May 09, 2016
DVC weekly recap, May 9
The DVC softball, swimming and track and field teams all represented the college very well this past week, but there's more work to be done.
The Vikings will send a talented group to the CCCAA Northern Track and Field Regional Finals on Saturday at Chabot. The softball team, courtesy of a best-of-three series win over Merced in the regionals, advanced the Super Regional at Fresno City (Friday-Sunday).
The swimming team completed its season in the state meet, as sophomore sensation Brandon James won four championships in individual and relay events at East Los Angeles College.
So it's an exciting time for DVC athletics.
Here's a look back at last week's action:
Bailey Simmons delivered a performance for the ages, helping DVC win its best-of-three Regional series over Merced with a 6-1 victory on Sunday afternoon, after the teams split the first two games.
Simmons was 4 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs, and played tremendous defense at third base, making diving catches and powerful throws to first base.
"Simmons was unbelievable on offense and defense," said second-year head coach Dennis Luquet, who has guided DVC to back-to-back Super Regional berths – the first two in program history.
No. 7 seed DVC (28-14-1) will face No. 2 and host Fresno City (37-5) in Game 1 of the three-day, double-elimination Super Regional. No. 3 Sacramento City (31-8-1) will meet No. 6 San Jose (29-11) in Game 2. DVC's All-State pitcher Nicole Nordahl tossed four-hitters in two 6-1 wins against Merced, sandwiched around an 8-2 loss.
Luquet reminded the team after the frustrating 8-2 defeat that its season-long goal was to make the Super Regional, and "whoever wants the game most is going to advance."
He is pleased to have recruited a class that included the likes of Nordahl, Simmons, Laurel Poff and Cynthia Duenas – a group that has created a new standard at DVC. Luquet described advancing to the Super Regional in back-to-back years as "unbelievable."
In Sunday's clincher, Poff was 3 for 4, and Duenas had a double and two RBIs. The Vikings broke open a 1-1 tie with five runs in the sixth.
In Saturday's 6-1 win, Julia Pelletier, a pinch-hitter, drove in what proved to be the winning runs with a clutch two-run single in the fourth, and Duenas belted a three-run homer.
The Vikings set the meet record in the men's 200 freestyle relay in a time of 1:21.52, with a team of James, Drew Pitcher, Garrett Middleton and Jake Frigard.
James also repeated as champion in the 100 backstroke (48.37) and 200 backstroke (1:45.90), and helped the 200 medley relay to a state title in 1:31.30, teaming up with Pitcher, Middleton and Frigard.
The Vikings men finished sixth as a team. Pitcher placed third in the 50 freestyle (20.54). DVC's men capped the meet with a third-place finish in the 400 free relay (3:03.40).
The DVC women placed sixth the 200 medley relay finals, with a team of Alyssa Jenkins, Christine Nip, Beverly Ayers and Malia Dillon, in 1:53.48. The Vikings women wound up were 11thin the team standings.
TRACK AND FIELD
Though the Vikings have individual stars such as Strangenae Campbell and Brandy Williams, coach Kyle Whitmore seems most excited about the team's depth.
Saturday's NorCal Finals at Chabot will showcase that depth.
"It's great to see DVC spread across the meet, from the 100 to the relays, all the way to the 10k," Whitmore said on Monday.
In distance running, Katherine Embody and Keith Lowry are standouts in the 5,000.
Campbell, a 2011 Pinole Valley graduate, is tied for No. 2 in the country for community colleges in the women's 100 meters (11.42). In the NorCal Trials last week at Chabot, Campbell had the top times in the 100 and 200, of 10.63 and 24.01.
Whitmore said Campbell, an accomplished high school runner and former AAU national champion, has brought confidence to the men's and women's teams. She has been preparing to run four events in a meet for first time this season, so the Vikings could be ready for a big finish in relays.
Williams was the top NorCal qualifier in the shot put with a mark of 45 feet, 1.50 inches. Tia Harper was the No. 4 overall qualifier in the women's 400 in 58.28. Geoffrey Weseman qualified in the 800 (1:56.14). Francisco Hurtado earned the eighth spot in the 400 hurdles (57.45). Isaiah Mobley was No. 5 overall in the 400 (48.66).
The CCCAA state meet is May 20-21 in San Diego.