JAMES SETS NATIONAL RECORD IN 200 BACKSTROKE;
GOLDEN WEST 3RD STRAIGHT MEN'S TITLE,
SANTA ROSA CAPTURES WOMEN'S STATE CROWN
Eight more state records were set during the 2015 CCCAA Swimming and Diving State Championship Meet but none quite matched the spectacular swim of Diablo Valley's Brandon James, who shattered a national CC record in the 200-yard backstroke at 1:44.95.
James broke a 15-year-old state meet record after posting a state meet record earlier in the meet in his opening 100 backstroke (second fastest in nation this year) of the 400 medley relay Thursday.
James accomplishments took some of the thunder from a third straight state meet title by Golden West College, the Rustlers' 15th team crown since 1995.
Golden West head coach Mark Schubert enjoyed another celebratory leap into the pool with the team and assistant coaches following the program's third straight title.
"It never gets old," he said. "It really helps to have a veteran team. We only have the swimmers for two years but the sophomores we had provided great leadership for our freshmen in Gabriel Hernandez, Fletcher Norseen and Jeremy Grden. Diablo Valley gave us some great competition and you have to give them credit for pushing us."
DVC accomplished state runner-up honors while Sierra took third place. Golden West finished with seven event victories, including three relays.
Santa Rosa Junior College captured its first state women's crown since 2009 and the fifth under the direction of State Coach of the Year Jill McCormick. It was the college's seventh overall state title.
"To win the title in a historic year for women's swimming, as we brought in the longer events for the first time, was especially gratifying to me," McCormick said. "We won this title differently than any of the others. It was the first time we won without winning a single relay. To only win one swim event and one diving event shows what a great team effort we made."
Santa Rosa won by 25 points over second place Orange Coast while Diablo Valley was third. The Bear Cubs only event wins were by Christine Lewis in the 100 breaststroke and Logan Williams in the 1-meter diving.
The state meet featured four new events for the women in the 400 individual medley, and the 200 lengths for the butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke.
The East Los Angeles College Swim Stadium has produced 41 state meet records in the past four years.
WOMEN STANDINGS FINAL: 1. Santa Rosa JC 424.5, 2. Orange Coast 399.5, 3. Diablo Valley 364, 4. Golden West 328.5, 5. Pasadena CC 243, 6. Grossmont 225, 7. Sierra 221, 8. Santa Barbara CC 212, 9. El Camino 160, 10. Cuesta 157.5
MEN STANDINGS FINAL: 1. Golden West 555.5, 2. Diablo Valley 479, 3. Sierra 361.5, 4. American River 266, 5. Riverside CC 265, 6. Ventura 256, 7. Orange Coast 205, 8. San Diego Mesa 197, 9. Mt. San Antonio 184, 10. Santa Rosa 165
Event 29: Women's 1,650 Freestyle: 1. Susanna Gonzales, Golden West, 17:57.08
Gonzales led from start to finish and was never really threatened in winning the mile swim. Gisel Chavez-Vega (Southwestern) took second in 18:01.84 just edging Katherine Warren (Santa Barbara) in third in 18:02.41. Gonzales was the only swimmer in the state who broke 18 minutes this year as she swam a season-best 17:42.26 at the Orange Empire Conference Championships.
Event 30: Men's 1,650 Freestyle: 1. Jake Struckmeyer, American River, 16:00.61
Struckmeyer made a bid to break 16 minutes but settled for the title in winning the mile by more than nine seconds over second-place Phillip Wright of Mt. San Antonio (16:09.98). And, while the fastest seeds were grouped in the finals heat, three swimmers grabbed hardware from the prelims first heat including Golden West's Mark Olsen in third (16:13.58).
Event 31: Women's 200 Backstroke: 1. Madison Varisco, Golden West, 2:02.19
*State Meet Record*
The debut of this event was a sharp victory for Varisco, who consistently swam splits slightly faster than second-place Miranda Howell (Santa Rosa, 2:04.71). McKenna Stevulak (Las Positas) placed third in 2:04.99 while Alexa Clayfield (Orange Coast) used a blazing 30.93 final split to get fourth in 2:05.46. Varisco becomes a triple champion after wins in the 100 back and 100 butterfly.
