Strong Start for Men's and Women's Swim / Dive Team

Nasreddine El Akkad and Carly Lupien both had strong showings at the 2019 Waterman Festival.
Nasreddine El Akkad and Carly Lupien both had strong showings at the 2019 Waterman Festival.

The San Diego Mesa College men’s and women’s swim and dive team opened the 2019 season at the Waterman Festival. Named after former Palomar swim coach Patty Waterman, the meet signals the start of the 2019 season.

The festival, which is held at Palomar College, is a two-day event that offers a variety of races both traditional and nontraditional. Events such as ‘350 stroke relays,’ where one swimmer swims 50 yards stroke (Fly, back or breast), followed by another team member who swims 100 yards, and the last leg swims 200 yards of that stroke. Another popular event is the ironman and ironwoman relay. This event consists of three members per team that swims 100 IM twice.

“We had some solid performances this weekend to kick off the season,” states men’s head coach Nathan Resch. “Dealing with a little rain is also nice to get under our belts early. The team responded well with enthusiasm and we had some spirited performances. Sophomore Nasreddine El Akkad and freshman John Dickerson (La Jolla HS) led the men's squad with some good splashes. Women’s head coach Jim Fegan adds, “it’s a great way to start the season, two good days of racing despite the rain and cold. Happy for the team to win both meets."

First Day Highlights: 
John Dickerson 2nd in Pentathlon 2:43.48
Nasreddine El Akkad 4th 2:48.14
John Dickerson 1st 50 Free 22.15

2nd day Waterman Relays:
First place Mesa 645 points
Cerritos 604
Palomar 428
Crafton Hills 96

1st Place Mesa 485
Palomar 412
Cerritos 400
Crafton Hills 96 

Event winners:
1) 200 Medley Relay Mesa: Kuo, El Akkad, Dickerson, Fischer 1:47.47
1) 50 Free Mesa Dickerson 22.22
1) 350 Breast Relay Mesa: Rayoan, Tejeda, El Akkad 4:26.50
1) 400 Yard Free Relay Mesa: Fischer, Dickerson, El Akkad, Jacobson 3:36.50 

Although the results were positive, which included the women’s team winning six of eight relays and five of the six individual races, both coaches are careful in labeling this weekend a great success. “There is still a lot to work on," states Resch. “We have to focus on our race mechanics, overall fitness, and speed. Basically, we will return to practice this week and try to improve on all aspects of our swimming."

Next up for both teams will be the Mt. San Antonio College Invite on Thursday, February 21 at Walnut, CA. Check back on the website for updates.