Alpine resident Austin Dickman played a huge part in helping the Grossmont College men’s swim team capture this year’s Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship by winning five gold medals in finals competition April 18-20 at Southwestern College.
Dickman, a 2018 graduate of Granite Hills High School, won three individual gold medals and two gold medals as part of relay teams to earn the Male Co- Swimmer of the Year award.
“I honestly didn’t expect anything like this to become a reality,” Dickman said somewhat modestly in regard to his amazing performance. “It’s a dream to receive this award as a freshman.
“I’m at a loss for words. I was hoping to get at least one medal but to get five, it’s crazy. My parents and my coaches, including my coaches at Heartland Swim Association, have helped me so much the past few years.”
Dickman scored a meet-high 60 points to help lead the Griffins to the conference title.
He won individual gold medals in the 100-yard butterfly (51.10), 100-yard backstroke (53.53) and 200-yard backstroke (1:58.81) and gold medals as part of two relay teams (3:35.02 in the 400-yard medley relay and 1:37.48 in the 200-yard medley relay).
Dickman swam the backstroke leg on both victorious relay teams.
The former Granite Hills standout shaved nearly three seconds off his prelim time and nearly five seconds off his seed time in winning the 100 butterfly at this year’s PCAC finals. His finals time set a personal best, eclipsing the 51.54 he swam at last year’s CIF championship meet in which he placed second.
“Phenomenal,” the obviously proud swimmer noted.
Dickman qualified for the San Diego Section championship meet three times while competing for Granite Hills. He eclipsed his own school record each year he competed.
The three-day format of the PCAC championship meet duplicated the format of the upcoming state meet, which will be held May 2-4 at De Anza College in Cupertino. Dickman qualified for three individual events at the state meet: 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard backstroke.
He’ll have a lot of teammates to both cheer on and cheer him on in Cupertino.
Garret Hail (50 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle) and Mack Nevins (500 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle) also qualified in three individual events for this weekend’s state meet.
Isaiah Webster (50 freestyle and 100 freestyle), Brian Kuhn (1650 freestyle and 500 freestyle) and Anson Rasmusson (one- and three-meter diving) each qualified in two events while Trevor Perez will compete in the three-meter diving program.
Wes Papike and Tristan Correia, along with the rest of the team, will participate in relays.
Grossmont College’s women’s team had two individual state qualifiers: Carli Willis in the 500 freestyle, 400 IM and 200 butterfly and Noelle Abrantes in the one-meter and three-meter diving competition.
Five teams competed in each gender division at the PCAC finals.
Grossmont College won the men’s team title with 908 points to out-pace runner-up San Diego Mesa College (852 points) and third place Palomar College (551 points). Southwestern College finished fourth with 348 points while Crafton Hills College finished fifth with 125 points.
“It was a very successful weekend for us,” explained Grossmont College men’s coach Anhton Tran, who earned recognition as the PCAC Men’s Coach of the Year. “I knew what all the guys were capable of and they exceeded my expectations.”
San Diego Mesa College won the women’s team title with 764 points, followed by runner-up Palomar (556 points) and third place Grossmont (552 points). Southwestern finished fourth with 432 points while Crafton Hills was fifth with 140 points.
Dickman and San Diego Mesa freshman John Dickerson shared the 2019 PCAC Male CoSwimmer of the Year award.
Dickerson, a La Jolla High alumnus, captured five medals, including four gold medals, in leading the Olympians to a runner-up finish at last weekend’s conference championship meet.
Mesa sophomore Julie Parsons (Otay Ranch) and Palomar freshman Maddy Johnson (Fallbrook) shared the PCAC Women’s Co-Swimmer of the Year award.