Event 32: Men's 200 Backstroke: 1. Brandon James, Diablo Valley, 1:44.95***
NATIONAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE RECORD--*State Meet Record*
James destroyed a 15-year-old state meet record (1:46.14 by Christian Harcsas, Golden West) and also broke the national community college record in the backstroke. James opening 50 was 24.34 and his second 50 also was dolphinesque in 25.87. Sierra's Andrew Murch placed second in 1:49.06 and San Diego Mesa's Neil Franka took third in 1:50.22
Event 33: Women's 100 Freestyle: 1. Rebecca Aguilar, Orange Coast, 51.26
Aguilar caught first half leader Laura Woods with the title on wall touch finish in defeating Woods by .04 of a second (51.30). Aguilar becomes a double champion after also winning the 50 free sprint earlier in the meet. Cuesta's Rachael Gruetzmacher placed third in 52.08.
Event 34: Men's 100 Freestyle: 1. Mitchell Ongstad, Ventura, 44.90
Ongstad opened with a 20.93 split and fought off Golden West's Fletcher Norseen (44.99, second place) in another photo finish. Santa Monica's Gabriel Miranda took third behind a race-best 23.38 final 50 for a 45.10 mark. Ongstad is a double champion as he won the 50 free earlier in the meet.
Event 35: Women's 200 Breaststroke: 1. Layna Auchard, Foothill, 2:24.24
*State Meet Record*
While most of the swimmers were trying to keep pace in the last 50, it was Auchard who put on an impressive close of 36.61 to overtake leader Yingfei Zhang (East Los Angeles) and take the debut event title. Zhang finished in 2:24.56 and Bakersfield's Alexis Zimmerman placed third in 2:25.43.
Event 36: Men's 200 Breaststroke: 1. Adrien Deloffre, Riverside CC, 2:05.31
It was a fantastic finish with two swimmers going for the wall as Deloffre wins the title just .03 ahead of Diablo Valley's Dominic Baldwin (2:05.34). Mt. San Antonio's Jacob Altree wasn't far behind in third at 2:05.87.
Event 37: Women's 200 Butterfly: 1. Kelsey Leonard, Diablo Valley, 2:04.32
*State Meet Record*--Leonard's prelims swim of 2:03.78
Leonard is a 2-time triple champion at the state meet as she etches her name among the top female swimmers in California CC history. Leonard couldn't match her prelims mark in the finals, but did win by nearly seven seconds. Rachelle Visser (Santa Barbara CC) placed second at 2:11.29 and Chabot's Madison Faulkner grabbed third at 2:11.69. Leonard was named Swimmer of the Meet for the second straight season.
Event 38: Men's 200 Butterfly: 1. Gabriel Hernandez, Golden West, 1:48.69
Hernandez is a double champion after recording the three fastest splits over the first 150 yards. The Rustler finished ahead of Diablo Valley's Monty Randall (1:49.94) and Ventura's Christopher Sands (1:50.94). Hernandez was a Swimmer of the Meet (high points) for the second consecutive year.
Event 39: Women's 400 Freestyle Relay: 1. Diablo Valley, 3:31.76
(Kelsey Leonard, Laura Woods, Callie Klein, Hannah Dillon)
DVC swimmer Kelsey Leonard opened with a 51.47 to cap her brilliant CC career as the Vikings edged Orange Coast (3:32.29) for the relay title. Sierra placed third at 3:36.11. Santa Rosa couldn't clinch its women's state title until this event as it swam a safe race in eighth place. Pasadena City (3:40.65) took fifth and clinched its best team finish ever at the state meet in fifth place.
Event 40: Men's 400 Freestyle Relay: 1. Golden West, 3:02.12
(Bradley Toland, Dalton Kenefick, Jeremy Grden, Fletcher Norseen)
Fittingly, the Rustlers capped their third state title in a row by winning the meet's final race. GWC beat out Diablo Valley (second, 3:03.69), Sierra (third, 3:04.68) and Ventura (fourth, 3:05.29). Grden's third leg split of 45.53 was followed by Norseen's 45.32 anchor. Ventura anchor Mitchell Ongstad swam the race's top 100 at 43.83.
