Over block break, the men and women’s swimming and diving teams traveled to Rockwall, Texas for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships. During four days of intense competition, CC’s teams performed commendably, breaking several school records. The men’s team placed fourth while the women’s team placed second.
Both CC teams started strong. Junior Katy Martinez, sophomores Jackie Nonweiler and Olivia Dilorati, and senior Brenna Day won the first event of the meet – the 200-yard medley relay. The foursome not only set a school record, but also won CC’s first ever SCAC championship in this event.
“We were seated sixth place going into the meet. The four of us on the relay just wanted to improve our time and get the school record, ” said sophomore Olivia Dilorati.
“We thought it would be cool to make it onto the podium, but we didn’t think it was a possibility. But we completely proved ourselves wrong, and we won the entire thing. Having that as the first race definitely gave all of us confidence going into the rest of the meet that we were going to swim really well,” said Dilorati.
On the second day, the women’s team remained successful in medley relays. Martinez, Nonweiler, Dilorati, and Day broke another school record while winning the 400-yard medley relay. A four-year old school record was broken by sophomore Colin Chupik, who finished third in the 200-individual medley.
The women’s relay victories continued on the third day. Dilorati, Day, sophomore Erin Holmes, and freshman Zoe Pierrat set both a new school and SCAC record in the 200-free relay. Dilorati also claimed victory in the 100-yard butterfly.
The victories continued to pour in with senior Brenna Day winning the 100-freestyle. The women also finished the championships the way they started, by dominating in a relay. Dilorati, Day, Holmes, and sophomore Annalise Grigereit placed first in the final event, the 400-free relay.
“There is nothing like the feeling of walking up to your block at the final meet of the season with your relay team beside you. Having other teammates whose race success depends on a contributing swim from you also puts pressure on each of us to perform to our maximum absolutely every time. My favorite races, by far, were the relays,” said Day.
For the men’s team, junior Austin Howlett won the one-meter diving for the second consecutive year. Howlett’s score was not only a new school record and a NCAA qualifier; it was also the third-highest score since the SCAC Championships debuted in 1999.
Junior Chris Garrity won the 100-yard backstroke. “The added pressure of competing at champs definitely helps us perform at our best,” remarked junior Chris Garrity.
“We train all season to swim fast at this meet and one of our main goals as a team is to have everyone swim a best time. Our team thrives off of the high-energy atmosphere at ‘champs’ and we try and use that to our advantage as much as possible. Our whole team feeds off of the successes of each other,” said Garrity.
On the last day, freshman Daniel Oldendorf broke a school record in his preliminary time for the 200-backstroke and then cut his time even further to become the first CC student to win this event at the championships. Also, despite increased competition in the 200-backstroke, Dilorati placed first for the second consecutive year.
“Last year, I had no expectations before swimming the 200-back, so this year I had several goals that I wanted to accomplish. This year I practiced a lot more for the 200-backstroke, so I felt more confident swimming the race than I did last year. I overall just wanted to improve my time from last year and I didn’t care where that got me on the podium, but it happened that I was able to come out on top which made it even better,” said Dilorati.
These championship results are clear proof that the members of both teams are dedicated to improving their own skills and the CC swimming and diving program as a whole.
Brenna Day, one of the three seniors swimming for the women, along with Leona Waller and Molly Brown, explains, “The team has been steadily getting more and more competitive since I joined freshman year. It is beginning to be full of competitive, year-round swimmers whose work ethic and passion for swimming have taken the team to the next level. In the future, the team needs keep training hard, studying hard, and staying true to the balanced CC lifestyle.”