Dynamic duos were the key to the team state titles for the Diablo Valley women and the Golden West men in the 2014 CCCAA Swimming and Diving State Championships May 1-3 at East Los Angeles College's Swim Stadium.
For DVC's women, it was the electrifying three state records set by Allison Gargalikis as she combined with teammate Kelsey Leonard to record six individual titles (three each) and two medley relay titles. A bounce back from UCLA, Gargalikis capped a brilliant meet by breaking the ELAC pool record time of 1:00.71 in Saturday's 100-yard breaststroke victory.
Diablo Valley ended up with eight event victories and the points picked up by those wins were important in finishing ahead of second-place Orange Coast (400) by just 14 points. Santa Rosa placed third at 364.5.
"We knew we had the quality to win, but we weren't sure about our depth coming in," said DVC head coach Rick Millington. "We really came through especially in those medley relays. Allison is one of those talents that you don't coach as much as you direct. She's just a joy to watch. Kelsey is one great competitor who gives her all in every race. Orange Coast led all the way through this morning's prelims, so the quality (wins) made a difference this year."
Diablo Valley wins its first state team title since 2007 and ninth in its history.
The Golden West men followed a similar script to win its second straight championship and 14th in its history. The Rustlers rode two triple champions in international students Davit Sikharulidze and Gabriel Hernandez. GWC would triumph in three relays after a DQ in the opening relay of the meet on Thursday.
"The boys really bounced back after a really difficult start to the meet," said Golden West head coach Mark Schubert. "With Davit, we had a real experienced swimmer and leader. He comes all the way from Georgia (Eastern Europe country) and he swam in the World Championships earlier this year. Gabriel is from Venezuela and he's a guy we asked to do everything. He does the IM and butterfly, and then we even had him doing the backstroke in the medley relay. Every state title is special. Some years you win with depth, and others you win with quality. We had a little of both this year."
Mt. San Antonio was state runner-up with 344 points in its highest finish in men's swim history.
The '14 meet produced 11 more state records to up the record count to 33 in the four years that the state meet has been held at ELAC. The coaches love the pool so much that the 2015 and 2016 state meets will also take place in Monterey Park.
MEN TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Golden West 478, 2. Mt. San Antonio 344, 3. Santa Rosa 319, 4. Orange Coast 282.5, 5. Diablo Valley 259, 6. Ventura 240, 7. Cuesta 200, 8. Riverside 200, 9. West Valley 142, 10. American River 137.
WOMEN'S TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Diablo Valley 414, 2. Orange Coast 400, 3. Santa Rosa 364.5, 4. Golden West 352, 5. Sierra 313.5; 6. Pasadena City 269, 7. Mt. San Antonio 238, 8. Riverside City 187, 9. American River 186, 10. Bakersfield 172.
Women's Co-Swimmers of Meet--Allison Gargalikis (3 state meet records, 1 pool record), Kelsey Leonard, Diablo Valley
Men's Co-Swimmers of Meet--Gabriel Hernandez, Davit Sikharulidze, Golden West
Men's Diver of the Year--Brandon Cox, Sierra, 1 and 3 meter board champion, 2 state meet records
Women's Diver of the Year--Rae Adams, Orange Coast, 3-meter diving champion
Women's Coach of Year--Rick Millington, Diablo Valley
Men's Coach of the Year--Marc Ruh, Mt. San Antonio
Women's Diving Coach of Year--Bryan Franzen, Orange Coast
Men's Diving Coach of the Year--Roland King, Sierra
Women's Performance of Meet--Diablo Valley 400 Medley Relay, day 1, beat state record by 4 seconds
Men's Performance of Meet--Brandon Cox, Sierra, 3-meter Diving state record, breaks record by more than 100 points
The event-by-event champions follow:
Event 1: Women's 200-yard Freestyle Relay
Champion: Golden West, 1:35.49
(Brigitta Games, Melissa Bergesen, Lia Jorgensen, Lauren Vosseler)
The Rustlers repeat from 2013's title but missed out by .22 of beating the '13 state record swim. Vosseler was a member of both relay squads. Orange Coast, the leader going into the final 50, took second at 1:35.88 and Sierra was third (1:36.85).
