The Southwestern Oregon Community College swim team went on a school record-breaking spree at the national championships while claiming one individual title, a variety of runner-up finishes and top-four finishes in the team races for both the men and women.
The win for the Lakers came on the final day of the four-day meet, when James Camp won the 50-yard butterfly.
SWOCC's 400 freestyle relay team celebrates after finishing second on the final day of the national meet.
“We had so many second-place finishes and broke so many school records,” SWOCC coach Sandra Bullock said.
As happens every year, host Indian River State College easily won the team titles, but SWOCC’s women were third and the men were fourth.
Indian River had 1,262 points for the women, followed by Barton Community College (623) and the Lakers (545). For the men, Indian River had 1,112.5. Barton had 811.5, Iowa Central 797.5 and the Lakers 582.
A more detailed report of the meet with all the school records will be included in The World later this week, but here are highlights from the team’s efforts in Florida.
Competing in scorching temperatures around 90 degrees, the Lakers got off to a good start.
Elisa Strepenne was sixth in the meet-opening 50-yard breaststroke (30.82 seconds) and a few moments later Josh Smith was second in the event for the men in 25.23, just .11 seconds behind the winner, Ryan Downing from Barton Community College.
Anna Hutchins was fourth (10:40.17) and Verity Vogel Rigler ninth (11:13.65) in the 1,000 freestyle. Arthur Marques was fourth for the men (9:40.51).
Jaqueline Feurtado was fifth in the 200 individual Medley (2:10.3) and Alejandro Robles Ruiz was eighth for men (1:54.79).
Camp placed third in the 50 freestyle (20.44).
SWOCC capped the day with a second-place finish by the women and third by the men in the 800 freestyle relay. The women’s team, which included Feurtado, Vogel Rigler, Patricija Ozola and Hutchins, finished in 7:51.10. The men, featuring Robles Ruiz, Elliot Steward, Emerson Zaplatar and Marques, finished in 6:57.90.
The women opened the second day placing fifth in the 200 freestyle relay, with Meredith Mandal, Kaitlyn Hester, Vogel-Rigler and Stepenne finishing in 1:44.76. The men were fourth, with Nathan James, Landon Stalnaker, Steward and Smith finishing in 1:25.87.
Ozola was third in the 50 backstroke (27.07).
Vogel-Riler was seventh in the 400 individual medley (4:50.57) while Marques was fourth (4:04.20) for the men.
Feurtado was fourth in the 100 butterfly (58.21). For the men, Camp was second (48.85) and Robles Ruiz seventh (50.42).
“It was a very exciting race and two have two in that A final was huge,” Bullock said of the men’s race.
Hutchins place fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:54.90) and the Lakers capped the night with a second-place finish by the women in the 400 medley relay, the group of Ozola, Stepenne, Feurtado and Hutchins finished in 3:55.90. The men finished fourth with Maxence Liboz, Zaplatar, Robles Ruiz and Smith finishing in 3:25.90.
Ozola started the third day with a third-place finish in the 100 individual medley (1:00.24). Zaplatar was fourth for the men (51.82).
Hutchins placed fourth in the 500 freestyle (5:09.30) and Ozola was third in the 100 backstroke (58.13). Robles was third in the backstroke for the men (50.75).
The men had two finalists in the 100 breaststroke, with Smith third (55.74) and Zaplatar seventh (56.84). Strepenne was eighth for the women (1:07.60).
Feurtado was sixth (2:14.96) and Vogel-Rigler eighth (2:17.39) in the 200 butterfly. Arthur was fifth for the men (1:54.15).
The night ended with one of the most exciting, and heartbreaking, races of the meet for the Lakers when the men were second in the 200 medley relay, with Robles Ruiz, Smith, Camp and Zaplatar finishing second in 1:31.06, just .02 seconds behind winning Barton Community College.
“It was heartbreaking, but so exciting,” Bullock said. “They swam their hearts out.”
The women also were second, with the group of Ozola, Strepenne, Feurtado and Hutchins finishing in 1:46.93.
Camp’s win for the Lakers came in the very first event, the 50 butterfly, when he finished in front by nearly a second with his time of 21.87.
Hutchins was second for the women in 26.12.
In the longest race, the 1650 freestyle, Vogel-Rigler was sixth in 18:25.45. Arthur was ninth among the men in 16:32.92.
Feurtado finished second in the 100 freestyle, finishing in 52.28. Camp tied for third among the men, in 45.29.
Ozola had the third runner-up finish of the final day for the Lakers when she took second in the 200 backstroke (2:06.45), moving up four sports from her place in the preliminaries. Robles Ruiz was second for the men (1:50.16).
Strepenne was sixth in the 200 breaststroke (2:27.58). Smith was second for the men (2:00.90).
And the Lakers capped the meet with the women finishing second in the 400 freestyle relay, the quartet of Hutchins, Strepenne, Ozola and Feurtado touching the wall in 3:35.12.
The Lakers were third for the men, with Robles Ruiz, Zaplatar, Smith and Camp finishing in 3:04.35.