Gauchos host state tourney

Saddleback College hosted the California State Swimming and Diving Championships this past weekend and found success in its home pool.

The women’s swim team placed sixth and the men placed 23rd, in a field of opponents that included community college athletes from Diablo Valley, Ventura, Modesto, Santa Monica, Sierra, Santa Rosa, Santa Ana, American River, Orange Coast, Chaffey, Long Beach, Cuesta, Chabot, Riverside, Grossmont, West Valley, San Joaquin Delta, Citrus, Sacramento, Golden West, Mt. San Antonio and Pasadena.

“All individuals and relay teams [women’s relays] were extremely successful this year,” said coach Jennifer Higginson. “I am proud of all those who competed as well as those who helped run the meet.”

Gaucho swimmer Alex Peters, who plans to transfer to SDSU on a swim scholarship, placed first in the 500-yard freestyle race, and second in the 200-yard freestyle race.

Sophomore Katie Moore placed seventh in the 500-yard freestyle race, and is anticipating transferring to Concordia University, also on a swim scholarship.

Other top-placing athletes include sophomores Melissa Church, who is transferring to SDSU, and Gime Altamirano, who will be transferring to Concordia University on a swim scholarship.

Freshmen Jessica Allen, Melinda Bolton, Brian Hopp, James Hickson, Brent Newman, and Lindsay Mitchell all swam well at the meet and will be returning to Saddleback College swim team in Fall 2008.

Such a positive result will make next year even better for the Gaucho swim teams, according to Higginson, by aiding recruitment efforts and encouraging current freshman members to return.

“The California State Swim and Dive Championships was a complete success due to the entire staff at Saddleback College,” said Saddleback swimming and diving head coach Jennifer Higginson, “including President McCullough through campus safety, maintenance, athletic staff and, of course, both the aquatic staff and athletes.”

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