The Delta swimming team is gearing up for the Big 8 Conference championship meet at American River College in Sacramento beginning Thursday, April 19.
The Mustangs are hoping for a strong showing to cap off what has been a solid season overall and to vault to the state championships at West Los Angeles Community College the following weekend.
The season has been especially promising for the women’s team.
The women’s record stands at 6-2 after consecutive victories in the Solano Invitational on March 31 and the American River Invitational on April 6.
Highlighting the victories was returning All-American Kayla Hieb, who won the freestyle-mile event.
Hieb placed 10th in the state championships last year and was three tenth of a second away from the school record in the event, which stands at 19 minutes.
With a strong showing at the conference championships, Hieb could be joined by a handful of her teammates, including Cha Cha Vera in the 400 meter, Kelsey Agardi in the 50- and 100- meter breast stroke and Corin Canero in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle.
If all four qualify for the state championships, the Mustangs will have a chance to compete in the relay events.
Head coach Mike Maroney has put an emphasis on reaching this goal, but understands his swimmers will need to be at their best at the conference meet in order for it to happen.
“That obviously would be a highlight for us if we get our relays into state and all those girls get to swim at the state meet, but realistically we’re hoping to get there.It’s going to take a really good conference meet and some fast swims in order to drop time enough to make it to the state championships,” said Maroney.
The Mustangs have also been turning in excellent performances on the diving board.
Olivia Salvator-King has enjoyed top three finishes in every event she has competed in this season, including a first place finish at the American River Invitational.
Maroney said Salvator-King is a favorite to win both the one meter and three meter dive events at the conference meet.
The men’s team has currently holds a record of 1-6 after the April 6 meet.
Despite the record, there is still an outside shot the team will be represented at the state championships.
Adam Peterson placed in the top ten in the conference championships last season and has been placing highly enough in meets this year to still have a chance.
Likewise, Ken Westerterp has a chance to qualify in the 500-meter individual medley and backstroke.
Maroney is anticipating next season as talented redshirt freshman Paul Woodroff will enter the pool for the Mustangs and is expected to perform at a high level.
“He’s our most talented swimmer out here, on either team, and with top recruits coming back with Paul leading the way, our guys team is going to do big things,” Maroney said.”
Norcal Diving Championships at Merced College, 9 a.m. April 14
Big 8 Swimming Championship at Merced College, April 19-21