TOP GOLDEN WEST MEN SCORE 4 WINS;
SANTA ROSA WOMEN LEAP INTO FIRST ON DAY 2
The Golden West College men's swim team seems poised to complete a third straight state crown after recording four event wins Friday on Day 2 of the CCCAA State Championship at East Los Angeles College.
The Rustlers had three different swimmers win individual events behind Gabriel Hernandez (400 individual medley), Bradley Toland (100 butterfly), and Jeremy Grden (100 breaststroke). GWC then won the 800 freestyle relay to cap the evening and now lead the points standings by 67.5 over Diablo Valley.
Santa Rosa Junior College picked up one event victory by Christine Lewis (100 breaststroke), scored 39 points in middle place diving, and picked up a second in the 200 medley relay and third in the 800 freestyle relay. The points started adding up and at night's end the Bear Cubs lead the women's standings by 57 points over Orange Coast.
Day 2 featured a state meet record in the prelims set by DVC's Kelsey Leonard, who shattered the 200 freestyle mark (1:50.19) and later collected the gold medal title in the event. In a debut event to the state meet, the women's 400 individual medley was won by Santa Barbara's Rachelle Visser (see event by event capsules later in release).
WOMEN STANDINGS Day 2: 1. Santa Rosa JC 336.5, 2. Orange Coast 279.5, 3. Diablo Valley 258, 4. Golden West 238, 5. Pasadena CC 173, 6. Grossmont 172, 7. Sierra 156, 8. Santa Barbara CC 144, 9. El Camino 112, 10. Cuesta 104.
MEN STANDINGS Day 2: 1. Golden West 387.5, 2. Diablo Valley 320, 3. Sierra 261.5, 4. American River 232, 5. Riverside CC 190, 6. Ventura 174, 7. San Diego Mesa 143, 8. Orange Coast 138, 9. Mt. San Antonio 116, 10. Grossmont 115.
Event 13: Women's 200 Medley Relay: 1. Orange Coast, 1:46.47
(Alexa Clayfield, Nacinda Paap, Rebecca Aguilar, Kessy Hickey)
The Pirates roared from behind and finally caught 2nd place Santa Rosa in a photo finish just edging the Bear Cubs by .08 of a second. The key to the victory was the fast splits by third leg butterfly swimmer Aguilar (24.81) and the anchor freestyle of Hickey at 24.26 better than the SRJC anchor Megan Warren at 24.41. Diablo Valley took third in 1:47.51.
Event 14: Men's 200 Medley Relay: 1. Diablo Valley, 1:32.03
(Brandon James, Dominic Baldwin, Monty Randall, Jacob Frigard)
James with another blowout backstroke swim to open the race (22.75) helped DVC keep the lead throughout. Golden West used a thrilling 19.84 anchor free leg by Bradley Toland that gave the Rustlers second at 1:32.21, just .18 behind DVC. Sierra was third in 1:33.57
Event 15: Women's 400 Individual Medley: 1. Rachelle Visser, Santa Barbara CC, 4:31.73--*STATE MEET RECORD*
Visser is a double IM champion as she wins the introductory event to the state meet by 12 seconds over second place Thuy Phi (De Anza, 4:42.91). Phi kept up with Visser's pace for half of the race before Visser kicked it up a notch to win comfortably. Midori Dobson of Santa Rosa was third in 4:43.19.
Event 16: Men's 400 Individual Medley: 1. Gabriel Hernandez, Golden West, 3:54.49
Hernandez can't match his state meet record win of a year ago here (3:53.20) but does become a repeat winner in a dominating race. The sophomore won by nearly 13 seconds over second place finisher Phillip Wright (Mt. San Antonio, 4:07.04). Dominic Baldwin (Diablo Valley) was third at 4:08.31.
