my cards just yet. I always kind of hide a few things, just keep a few things under the radar, keep people guessing.”

Considering that most of team’s swimmers are not veterans, he is confident that the swim team will deliver in the upcoming conferences.

“We’re getting better every day. We started off with not a whole lot of fast swimmers,” Craighead said. “This year, we have a much larger team, not as much on the high end but we have a lot of middle ground. And they’ll do well in our conference meet.”

With just six weeks until the end of the season, LPC’s swim team has yet to win their big race — state championships.

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