Swim team is finally back in the water

After two years of being held under water, the women’s swim team finally has a chance to emerge once again.

With Andrew Silva as the new head coach things are finally starting to look up for this department. He plans to reboot the program for the Fighting Owls starting in spring 2013.

“I’m excited for this opportunity,” Silva said. “To restart the women’s swimming program here at Citrus, and compete against and with other teams in the area and across southern California is a great privilege.”

At the end of the 2010 school year the women’s swim team was eliminated due to budget cuts.

“It was surprising and sad at the same time,” said former Citrus swimmer Greg Yokomizo.

Aside from eliminating the swim team, Citrus, along with community colleges throughout California, reduced the number of games that were to be played throughout the regular season, giving each team a shorter game schedule.

Jody Wise, dean of physical education and athletics, estimated that the cuts would save the college between $15,000 and $30,000 with the suspension of the swim team.

Wise ultimately made the decision to suspend the swim team after consulting with assistant athletic directors Cliff Wurst and Mary Brawner.

“It’s not a decision we made lightly,” Wise said.

During the 2010 season, the women’s swim team placed 7th out of the eight teams at the 2010 Western State Conference Championships and two of their swimmers, Sara Valiferdowsi and Brittany Orduno, were both big winners.

Valiferdowsi took 4th in the 100-meter individual medley and 5th in the 1650-meter  freestyle, while Orduno finished in 6th place in the 100-meter butterly.

The 2013 season should look forward to similar, if not better results. Silva has spent the past six years as the top assistant for the very successful aquatics program at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.

Silva lead both the men’s and women’s swim team to second place at the WSC Championship while he was there. With this impressive background under his belt, Silva is optimistic about the upcoming season.

“I want to build a program that competes in the Western State Conference (WSC) with the powerhouses like Ventura and Cuesta, as well as develop a consistently competitive program at the regional and state levels.”

The first regular season game will be held Feb. 22 against Mt. SAC at Mt. San Antonio College.