Event 17: Women's 100 Butterfly: 1. Madison Varisco, Golden West, 56.38
Varisco came off the block strong with a 26.17 split and had the fastest final 50 as well in defeating Cuesta's Racheal Gruetzmacher (58.09, second) and prelim top seed Miranda Howell (Santa Rosa, 58.16, third).
Event 18: Men's 100 Butterfly: 1. Bradley Toland, Golden West, 48.59
Toland swam out to a 22.29 opening 50, but had to stretch the hand at the wall to edge Diablo Valley's oncoming Monty Randall, who took second just .02 (48.61) behind the Rustler. Sierra's Andrew Murch was third in 48.98.
Event 19: Women's 200 Freestyle: 1. Kelsey Leonard, Diablo Valley, 1:50.39
*State Meet Record*--Leonard 1:50.19 time in the morning prelims
Leonard keeps collecting the hardware with her fifth individual state gold medal in the last two years. Leonard shattered a 6-year-old state meet record held by Anne Scott (American River, 1:50.34) by a .15 of a second earlier in the day. Leonard tried but could not beat that mark although she led from start to finish. Orange Coast's Rebecca Aguilar was second (1:52.75) and DVC teammate Laura Woods took third (1:54.75).
Event 20: Men's 200 Freestyle: 1. Gabriel Miranda, Santa Monica, 1:38.65
Miranda trailed leader Brenton Sayers of American River until the last 50 when Miranda flew in a 25.55 leg to capture the title. Sayers took second in 1:40.05 while Golden West's Dalton Kenefick placed third in 1:40.99.
Event 21: Women's 100 Breaststroke: 1. Christine Lewis, Santa Rosa, 1:05.10
Lewis led throughout and held off host school East Los Angeles' Yingfei Zhang to take the title by .29 of a second. Zhang placed second (1:05.39) and Foothill's Layna Auchard was third in 1:06.97.
Event 22: Men's 100 Breaststroke: 1. Jeremy Grden, Golden West, 57.34
The difference between first and fifth in this race was just .40 of a second as Grden barely held off Jacob Altree (Mt. San Antonio, second, 57.36), Brandon Saliba (Santa Monica, third, 57.55), Adrian Deloffre (Riverside, fourth, 57.65) and Hogan Inscore (El Camino, fifth, 57.74). Grden had the fastest opening 50 at 26.26 but actually performed the sixth best final 50 and still cashed in for the title.
Event 23: Women's 100 Backstroke: 1. Madison Varisco, Golden West, 56.60
Always a close race, this was no different as Varisco needed a final push in the last 10 yards to defeat Santa Rosa's Miranda Howell by .07 (56.67). It was Varisco's second win of the evening after capturing the 100 butterfly. Orange Coast's Alexa Clayfield was third (57.08).
Event 24: Men's 100 Backstroke: 1. Brandon James, Diablo Valley, 48.32
James had already broken the state meet record in this swim during DVC's record-setting 400 medley relay at 47.90 last night. His encore would have still beaten the old meet record, but not enough to catch his Thursday performance. Ventura's Mitchell Ongstad was second in 49.93 and San Mateo's Kawei Tan third in 52.15.
Event 25: Women's 800 Freestyle Relay: 1. Golden West, 7:53.18
(Madison Varisco, Suzanna Gonzales, Melissa Thorn, Raney Remme)
The Rustlers have always been strong in the longer relay and did not disappoint here with a 3.60 seconds win over Orange Empire Conference rival Orange Coast (7:56.78, second). Santa Rosa placed third at 8:00.78. Naturally, GWC was the only squad that had three swimmers that broke the 2-minute mark in their splits. OCC had the fastest individual split turned in by Rebecca Aguilar (1:53.51).
Event 26: Men's 800 Freestyle Relay: 1. Golden West, 6:46.86
(Gabriel Hernandez, Mark Olsen, Jeremy Grden, Dalton Kenefick)
Golden West built on its team standings lead with its fourth event win of the evening, holding off Diablo Valley (6:47.80, second), Riverside (6.48.53, third) and Sierra (6:48.72) in the long free relay. Kenefick showed his anchor strength with a 1:40.51 final split although Sierra swimmer Lucas Hastie was flying at 1:39.93.
