The Clovis Crush swim and dive team hosted Merced College for a dual meet on March 30 at the Clovis North High School Aquatics Complex.
The women’s team had a stellar outing, placing first in all 11 swim events and winning the meet with a final score of 142.5 over Merced’s 43.5. The women’s dive team would also earn first place finishes in both of its events.
The men’s team faced tough competition in the lanes, earning just two first place finishes in its 11 swim events, with the team falling to Merced 126-72.
For the women’s swim team, Hannah Carbajal and Kristina Copeland led the way, earning two first places apiece. Carbajal took the top spot in the 400-yard individual medley (5:00.92) and 200-yard backstroke (2:23.80), while her teammate Copeland earned firsts in both the 1000-yard (11:41.50) and the 500-yard free (5:45.31).
But it was Clovis’s Ari Hernandez who would break the school record for the 50-yard free with a time of 25.89. However, she would earn the record by only slightly edging out her teammate Dani Denton, who also would have broken the school record with a time of 25.91, only .02 seconds behind Hernandez’s finish.
Denton was not without her own first place finish on the afternoon, taking the 100-yard freestyle event with a time of 58.39.
The women’s team also had firsts in 200-yard medley relay with a time of 2:01.80 from the team of Denton, Carbajal, Chloe Telian and Hernandez, as well as a first place in the 800-yard freestyle relay for the team of Copeland, Helen Harris, Samantha Rockey and Sara Barcelos.
Telian, Rockey and Barcelos had first place finishes in their individual events as well, taking 200-yard butterfly (2:30.67), 200-yard backstroke (2:41.70), and 200-yard free (2:08.25), respectively.
On the diving boards, it was Jade Standing who would earn the Crush a first place finish in both her 1m (158.55) and 3m (165.15) springboard competitions. Both finishes were personal bests for Standing.
The men’s swim team took two top finishes with Dante Ramos first in the 1000-yard free (11:10.10) and Colin Plank first in the 500-yard free (5:22.74).
The Clovis men’s divers posted season bests with Jaylan Neal scoring 216.6 in the 1m and Josh Depaz scoring 171.7 in the 3m springboard competitions.
After the meet, Clovis Crush swim and dive head coach Mark Bennett said the women’s team made a statement by winning close races. He highlighted Hernandez’s performance in the 200-yard medley relay and Denton’s performance in the 100-yard freestyle, during which each swimmer took the lead in the final 25 yards of their races.
“Our women did a great job, I thought, coming back at the end of the races,” Bennett said. “Our women won every event in the schedule convincingly. It was fun to see them fight to win.”
The Crush swim team will have one more meet on April 6 in Bakersfield against Cuesta College and Bakersfield before its conference championships from April 18 through 20 at Solano College.
The dive team’s next event will be the Nor Cal Diving Championships on April 13, at which the team will compete to qualify for the State Championships.