The Clovis Community College swim and dive team is entering Year 3 with lofty expectations as the men’s team looks to build on its third place finish from last year while the women’s team has its sight set on repeating as conference champs.
And for coach Mark Bennett, it helps knowing the 2018 team of 16 women and 15 men is the most versatile squad he has had in the program’s three years.
“We’re really deep,” he said. “Our strengths are we have a lot of very well rounded individuals who we’re not really sure how well they’re going to fit in terms of how they’re going to represent our team specialty wise. We have athletes who could vie for different spots and at the same time fit in a lot of holes. I would say we’re very dangerous in a dual meet situation where we can be very adaptable and be able to score in a lot of different ways with different people. At the same time, conference is all about getting those people on top of the podium and I think we have a lot of people who could get there.”
Leading this year’s program is the returning All-American pair of Randi Berg and Dante Ramos.
At last year’s CCCAA State Championship Meet, both placed within the top spots in the state to earn CCCAA All-American status for the 2017 season. Berg earned sixth place in the women’s 1m board thanks to her score of 182.0 that was bolstered by a very strong final dive of the session. Berg’s effort made her Clovis’ first ever All-American diver in the school’s history.
Ramos accomplished a similar feat, as he finished sixth place in the men’s 1650 freestyle. Ramos finished the race in a personal best time of 16:33.47, granting him his first All-American berth – and becoming the first male in the school’s history to earn the honor.
To kick off the season, the Crush swim and dive team will host the Clovis Kick-Off invitational meet on Feb. 10 at Clovis North Aquatics Complex. With the Kick-Off being the only home contest of the year, it gives the team an opportunity to compete in front of family, friends and campus community.
“In community college, we don’t have a lot of dual meets, we have more invitationals,” Bennett said. “This will be the third year that we’ve done it and we call it the ‘Clovis Kick-Off.’ We’ve been fortunate to have some good weather here the last couple years and it looks like this year won’t be an exception. We’re happy to have it and it’s great to get a lot of interest in our program from our administrators, our school and our student body.”
Former assistant Morillo gets promoted to new role
This offseason, the team saw some coaching shifts and additions. After serving as the head coach for both programs the last two years, Bennett is relinquishing his duties for the men’s team, however, he will retain the position of women’s head coach. Taking over for Bennett as head coach on the men’s side is former assistant Jordan Morillo, who has been on board since Year 1 of the swim and dive program.
“I’ve been having a lot of help from [Morillo] the past two years,” Bennett said. “This is a big move for her in terms of title and responsibility as being named the head coach of the men’s team. On the pool deck, I think we both speak to both genders in a positive way, so I don’t think that’ll change a whole lot. There will be athletes that are more comfortable working with me, or working with her, with the way that our groups shake out in terms of their stroke specific or distance preference. We will work in the same capacity that we did on deck, it’s just more of a tribute to her and the amount of responsibility and time that she’s taking with the program.”
As a former Division I swimmer at Fresno State who went straight to the coaching ranks, the leap to head coach is something Morillo expressed she was ready for after taking more of an administrative role last year. After discussing the possibility with Bennett and administrators over the summer, the move became official when she received the “exciting news” late in the fall.
“Being part Clovis Swim Club for the past 8-9 years and coaching alongside Mark [Bennett] for the past five years definitely helped prepare me for more an administrative and leadership role,” she said. “[Bennett] has taught me a lot and helped me grow as a coach. He more or less took me under his wing and taught me different approaches to coaching, different methods and different ways to communicate with the kids so I was able to adapt my own style of coaching. I wouldn’t say it’s close to his style of coaching because we both have different approaches to coaching but they’re both effective in a way that the kids are able to respond. So, he has helped me along the way to prepare myself for something like this.”
Also adding to the coaching staff is diving coach Sarah Strand, a former Bulldog and current coach with Clovis Dive Club. One more addition to the swim staff is recent Fresno State grad, Hannah Jarvis. Coach Jarvis was a two-year letter winner with the Bulldogs as well as a Community College CCCAA All-American at Sierra College in the Sacramento area. Jarvis has built her resume the last few years as an assistant coach with Clovis Swim Club.
Davis becomes CCC’s first Division I transfer
A former Crush student-athlete is now competing at the Division I level.
Tanner Davis, last year’s CVC Swimmer of the Year and CCCAA State Qualifier, received an athletic scholarship to South Dakota State University, becoming the school’s first Division I athletic transfer.
“I’m really excited for him,” said Coach Bennett. “It’s something that he worked hard for and that he was very excited about doing. For him to go to a program in the Midwest is near and dear to my heart. I graduated from University of Nebraska and their head coach Doug Humphrey – this is his first year there – was my team captain in college when I was a freshman and he was a senior, so we have a connection there.
Davis, a Clovis East graduate, competed for just one year at the community college level before recruiters came calling.
“They showed an interest in him based on some of the swim times he had done in the past year with Clovis Swim Club and here at the college,” added Bennett. “So, for him to get some interest on that platform is really good and it definitely leads the way for other student-athletes at this level.”
2018 CCC Swim & Dive Team Rosters
|Women’s Team||Men’s Team|
|Barcelos, Sara||Adams, CJ|
|Bruno, Nicole||Anderson, Nick|
|Carbajal, Hannah||Armas, Cole|
|Copeland, Kristina||Ceballos, Danny|
|Enriquez, Dannya||Huffman, Jarrett|
|Fronda, Patricia||Loll, Logan|
|Garcia, Jules||Mallam, Stuart|
|Herrera, Rubi||Martines, Ryan|
|Howell, Kayla||Neal, Jaylen|
|Lucas, Trish||Rios, Lorenzo|
|McVicar, Raylene||Sanchez, Adrian|
|Robbins, Macayla||Sanchez, Quinton|
|Santellano, Gabriela||Taylor, Ben|
|Standing, Jade||Wagenleitner, Jensen|
|Teliha, Olivia||Williams, Ting|