By Carleen Surrena
In a torrential downpour the Las Positas swim and dive team broke records on its home turf. It did not let the wind and rain stop them from putting on a show.
Coach Jason Craighead had a simple goal: to win both men and women’s championships and defend it the following year at home. That’s exactly what the team did. They went to work defending their Conference Championship title from last year and didn’t disappoint.
“My expectation was to qualify as many as we can,” Craighead said. “We had some outstanding performances across the board for both men and women.”
It seems to be a good plan as The Hawks got off to a strong start at the beginning of the season and have continued to break records. 10 new school records were set for the women and 12 for the men at the Coast Conference swim and dive Championships April 21-23. In the six years since the program began, the women have won three titles and the men two.
One of those athletes, RJ Scott, who was named co-swimmer of the Conference Championships won all three of his individual races, the 500 freestyle at 4 minutes, 40.48 seconds, the 200 freestyle, 1:41.66, and 100 backstroke, 51.54.
The NorCal meet last month was no different, with a number of swimmers and divers setting school records. Matt Lee, 100 individual medley, 55.65, and divers Matt Alvarado 228.45 points and Kaitlin Hausmann 208.20 points were all record setters.
Conference Championships record setters, Paris Sinclair set a team mark in the 1,650 freestyle, 18:25.56 and also the 1,000 freestyle, 11:14.74. Katie Kulp also set the team mark at the conference in the 200 butterfly, 2:14.08.
“It was fun to win,” Kulp said, sounding tired after coming from practice. “It was exciting to be in the top finals and all of our relays to place. I look forward to those races at state and hope to place high.”
Preparing for the state championships are now on the to-do list. Keeping a balanced diet and getting proper rest are among that list to check off.
“I don’t like to change my eating habits too much,” Scott said. “Your body chemistry could be thrown off going into the meet. In regards to training not much will change. A couple of days before the meet we’ll do some minor technique changes here and there.”
Scott focuses on pace training during practice most of the time and when training for the 100m backstroke he focuses on leg strength, which he says is key.
When it comes to the team and preparing before a meet there isn’t too much that changes. During practice coaches look to stress the little things, including starts, turns and finishes and focus on mental preparation. For fun Craighead has hosted pasta feeds in the past for the team and play games after practice to keep the mood light.
“We just want them to do something fun and focus on themselves for a little bit and keep them relaxed,” Craighead said.
The California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) state championships takes place on May 5-7 in Los Angeles at East Los Angeles College.
The LPC swim and dive team is sending a program high 21 athletes to try and break more