2 Warriors divers advance to state championships


Tyler Trejo, 19, of the Warriors men’s diving team warms up with an inward dive pike for the South Coast Conference Diving Championships at El Camino College on Friday, April 12. Photo credit: Rosemary Montalvo

Kerplunk. Splash. The cheers from the audience.

These were the sounds that prevailed during the South Coast Conference Diving Championships (SCCDC) held at the EC Pool on Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13.

Warriors swimmers Ryan Steck and Athena Katsouridis both finished events in top eight spots. By finishing in top eight spots, Steck and Katsouridis will now compete at the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships (CCCAASC) beginning on Friday, May 3, and concluding on Sunday, May 5, at De Anza College.

“I’m surprised. I worked really hard for the past two years, and I didn’t think I’d ever make it this far,” Steck said. “And going to state [championships] is a big deal. I’m excited man, it’s wild.”

Warriors teammates present in the crowd voiced their support and encouragement as Steck stepped up to the springboard.

“Let’s go Ryan, I love you!” Steck’s teammates shouted with applause and whistles.

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Ryan Steck, 20, of the EC Warriors men's diving team performs an inward 1 1/2 somersault tuck dive during the South Coast Conference Diving Championships at El Camino College on Friday, April 12. This is Steck's second year on the EC men's diving team and his first year qualifying for the state championships with a score of 134.80. Photo credit: Rosemary Montalvo

By the end of the SCCDC, Steck had earned the seventh spot in both the one-meter and three-meter diving events. Aaron James Augustine of Rio Hondo College finished first in both events.

“I did decent,” Augustine said. “I didn’t think I did my best though, but overall I think I did okay.”

Despite a shoulder injury, Athena Katsouridis was cleared by her doctor to represent El Camino in the three-meter diving event and catapulted into a second place finish just behind Maya Fielding of San Diego Mesa College.

“I’d just dislocated my shoulder so I’d been out for the last two months,” Katsouridis said. “Kinda nervous, but I did it, and I finished the meet, so that’s all I could ask for.”

Athena Katsouridis of the EC Warriors women's diving team prepares to take-off from the springboard in the the first round of the 1-meter dive of the South Coast Conference Diving Championships at El Camino College on Friday, April 12. Katsouridis ranked 2nd in the 1-meter dives with a score of 183.65 and qualified for state championships. Photo credit: Rosemary Montalvo

For the one meter dive, Katsouridis again finished in second place. This time she finished behind Nicole Hall of L.A. Valley College.

“I got first, so I think it [turned out] pretty good. I was stressed and nervous going into it, but I feel like we pulled it off,” Hall said.

Warriors diver Tyler Trejo performed well but fell a few points short of the top eight. For his efforts, he will serve as a second alternate for El Camino at the CCCAASC.

“Honestly, I may have messed up one [dive] but I did pretty well overall. It’s more of a points game kind of thing,” Trejo said. “But aside from that, just having fun is the main focus here.”

Warriors swim and dive coach Corey Stanbury was working as the meet manager during the SCCDC. He was proud of how his Warriors fought and is looking forward to seeing them perform in May.

“I thought they did great. We’ve got two divers going to the state championships,” Stanbury said. “One missed by such a small margin, but for a guy that’s never dove before, it’s pretty amazing. I’m pretty happy with the way they dove.”