Event 27: Women's 3-Meter Dive: 1. Emily Dunkerson, Riverside CC, 235.00
Dunkerson, who missed out on the 1-meter title by less than one point on Thursday, wins the 3-meter board title. Las Positas diver Valentina Banbalinardo took second with 215.55 points while Orange Coast's Candice Buck had her second third place medal in two days with 211.10 points.
Event 28: Men's 1-Meter Dive: 1. Zachary Yokohama, American River, 266.80
Four different divers ended up winning titles in the two genders as Zachary Yokohama captures the 1-meter board gold medal, edging out second-place Austin Foote of Sierra, who scored 260.80. Cabrillo's Max Glynn made it an all NorCal top three, scoring 254.60. Yokohama used a brilliant final reverse 1-1/2 with 1-1/2 twist to score a whopping 54.60 points to cap the triumph. He led after his second dive and never looked back.
Day 1: BEST FOR LAST FOR DIABLO VALLEY ON DAY 1
With as many state meet records set in the last three years at the East Los Angeles College Swim Stadium, there was little doubt that at least one standard would go down on the opening night. On Thursday, after nine events without a record, it was the Diablo Valley men's team that came through for the fans with a record-shattering win in the 400-yard medley relay that included another individual record to start the swim.
Earlier, DVC suffered a disqualification from first in the 200 free relay. But the Vikings recovered with a lightning bolt as they shattered a 17-year-old record in the 400 medley relay at 3:17.56. The time was almost four seconds faster than the previous mark of 3:21.46 set by the 1998 Golden West squad.
Brandon James opened the relay with a spectacular 47.90 seconds swim that blasted the state meet record in the 100-yard backstroke. James beat the 2012 record of Ventura's Henry Chung at 48.53.
Defending state men's champion Golden West leads the team standings over DVC while Diablo Valley used three event victories to hold a slim lead over Orange Coast in the women's standings.
WOMEN STANDINGS Day 1: 1. Diablo Valley 120, 2. Orange Coast 120, 3. Santa Rosa 94, 4. Golden West 91, 5. Pasadena CC 81, 6. Sierra 78, 7. Grossmont 68, 8. Santa Barbara CC 59, 9. El Camino 53, 10. Cuesta 41.
MEN STANDINGS Day 1: 1. Golden West 171.5, 2. Diablo Valley 133, 3. Sierra 104.5, 4. Riverside CC 96, 5. Ventura 88, 6. American River 71, 7. Orange Coast 57, 8. San Diego Mesa 54, 9. San Mateo 46, 10. Santa Rosa JC 45
Event 1: Women's 200 Freestyle Relay: 1. Diablo Valley, 1:36.97
(Kelsey Leonard, Laura Woods, Hannah Dillon, Christine Nip)
Diablo Valley opens up the meet holding on at the finish by just .05 a second ahead of second place Orange Coast (1:37.02). Leonard's opening 23.30 was followed by an explosive 23.23 50 by Woods as DVC kept a strong lead. OCC's anchor Alexa Clayfield swam 23.81 to make it close. Sierra took third at 1:38.02.
Event 2: Men's 200 Freestyle Relay: 1. Golden West, 1:22.09
(Fletcher Norseen, Dalton Kenefick, Nathan Torres, Bradley Toland)
A disqualification of Diablo Valley voided its original winning time of 1:22.02 as Golden West grabbed the title here. The Rustlers had a strong opening from Norseen at 20.28 and each of the remaining swimmers posted under-21 splits. Sierra placed second at 1:22.46 and Ventura was third in 1:23.60.