Event 2: Men's 200-yard Freestyle Relay
**Champion: Orange Coast, 1:21.75—new state meet record
(Sean Richards, Collin Latham, Travis Hone, Kasey Foley)
Orange Coast shatters the state record set by Santa Rosa in 2011, breaking the mark by .45 of a second (1:22.20). The Pirates came out strong with an opening 50 split by Richards of 20.58. Latham's 20.37 and anchor Hone's blistering 20.24 was more than enough to break the record and beat second-place West Valley (1:24.44) by 2.69 seconds. Ventura was third at 1:24.57.
Event 3: Women's 500-yard Freestyle
Champion: Kelsey Leonard, Diablo Valley, 4:57.76
Leonard had an early battle with Pasadena's Shannon Cheung, but Leonard would take the lead for good after 150 yards and ended up with the title by nearly 10 seconds. Leonard dominated the final 350, including an impressive 29.64 final 50. Mor Flaisman (LA Valley) took second at 5:07.72 and Cheung grabbed third in 5:08.82.
Event 4: Men's 500-yard Freestyle
Champion: Davit Sikharulidze, Golden West, 4:30.14
The Rustlers pick up another victory as the freshman Sikharulidze captures the 500 title by 1.21 seconds over second-place finisher Andrew Hargis of Bakersfield (4:31.35). Jonathan Diaz of El Camino was third in 4:32.35. Diaz led going into the final 100, but Sikharulidze made fast work of the final 100, including a 26.11 final 50.
Event 5: Women's 100-yard Individual Medley
Champion: Melissa Bergesen, Golden West, 58.90
Bergesen was the only swimmer to break the minute mark after trailing Ashley Boyle of Santa Rosa (third, 1:00.86). The host school East Los Angeles picked up its first-ever medal as Yingfei Zhang beat Boyle to the wall at 1:00.86.
Event 6: Men's 200-yard Individual Medley
Champion: Gabriel Hernandez, Golden West, 1:49.82
The favorite coming into the event, Hernandez swam to form in winning the 200 IM by less than a second over second place Zach Selfridge (West Valley, 1:50.79). Mt. San Antonio's Edward Sanchez grabbed third at 1:51.94. Hernandez led from start to finish.
Event 7: Women's 50-yard Freestyle
Champion: Lauren Vosseler, Golden West, 23.38
The sophomore Vosseler made a strong attempt for the state meet record but came up .14 second short of the 23.24 mark set in 2009 by Diablo Valley's Kimberly Bierwith. Vosseler won over second place Kellie Thorsness (Orange Coast, 23.77) while Sierra's Hannah Jarvis was third in 24.05. A Golden West swimmer won for the fourth consecutive event (men and women).
Event 8: Men's 50-yard Freestyle
Champion: John Bing, Santa Rosa, 20.82
Bing wins the sprint title and as expected the race was a barn burner with the first four places separated by just .15 of a second. Orange Coast's Kasey Foley and Las Positas' Justin Stafford tied for second at 20.87 and Santa Monica's Jia Ng was fourth at 20.97.
Event 9: Women's 400-yard Medley Relay
**Champion: Diablo Valley, 3:48.45—new state meet record
(Alexa Tchekmarev, Allison Gargalikis, Kelsey Leonard, Laura Woods)
In a race where Santa Rosa held the lead for the opening 150 yards, the fast pace set by the Bear Cubs pushed the top two seeds to reach new heights. Diablo Valley obliterated the state record by 4.31 seconds to win the title while Golden West also broke the 2009 record by 1.7 seconds only to settle for second. SRJC broke the 4-minute mark as well at 3:58.56 and Pasadena City took fourth (4:00.90). DVC picked up great momentum behind middle swimmers Gargalikis and Leonard to build its lead to three seconds. Despite a speed merchant 50.27 anchor leg by Lauren Vosseler, Golden West had no shot of catching Diablo Valley.
Event 10: Men's 400-yard Medley Relay
Champion: Mt. San Antonio, 3:24.36
(Bennett Yuan, Aaron Clancy, Edward Sanchez, Luke Miller)
In the fiercest finish of the day, Mt. SAC's Miller made the touch in time to hold off Santa Rosa and its anchor Morgan Baldwin by just .10 of a second. The Bear Cubs settled for second in a time of 3:24.46 while Golden West hit the wall a moment later for third at 3:24.66. Davit Sikharulidze of GWC swam a 44.48 final leg. Santa Rosa led going into the last 100 yards but the Mounties' Miller closed at 46.37 to Baldwin's 46.64 for the difference.
