The men’s swim team defeated the Diablo Valley Vikings, 83-81, for the first time last weekend before winning the Mariner Invitational—also for the first time—the next day.
The women’s team, however, couldn’t keep up, falling behind the Vikings 110-52 Friday and tying for third place out of six schools at the Mariner Invitational.
“We make the trip to compete against the best in the Northern California area,” said head coach Terry Stoddard. “It’s easier when we’re at home, but when we travel and we get into hotel rooms and start performing at our best with both season and personal best times, that’s really great.”
The top men’s swimmers over the weekend were freshman Samuel Jo and Sydney Odent, with Jo taking first place in the 200, 100 and 50 freestyle and Odent taking first in the 400 Individual Medley (IM) and 200 breaststroke.
“Getting into the zone is definitely a big thing for me,” said Jo. “I think definitely listening to music behind the block is how I start concentrating, I keep to myself and don’t think of the pressure that much.”
For the women, freshmen Melissa Cienega and Jocelyn Jo had a great outing, with Cienega taking first in the 500 and 200 freestyle and Jo taking first in the 400 IM and the 200 breaststroke. Both women also took first in their Mixed 400 Medley relay with fellow men’s swimmers David Jimenez and Jayson Wilia.
“I try to focus on the work that I’ve done, and trust that I’ve already done all the training,” said Cienega. “I really need to be more aggressive during my races, and start trusting that I will hold on and finish [the race] rather than worry about it beforehand.”
Stoddard cited the travel process as the reason why not every swimmer was able to compete at his or her highest level. He added that the team will need to continue to work hard in order to perform well at the championships, as the Lancers are only halfway through the season.
“As we turn the corner, competing at our best becomes more important,” said Stoddard.
More than anything, however, Stoddard emphasized that the team effort was what caused the Lancers to be successful over the weekend.
“We’ve been doing really well as a team, but [these meets] really showed that it was all about our team’s performance,” said Stoddard. “Sophomores Jamaal Amiryin-Clipps and Carlos Estrada scored three points [at the Diablo Valley Dual meet] that really made a difference for us – instead of losing or tying, we won. Team effort was the strength, there’s lots of good camaraderie, they’re a happy team.”
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