Records fall at State Championship


Gustavo Vasquez

Kelsey Leonard is one of the DVC swimmers that won at the State Championship.

The swim team’s season ended with broken records and a multitude of awards.

DVC’s women left the California Community College Athletic Association Championship in early May as the number one team in the state. The men’s team finished fifth.

State Swimmers of the Week were Allison Gargalikis and Kelsey Leonard. Coach Rick Millington won his own award, Coach of the Year.

Millington said the women’s relay team set new state records for the 200 and 400-medley relay, smashing the 400-medley relay by an almost-unheard of 4.5 seconds. On the relay teams were Gargalikis, Leonard, Alexa Tchekmarev and Laura Woods.

“Everybody who went scored, all our women scored,” he said. “So it was a great team effort and they did exactly what they needed to do.”

After being second for the past three years, Millington finds “being first so much better.”

“Three years ago we lost by two points, we were close, and that was a really hard thing to take but it all came together this year and it was one of those years where the right things happened for the team. Everything fell into place.”

DVC athletic director Christine Worsley was astonished at how well the team did at the state championship. To win without any divers on the team is “unheard of,” she said.

Some of the team’s motivation grew out of the death of former DVC student and swimmer Lauren McCullough.

McCullough lost her battle to Ewing’s sarcoma in February.

Emily Saccullo, the women’s team captain, said the team “became a big family” after attending McCullough’s memorial service, with the motto for the whole season being “swim for Lauren.”

“Her mom, dad and brother came to conference and watched us swim,” Saccullo said. “I think it was a reality check for a lot of kids on the team. … Nobody expected it to happen”

Millington agreed that the team embraced the idea of being “Lauren Strong” throughout the year.

“At the State meet, before finals, they actually had a moment of silence… I know that it meant a lot to the coaches and the team,” he said.

Worsley noted, “They were swimming, not for themselves, but for each other and they were swimming for Lauren.”

Results released by Robert Lewis, meet information director

Women’s 500-yard Freestyle
Kelsey Leonard, Diablo Valley, 4:57.76

Women’s 400-yard Medley Relay
Diablo Valley, 3:48.45—new state meet record

Women’s 200-yard Medley Relay
Diablo Valley, 1:45.09—new state meet record

Women’s 50-yard Butterfly
Allison Gargalikis, Diablo Valley, 24.67—new state meet record

Women’s 50-yard Breaststroke
Allison Gargalikis, Diablo Valley, 28.19—new state meet record

Men’s 1,650-yard Freestyle
 Evan Augst, Diablo Valley, 16:16.76

Women’s 100-yard Breaststroke, 1:00.71
 Allison Gargalikis, Diablo Valley—new state meet record

Event 37: Women’s 100-yard Butterfly
 Kelsey Leonard, Diablo Valley, 55.54