Las Positas Swim and Dive team gathered around the pool talking and laughing in high spirits after last weekend’s CCCAA State Swimming and Diving State Championship. They did well as a whole. Both men and women finished tenth in the state, top 10 for the third year in a row, with total scores of 178 and 194, respectively. Setting school records and breaking conference records throughout the weekend. They finished tenth but not nearly as high as last year.
The men performed well throughout the meet. Ryan Eckles on the other end did not perform up the bar that he set for himself and the heights that many believed he could achieve. The highest he placed throughout meet was 10th but fatigue might have been a major factor in why he didn’t perform as well as he hoped.
“I think i could’ve done better, on the recovery aspect,” Eckles said “Those big 3-day meets take a lot out of you. Four hours of swimming takes a lot out of you”
Las Positas’ plan to rest Eckles might not have gone to plan. After dominating the conference championship, the swimming ramped up twice as much as before. Maybe a reason fatigue was huge for him he wasn’t prepared enough.
Eckles only lowered his scores in the 50 meter freestyle, from 21.39 seconds to 21.21 seconds. In his other two events he swam just a bit slower, the 100 meter butterfly he clocked in at 51.76 seconds, when at conference he swam 51.30 and in the 100 meter freestyle he came in at 46.73 a full second slower than his conference result 45.61.
“Wasn’t part of the plan,” Coach Jason Craighead said “He didn’t swim as well in the morning as he should have and that just limited him. He’s in the sprint events, which makes it tough, your off by two tenths of a second, you drop 10 places. He just got stuck in the bottom of the group, which was unfortunate.”
He did however bounce back and perform well later in the day.
This could be the end of the road for Eckles swim career. He got into the UCLA on an academic scholarship, they don’t have a swim team which would spell the end of his time swimming. Swimming is still close to his heart, he has options to go to UNLV and UCSD and could walk on there if he gets the itch to swim.
“That may have been my last meet,” Eckles said “If it was then i had a good time with it. Especially being a Hawk, This is one of the best seasons I’ve ever had.”
The women ruled the meet for Las Positas though. They set team records in the 200 meter freestyle relay(1:41.74), 400 meter medley relay(4:05.18) and the 800 meter freestyle relay(8:05.25) which was also a conference record. Amya Batiza performed well individually at the event dropping her times from conference and placing top 10 in her individual events at the meet. Batiza dropped her 500 meter freestyle by over six seconds, her 400 individual medley by two seconds and 1650 meter freestyle by 43 seconds.
The Women’s Relay Medley team stayed consistent. They finished six tenths of a second slower than the conference championships. Though they believed they could have been much better for each other.
“I feel like i could’ve done much better at State,” Gabriela Perez Del RIo “I got into my head and got anxious and let the nerves get to me.”
They all felt they did well but they wish they had another shot.
The main thing for them has always been the fun they’ve had in the pool with each other.
Coach Craighead overall believes that this season was a success but the Hawks will have to start from the ground up with half of the swimmers from the State Championship transferring out. “We going to lose a lot. The Eckles(Michael and Ryan), Lawrence Li, Addison McLaggan, and Caleb(Wagner). Five of our big guys,” Craighead said “And for the women Amaya(Batiza), Mackenzie(Bammer), Stephanie(Cromwell), Gabby (Gabriela Perez Del Rio) and Julia(Vares).” But a new promising young class excites Craighead about what could be ahead for Las Positas, “We have a guy Jackson Cardinal, coming in who will be eligible for next year,” Craighead said “He’s a big guy 6 foot 6, but like the Eckles but taller, and he’s a really good athlete and a couple other new sprinters. A couple new women too, Hunter Luna from Kimball High School and a couple of good sprinters for the women coming in. We have some good bodies coming in just about seeing where they fit.
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