June 5, 2017

Men’s Swimming, Diving Take Sixth Place in State Championships

By Lauren J. Mapp

Men’s Swimming, Diving Take Sixth Place in State Championships

San Diego Mesa College’s men’s swimming and diving team won the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship title for the second year in a row, and took sixth place in the statewide California Community College Athletic Association for spring 2017.


Swimming and Diving Coach Nathan Resch said that this is the third year in a row that Mesa College has made the top 10 in the state competition.


“It has been an exciting time and it’s great to be at that level, consistently, every season,” Resch said. “We had a great meet and a lot of guys really stepped up and had some great swims. I think there is a tradition now of success and that helps to increase competition and build comradery in the pool.”


Chris EvangelistaTeam Captain and sophomore Christopher Evangelista came in eighth place for 200 individual medley (1:54.86), third place for 200 freestyle (1:41.63), 11th for 100 freestyle (46.61).


Evangelista set the school record at Mesa College in 2016 for the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:8.71. He is a school record holder in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:24.13. He also is a PCAC and school record holder for both the 400 medley relay (3:23.54) and the 400 freestyle relay (3:03.64), Resch said.


“Evangelista works really hard in practice and in the weight room, and he has led the team in both areas, really setting an example by pushing himself with interval training,” Resch said.


This year, Evangelista received a PCAC Men’s Athlete of the Week honorable mention for the week of April 24. Transferring to Milligan College in the fall semester, he graduated from Mesa College last month with an Associate Degree in General Studies. He attributes the success of the team this year to everyone working together as a family.


“Almost everywhere you go you have cliques, but this year it all seemed to disappear,” Evangelista said. “This year, there wasn’t pressure on any one person, everyone had to hold their weight, and that’s what I am going to remember most.”


Swimmer Alexandr Makhmudyantsev – who was named PCAC Athlete of the Week on March 6 – came in 11th place for the 100 breaststroke (57.82), and 15th place for 200 breaststroke (2:10.84). Makhmudyantsev was named PCAC Men’s Athlete of the Week for the week of March 6.


Diver Jesse Vanderkolk came in fourth place for the 1-meter dive with a score of 168.8, and Mike McKinney came in ninth place with a score of 142.90. Vanderkolk received a PCAC Men’s Athlete of the Week honorable mention for the week of May 8.


Mike McKinneyResch said that at age 63, Diver McKinney’s athleticism, teamwork and experience have been fundamental in his success as a diver, and have added to the success of the swimming and diving team as a whole.


McKinney started diving at a lake in Kansas when he was 11-years-old after seeing another kid do a cutaway dive.


“It was the craziest thing that I had ever seen and I learned the cutaway dive that day,” McKinney said.


He went on to join his high school diving team, which didn’t have a formal coach. Later, he taught his two sons to dive as well.


Coming Mesa College was his first time having formal coaching, and he said that it helped him to overcome his fear of a bigger trampoline bounce on the diving boards. During the week of March 20, McKinney received an honorable mention for PCAC Men’s Athlete of the Week.



“McKinney has been really inspirational to the whole team, with his spirit in particular, in terms of team comradery and what he does to contribute,” Resch said. “He has a great understanding and a good perspective on how we really work as a swim and dive team.”


Freshman Blake Wixom came in 11th place for 500 Freestyle (4:46.57) and fifth place 200 Fly (1:55.29).


Mesa also placed in several relay competitions, including ninth place for 200 Freestyle (Evangelista, Mateo Vargas, Makhmudyantsev and Henry Smith; 1:26.34); seventh for 400 Medley (Keith Evans, Makhmudyantsev, Pablo Zapata and Evangelista; 3:31.42); ninth for 200 Medley (Evans, Makhmudyantsev, Zapata and Vargas; 1:36.80); sixth for 800 Freestyle (Zapata, Wixom, Vargas and Evangelista; 7:06.57); and eighth for 400 Freestyle (Vargas, Makhmudyantsev, Smith and Evangelista; 3:11.43).


Mesa’s women’s swimming and diving team came in first place for PCAC championships and second place for the state team rankings.


For more information about Athletics at Mesa College, visit For information on the swimming and diving teams, contact Men’s Head Coach Nathan Resch at (619) 388-2429 or via email at, or Women’s Head Coach Jim Fegan at (619) 388-2452 or via email at

Tags: Diving, Swimming, Athletics