Event 3: Women's 500 Freestyle: 1. Kelsey Leonard, Diablo Valley, 4:57.26
Leonard is a 2-time winner in this event as the only woman to break five minutes this season. She shaved .50 of a second off her winning time of a year ago as she raced away from the pack after an early challenge by eventual second place finisher Suzanna Gonzales (5:08.86). Gisel Chavez-Vega of Southwestern took third in 5:10.74
Event 4: Men's 500 Freestyle: 1. Gabriel Miranda, Santa Monica, 4:30.79
Miranda beat second place Evan Augst (Diablo Valley, 4:34.32) by 3.53 seconds for the title. Riverside's Adrien Deloffre was third in 4:35.75. Miranda had a strong opening 200 at 1:43.94 and kept that lead to the finish. American River's Brenton Sayers had the top swim in the morning prelims at 4:33.16 but struggled to sixth in the final at 4:41.60.
Event 5: Women's 200 Individual Medley: 1. Rachelle Visser, Santa Barbara City, 2:07.43
Visser led early, but fell behind De Anza's Thuy Phi (4th, 2:10.72) at the midway mark. Visser would recover and swam the fastest free split (29.28) to close the victory. Host school East Los Angeles Yingfei Zhang scored second (2:09.88) and Orange Coast's Alexa Clayfield was third (2:10.72).
Event 6: Men's 200 Individual Medley: 1. Neil Franka, San Diego Mesa, 1:48.78
Franka opened with a 23.38 butterfly and then had an event best 31.52 split in the breaststroke. Second-place Gabriel Hernandez (Golden West) closed with a 26.03 final split but finished a full second behind (1:49.87). Diablo Valley's James took third in 1:51.21.
Event 7: Women's 50 Freestyle: 1. Rebecca Aguilar, Orange Coast, 23.71
Aguilar followed her top prelim swim by winning the sprint, edging out second place Racheal Grutzmacher (Cuesta) at 23.88 and Las Positas' McKenna Stevulak in third at 23.97.
Event 8: Men's 50 Freestyle: 1. Mitchell Ongstad, Ventura, 20.25
Ongstad swam a faster prelim at 20.17, but his finals swim was enough to edge Golden West's Fletcher Norseen (second, 20.36). San Mateo's Kawei Tan placed third in 21.04 and Diablo Valley's Jacob Frigard fourth at 21.05.
Event 9: Women's 400 Medley Relay: 1. Diablo Valley, 3:53.41
(Callie Klein, Renae DiBartolomeo, Kelsey Leonard, Laura Woods)
In an interesting race, DVC overcame Pasadena City's Connie Peng's opening backstroke split of 57.89 and also Orange Coast's Nacinda Paap second leg breaststroke (1:08.42) to finally pull away for the win. Kelsey Leonard's 55.61 in the butterfly and Laura Woods' anchor 50.94 freestyle turned a close swim into a 7-plus second victory. Pasadena edged (4:00.55) Orange Coast for second (4:00.89, third).
Event 10: Men's 400 Medley Relay: *STATE MEET RECORD* 1. Diablo Valley, 3:17.56
(Brandon James, Dominic Baldwin, Monty Randall, Jacob Frigard)
*STATE MEET RECORD*—James, 47.90, 100-yard backstroke, opening leg
After James set the world ablaze with his record in the opening leg (see start of release), Baldwin, Randall and Frigard did their part to complete the record-setting relay swim here. Golden West swam 3:23.46 for second and Sierra took third in 3:25 flat. Randall had the fastest butterfly in the pool at 48.46 in the third leg.
Event 11: Women's 1-meter Dive: Logan Williams, Santa Rosa, 202.30
In one of the closest finishes in state meet history, Williams only edged SoCal champion Emily Dunkerson of Riverside by .65 of a point (201.65). Orange Coast's Candice Buck placed third at 197.90. While Williams opened a nice lead, Dunkerson tried to catch her in the final dive and almost did with a 31-point score in a back somersault, 1-1/2 twist. Williams scored 26 on her final dive and it was enough for the title.
Event 12: Men's 3-meter Dive: Max Glynn, Cabrillo, 288.20
Glynn rolled to the title on the high board, defeating second place Jake Roth (San Diego Mesa) by nearly 36 points (252). Zachary Yokohama of American River was third with 241.80
Release by Robert Lewis, CCCSIA, CCCAA Meet SID
Pool side contact number 818-679-1335