The Saddleback women's swim team had a sensational weekend at the Orange Empire Conference Finals in Riverside, finishing third in what is arguably the toughest conference in the state. The Gauchos saw one program record fall with over 20 finishes in the top-8.
Saddleback spent some of the weekend in second place, which is quite impressive given the Orange Empire Conference has provided 17 of the past 20 state champions. The Gauchos saw one program record fall when Kailey Banayat touched the wall in the 200 Backstroke in 2:14.49, breaking the old record set by Raquel Remick in 2016 (2:14.63). Banayat would finish third in the OEC Finals in her final event after finishing fourth in the 100 Backstroke (1:01.29) and sixth in the 200 Individual Medley (2:20.82). Her time in the 100 Backstroke ranks seventh all-time and her time in the 200 IM ranks 23rd.
Another approaching record finishes was Amber Theders, who had the fourth fastest time in program history in finishing second in the 400 Individual Medley in a time of 4:50.61. She also had the seventh fastest time in Gaucho history in the 1,650 Freestyle race (18:30.62) and the 11th fastest time in the 500 Freestyle in the prelims (5:19.30), finishing in third place in both events.
Audra Hogan was a third to approach program records when she finished fourth in the 200 Breaststroke, sixth in the 400 Individual Medley and seventh in the 200 Individual Medley. Hogan's finishing time of 2:40.63 in the 200 Breaststroke ranks fifth in program history while her 400 IM time ranks eighth.
Not to be forgotten, Lindsey Turi was another who turned in personal-bests in three separate events. Turi finished sixth in both the 100 Fly and 1,650 Freestyle while finishing seventh in the 200 Fly. Her time in the 200 Fly (2:29.73) ranks sixth all-time in program history while her time in the 100 Fly (1:02.93) ranks 16th.
Duke finished second in both the 1-meter dive and 3-meter dive competitions. She is back after taking off the 2017 season following solid performances at the 2016 state finals when she finished seventh in the 3-meter dive. Inducil finished in sixth place in both the 500 Freestyle and 200 Freestyle races. Her time in the 200 Freestyle (2:07.41) ranks 49th in program history. Choi set a personal best in the 100 Breaststroke when she hit the wall in 1:18.36 to finish in eighth place. McIlrath set a personal best in the 200 Individual Medley when she finished in eighth place in a time of 2:33.57. Pecharka was a fourth place finisher in the 3-meter dive.
Saddleback will be back in the pool at the state championships at De Anza College from May 3-5.