Saddleback diver Dominic Vallejo was named as the state's male Diver of the Year after capturing both the 3-meter and 1-meter diving competitions at the California Community College Athletic Association Swimming and Diving Championship over the weekend.
Vallejo captured the 3-meter diving competition on Thursday, but needed to seek medical attention after the event after hitting the bottom of the pool face first on one of his dives. Although the incident left him bloodied, he escaped major injury and was able to return to the springboards on Friday to compete in the men's 1-meter competition. He was able to capture the 1-meter competition on the last dive of the day, sweeping the men's diving medals.
Although he has a solid background in gymnastics and wrestling, Vallejo has only been diving since October according to Saddleback swim coach Jennifer Higginson.
The Saddleback College swimming and dive team has been fortunate all season to have one of the top divers in the state in Dominic Vallejo. The talented freshman blew away the competition at the Regional Dive Finals when he captured first place in both the 3-meter and 1-meter diving competitions.
With the wins, Vallejo now qualifies for the state meet at Mt. San Antonio College from April 29-May 1, where he will enter the event as the top-seed from the south in both events.
Vallejo had a total of 270.75 points in the 3-meter competition, winning by a wide margin over El Camino’s Jose Bahena (241.7) and Orange Coast’s Frank Harneier (235.65). He was even more dominant at the 1-meter dive, scoring 277.70 with his closest competitor finishing at 192.45.
Vallejo is a freshman from Laguna Hills High School where he was a wrestler, winning two league titles.
The men’s swimming team improved to 3-1 in Orange Empire Conference competition on Friday when it traveled to Fullerton College and defeated the Hornets 159-46. The Gauchos dominated from start to finish, winning 11 of 12 events on the afternoon.
Saddleback had seven different swimmers win events and won both the 400 medley relay and 400 free relay in dominating fashion. Isaac Mendoza and Jordan Larson both won two events apiece before teaming up as part of the 400 free relay team.
Mendoza won both the 500 free and 1,000 free races while Larson captured wins in both the 50 free and 200 backstroke. Other individual winners included Brian Hopp (200 free), Dominic Vallejo (dive), Sam Cunningham (200 butterfly), Chris Woods (100 free) and Matthew Flahive (200 breaststroke).
Saddleback will have a week off from competition before hosting Santa Ana College and Riverside College on April 2.
The Saddleback swimming teams had a successful showing at Golden West College last Friday, splitting with the perennial power Rustlers in their own pool. The Gauchos had a number of fine individual performances, including six individual wins and two relay victories.
The men’s team is starting to look like they will be a factor at the state meet this season as they beat Golden West, 112-102, scoring a win over a program that has won two state titles in the past nine seasons and finishing in the top-5 in the state in seven of the nine years.
The Gauchos men had five individual wins in the pool, including Brian Hopp, who won both the 500 and 1,000 freestyle races. Hopp finished the 500 free in 5:01.53, nearly 12 seconds ahead of teammate Isaac Mendoza, who was in second. His time of 10:30.01 in the 1,000 free was 1:03 better than the closest competitor
Mendoza picked up a win in the 200 free, beating the top Golden West competitor by nearly a second. In addition to Hopp and Mendoza, Jordan Larson won the 50 free in a tight race, beating a trio of Rustler swimmers to the line in 23.62 seconds while Sean Wilson and Larson finished 1-2 in the 200 backstroke.
Saddleback also dominated in the 400 medley relay, beating the top Golden West team by more than 10 seconds.
On the women’s side, Saddleback picked up a win in the 50 free by Whitney Werner in falling to Golden West, 201-60, in the team competition. Werner dominated the event, swimming the distance in 26 seconds flat, 1.34 seconds ahead of the nearest competitor. Werner would later finish second in the 100 free and was part of the 200 free relay team that won in the last event of the day.
Both men’s and women’s swimming will be back in the pool this Friday at Fullerton College. Meet time is set for 2:00 PM.
The Saddleback men’s swimming team put together a solid performance against Orange Coast College and Cypress College last Friday, finishing 1-1 on the day. The Gauchos had a number of solid performances in the pool and proved to be a force to be reckoned with in the coming months.
Saddleback defeated Cypress College 134-82 while dropping a hard fought battle with perennial power Orange Coast, 128-92. The Gauchos had three individual winners in events and four individuals finish second. Saddleback’s 400-yard free relay team also finished seconds to Orange Coast, serving notice that the Gauchos were going to be a force in the Orange Empire Conference in 2010.
Freshman Dominic Vallejo led things off for Saddleback by dominating the diving competition, scoring 498 points while his closest competitor was at 347. Later in the meet, sophomore Isaac Mendoza won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:52.33, just edging a trio of Orange Coast swimmers. The Gauchos also captured a first place finish in the 200-yard backstroke when freshman Sean Wilson dominated the competition, finishing in 2:03.29, over six seconds ahead of the closest competitor in the pool.
Fine performances were also turned in by Brian Hopp, Chris Woods, Matthew Flahive and a number of others. Hopp finished second in both the 1000-yard freestyle and 500-freestyle races while Woods was second in the 100-yard freestyle. Flahive finished second in the 200-yard breaststroke while the team of Jordan Larson, Hopp, Mendoza and Woods finished second in the 400-yard free relay.