Event 11: Women's 1-meter Diving
Champion: Diana Lee, De Anza, 215.85 points
The freshman Lee won a squeaker over NorCal champion and Shasta's Makayla Scott, edging her by just 1.30 points. Lee had placed fourth in her region prior to the state meet. Riverside's Aimee Bruns took third at 205.05 while Orange Coast's Candice Buck finished fourth at 203.55. SoCal champ Rae Adams (also OCC) was fifth. Last year, only one diver surpassed the 200-point skill mark.
Event 12: Men's 3-meter Diving
**Champion: Brandon Cox, Sierra, 369.55 points—new state meet record
The sophomore Cox, last year's state runner-up, breaks the state meet record set three years ago by American River's Eddie Kollar (340.60). Cox, the NorCal champion entering the meet, won by a whopping 112 points over the nearest competitor and SoCal champion, San Diego Mesa's Thomas Dillon (257.55). San Mateo's Travis Russo (240.55) was third and Saddleback's Jacob Swansen, who figured to challenge for the crown, was fourth with 234.
Event 13: Women's 200-yard Medley Relay
**Champion: Diablo Valley, 1:45.09—new state meet record
(Alexa Tchekmarev, Allison Gargalikis, Kelsey Leonard, Laura Woods)
A day after obliterating the 400 medley relay record, DVC does it again in the 200, breaking the state meet mark set just last year by Golden West by almost a full second (1:46.08). Gargalikis' second leg of 27.95 and Leonard's explosive 24.85 on the third leg propelled the record. Orange Coast grabbed second at 1:47.15 while Pasadena City set its new school record in third at 1:48.68.
Event 14: Men's 200-yard Medley Relay
Champion: Golden West, 1:31.35
(Gabriel Hernandez, Jeremy Grden, Davit Sikharulidze, Dylan Alba)
The Rustlers trailed second-place Santa Rosa at the midway mark, but rallied to win the title over the Bear Cubs (1:32.51). Mt. San Antonio took third in 1:34.05. Sikharulidze's swift anchor leg was huge for GWC at 20.07, more than a second faster than all other anchor swimmers.
Event 15: Women's 200-yard Individual Medley
Champion: Shannon Cheung, Pasadena City, 2:06.89
Cheung became PCC's first-ever women's state champion as she held off a charge by second-place finisher Melissa Bergesen (Golden West, 2:07.20). Cheung took the lead in the second 50 from early leader and third-place finisher Rachelle Visser (Santa Barbara, 2:10.94).
Event 16: Men's 400-yard Individual Medley
**Champion: Gabriel Hernandez, Golden West, 3:53.20—new state meet record
Hernandez beats a 13-year-old record set by another GWC swimmer Diego Yabe (3:54.84) by 1.64 seconds. Hernandez had a dominating swim defeating his next best competitor by nearly nine seconds. Teammate Daniel Roa took second at 4:02.29 and last year's state champion Jonathan Diaz (El Camino) was third (4:04.45).
Event 17: Women's 50-yard Butterfly
**Champion: Allison Gargalikis, Diablo Valley, 24.67—new state meet record
Gargalikis captures the record by .50 second, beating the 2009 mark of 25.17 set by another DVC swimmer Kimberly Bierwith. Gargalikis pulled away from second-place Brigitta Games (Golden West, 25.65). Santa Rosa's Miranda Howell took third in 25.99.
Event 18: Men's 100-yard Butterfly
Champion: Eric Maginnis, Sierra, 49.95
Maginnis trailed after the first 50, but only by .07 behind Nick Vallejo of Ventura. Maginnis would pick up speed over the final 50 and defeat second place Riley Hagan (Diablo Valley, 50.38) and third-place Seva Eagle (Riverside, 50.67). Vallejo settled for fourth at 50.75.
Event 19: Women's 200-yard Freestyle
Champion: Kelsey Leonard, Diablo Valley, 1:51.20
Leonard was on record pace after 150 yards but she labored a bit over the final 50 in winning her second title of the meet. Leonard still won the race by nearly three seconds over second-place Laura Woods, DVC teammate, at 1:54.14. Mt. San Antonio's Rosemary Garcia took third in 1:54.96.
