BC swim showing potential

Mason J. Rockfellow, Editor in Chief

With the spring sports rolling their way into your calendar, the Bakersfield College swim teams will be testing the waters as well as the swimmers.

BC’s swim team will be going to its first meet on Feb. 12 in Ventura for the Western State Conference Pentathlon. The WSC Pentathlon is where everyone in the conference meets and does 100-meter events for every stroke.

This can be helpful, considering that head coach Matt Moon has not seen all the potential of the first year swimmers, and those who stuck to one stroke in high school may be better at another stroke that they had no idea they could do.

The Pentathlon is also a good indicator to see how far the team has progressed since they started practicing.

“It’s a good time for myself and my assistant coach Pat [Zuniga] to get a good evaluation of all the swimmers,” said Moon.

In the last four years of being head coach, Moon is now a full-time employee at BC.

Last year he was working for Rosedale Union School District, which caused him to spend a lot of time away from BC.

This limited the time and communication between the swimmers and he, but now that Moon is full-time, he is able to be more hands-on and able to spend more of his time with his team. He has been able to do more underwater filming, which he does with a GoPro.

With having access to a TV he is able to sit down with athletes and students to give them instant feedback. He is also working on getting a Hudl video system so that he can upload videos there for the athletes to view on their own time.

Another advantage is that Moon is able to go out there before practice and get in the water with some of the swimmers who have questions about their stroke or turn, so he can work with them one on one.

“Being full-time has helped tremendously, as being here on campus, being available, having the office hours…for the most part its been a big help,” said Moon.

Taking a glance into the future, Moon believes that there are a few returners to watch out for this season.

On the women’s side, second year returners, Sara Klang and Bree Smith both were state qualifiers last year. Klang mainly swims mid-distance freestyle and butterfly. The plan is to have Klang focus a little bit more on the freestyle events this year said Moon.

Smith’s stroke is the breaststroke but Moon is hoping to have Smith swim some freestyle as well as some of the relays.

“On the men’s side it’s pretty wide open…there is not really one in particular that’s standing out right now.  We have a pretty solid guys team overall,” said Moon. “A lot of guys have been stepping up lately, practicing really well, getting out there competing when we does stuff for time in practice,”

But Moon said there is a good group of freshmen coming in from Frontier High School that he is looking to lean on this year.

Those swimmers are mid-distance swimmer Christian Chau, breaststroke specialist and possible sprint freestylist Brian Bender, and Ceasar Zepeda who will be a big help for freestyle sprint mid-distance events.

“I think we have some good depth on that end,” said Moon.

With all the BC swimmers coming from the Bakersfield area, Moon said that it’s nice when you get someone who’s fast and ready to go from out of town, state, or country, but he really enjoys being able to tap into the local talent here in Bakersfield.

Another aspect of having all local swimmers is that most of these swimmers competed against each other in high school and its fun to see if they can all come together almost as a Bakersfield swimming all-star team, said Moon.

“We have a lot of good talent and a lot of un-tapped talent around Bakersfield, so it’s fun to see them come in and at the end see the potential of what they can really do,” said Moon.