CCCAA State Swimming and Diving Championships started today,
May 1, and we’re rooting for our three ‘Aqua Giants’ making their appearance—Josh
Avila (Swimming), Michael Benedetta (Diving), and Trevor Dutch (Diving). The
Championships are being held at East Los Angeles College and with some luck and
mostly skill, our guys will compete through the finals on Saturday!
The athletes’ arrived at the Championships under the
leadership of Head Coach Tracy Myers—honored at the regional conference as
Coach of the Year—Diving Coach Diedra Alves, and Assistant Coach Kyler
Avila qualified in the 200 and 400 Yard Individual Medley (IM)
events; the top 16 swimming times in the entire state are able to compete. Avila says he prefers the breaststroke but
early in the season, Coach Myers had him swim the IM and he found he did well
in that. If IM is an unfamiliar term, that event combines four different strokes: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle.
Avila benefits from skill and endurance built up over five years of
competitive swimming and his time on the TNT Club Team which he does year-round. Avila won the Bay Valley Conference Championship in the 400 IM and the 200 Yard
Breaststroke and took second in the 200 IM.
Divers Benedetta and Dutch are competing on the 1 and 3
meter boards. They’re required to do one dive from six diving categories. Benedetta says the 1 meter is the
board he's most familiar with and he started diving from the 3 meter last summer.
He calls the 3 meter ‘more intense’ as it's a lot higher. "You 'smack' harder," he says with a grin.
Dutch says his favorite dives are 'Inward' dives, on which he scores the best. He started diving during high school, at his parents' suggestion and after learning to do a Gainer into a friend's pool.
Myers calls this team is a real family, "they do everything together." This was abundantly apparent as team members came by the pool during our interviews to support their fellow athletes.
All three of the athletes are returning to COS next year, so we can hope
for another winning season and we look forward to seeing how our team fares this weekend!