Event 20: Men's 200-yard Freestyle
Champion: Davit Sikharulidze, Golden West, 1:38.64
Winning his second event of the meet, Sikharulidize didn't take the lead until the second 50 and was steady as he held off a late charge to the wall by Orange Coast's Sean Richards, who took second at 1:39.84. Brenton Sayers (American River) was third at 1:40.20 and he was followed in a blazing finish by West Valley and defending state champion Zach Selfridge (1:40.48), Bakersfield's Andrew Hargis (1:40.54) and Mt. San Antonio's Edward Sanchez (1:40.73).
Event 21: Women's 50-yard Breaststroke
**Champion: Allison Gargalikis, Diablo Valley, 28.19—new state meet record
Call it Affirmed v. Alydar or even Ali v. Frazier, but the battle between Gargalikis and Golden West swimmer Brigitta Games produced a clinic in the breaststroke sprint. It began in the prelims as Gargalikis set the state meet record (29.32) with Games also breaking the old mark at 29.95. In the finals, Gargalikis smashed the mark into tiny pieces by a whopping 1.13 seconds. Games had to settle for second despite also a sub-29 mark at 28.95. American River's Jenner Johnson placed third at 30.08 and East LA's Yingfei Zhang was right behind her in fourth at 30.10.
Event 22: Men's 100-yard Breaststroke
**Champion: Jia Ng, Santa Monica, 53.80—new state meet record
Santa Monica is keeping the records inside the Corsair family as Ng broke the mark set by SMC's Jeff Lum (54.48). Ng opened with a monster opening 50 at 25.10 and took that to the record. He beat second-place Loai Tashkandi (Golden West) by more than two seconds (55.82). Santa Rosa's John Bing was third in 55.87.
Event 23: Women's 50-yard Backstroke
Champion: Miranda Howell, Santa Rosa, 26.21
Howell just missed out on the state meet record by .13 (Sherry Tsai, Orange Coast, 2003, 26.08) but gets the gold medal here. Golden West's Lauren Vosseler placed second (26.69) and Mt. San Antonio's Kiersten Shew was third in 26.99.
Event 24: Men's 100-yard Backstroke
Champion: Kawei Tan, San Mateo, 49.86
Tan had the best opening 50 and final 50 to appropriately swim his way to a state title in a sub 50-second time. Cuesta's Georan Meedering took second at 51.32 while Orange Coast's Sean Richard scored third in 51.63.
Event 25: Women's 800-yard Freestyle Relay
Champion: Golden West, 7:34.94
(Brigitta Games, Melissa Bergesen, Lia Jorgensen, Lauren Vosseler)
The Rustlers were not far off the state meet record (7:33.27) that was made in part by Bergesen and Vosseler in 2013. GWC's dominance in the freestyle was evident in that Santa Rosa placed second despite trailing by 18-plus seconds (7:53.23). Sierra was third at 7:55.75.
Event 26: Men's 800-yard Freestyle Relay
Champion: Golden West, 6:44.88
(Gabriel Hernandez, Chris Dominquez, Loai Tashkandi, Davit Sikharulidze)
Golden West continued its winning ways, including its topping the team standings, with this dominating triumph in the long relay. The Rustlers won the relay by 17.46 seconds over second-place Orange Coast (6:52.34). Mt. San Antonio was third at 6:53.84.
Event 27: Women's 3-Meter Diving
Champion: Rae Adams, Orange Coast, 242.45
Adams edged out her OCC teammate Candice Buck (237.95) and defending state champ Aimee Bruns (227.30) of Riverside to win the 3-meter board title.
Event 28: Men's 1-Meter Diving
**Champion: Brandon Cox, Sierra, 317.55 points—new state meet record
For the second straight day, Cox shatters the state record in diving, this time on the 1-meter board. Cox breaks the mark set last year by Sequoias' Dustin Gragg (287.20). Riverside's James Mauldin took second with a 268.20 score while San Diego Mesa's Thomas Dillon was third at 264.90. Eleven different divers scored better than 210 points. Cox got to show his stuff to the main crowd right before the start of the swimming finals session receiving a loud applause after a superb reverse 1-1/2 with 2-1/2 twist on the 3-meter board.
Event 29: Women's 1,650-yard Freestyle
Champion: Shannon Cheung, Pasadena City, 17:34.25
One day after recording the first-ever state title for a PCC women's swimmer in the 200 IM, Cheung does it one more time as she sets a school record in winning the mile. Cheung won by 20 seconds over her nearest competitor, Mor Flaisman of LA Valley, who was the only other sub-18 minute swimmer at 17:54.52. Mt. San Antonio's Kayleigh Davidson took third at 18:01.01.
Event 30: Men's 1,650-yard Freestyle
Champion: Evan Augst, Diablo Valley, 16:16.76
Augst led from start to finish but was pushed near the end by Riverside's James Reyes, who took second at 16:17.75. Another Riverside swimmer Nathan Diaz placed third at 16:25.51.
Event 31: Women's 100-yard Backstroke
Champion: Miranda Howell, Santa Rosa, 56.48
Howell collects on the daily double by taking her second backstroke title (won the 50) of the meet. Howell fought off Pasadena's Connie Peng (57.88) and Mt. San Antonio's Kiersten Shew (58.08).
Event 32: Men's 200-yard Backstroke
Champion: Georan Meedering, Cuesta, 1:49.73
Meedering gives himself a 20th birthday present by winning the backstroke in a time of 1:49.73. Meedering had placed second in the 50 back sprint on Friday, but rallied in the final 50 with a 27.54 split to defeat 100 backstroke champ Kawei Tan (San Mateo), who took second at 1:50.81. Tan led the opening 150 yards. Santa Rosa's Andrew Hayes was third at 1:51.52.
Event 33: Women's 100-yard Freestyle
Champion: Lauren Vosseler, Golden West, 51.06
Vosseler is a double champion in the freestyle sprints, but oddly swam slower than her prelim time of 50.44. Vosseler had expected to challenge the record set by American River's Anne Scott (50.36). Orange Coast's Kellie Thorsness was second at 52.15 and Cuesta's Rachael Gruetzmacher took third at 52.17.
Event 34: Men's 100-yard Freestyle
Champion: Davit Sikharulidze, Golden West, 45.05
Sikharulidze became a triple men's winner, adding to his 500 and 200 free titles with this win in the 100. He held off teammate Dylan Alba, who was second at 45.46, and third-place Zach Selfridge of West Valley (45.96). Orange Coast's Kasey Foley was fourth at 45.95
Event 35 : Women's 100-yard Breaststroke, 1:00.71
**Champion: Allison Gargalikis, Diablo Valley—new state meet record
There is no question that the star of the meet was Gargalikis, who broke her third state meet record and in this event blows out the ELAC pool record mark in the process. Gargalikis again had to swim that fast as her nemesis from Golden West, Brigitta Games, who had set the state record in the morning prelims at 1:02.47, blasted the mark again at 1:01.75. In any other year, Games would have had a few state records and few state titles on her mantel if not for Gargalikis. She took second in all three events to Gargalikis.
Event 36: Men's 200-yard Breaststroke
**Champion: Jia Ng, Santa Monica, 1:59.15—new state meet record
Ng doubles up on state meet records as he breaks another record that had been set by former SMC swimmer Jeff Lum (1:59.35, 2012). Ng was not threatened in this race as De Anza's Darren Chan Chin Wah took second in 2:03.59 and Golden West's Loai Tashkandi was third in 2:05.79. Ng nearly didn't catch the record as he ran out of steam over the final 25 yards, but just got to the wall in time.
Event 37: Women's 100-yard Butterfly
Champion: Kelsey Leonard, Diablo Valley, 55.54
Leonard became a triple champion adding to her 200 and 500 freestyle titles. Leonard won by more than three seconds over Connie Peng (Pasadena, 58.56), Rachelle Visser (Santa Barbara, 58.65), and Mimi Hoxie (Shasta, 58.86).
Event 38: Men's 200-yard Butterfly
Champion: Gabriel Hernandez, Golden West, 1:47.45
Hernandez picked up his third title of the meet (200 IM, 400 IM) with a strong race buoyed by his fast 23.54 opening 50 and a solid 27.30 second 50. Mt. San Antonio's Edward Sanchez placed second (1:50.33) and Ventura's Christopher Sands was third (1:52.29).
Event 39: Women's 400-yard Freestyle Relay
Champion: Golden West, 3:28.06
(Brigitta Games, Melissa Bergesen, Lia Jorgensen, Lauren Vosseler)
The Rustlers made it a sweep of the freestyle relays, their third relay title of the meet with a triumph over second-place Diablo Valley (3:31.25) and third-place Orange Coast (3:34.87).
Event 40: Men's 400-yard Freestyle Relay
Champion: Golden West, 3:01.68
(Dylan Alba, Jeremy Grden, Loai Tashkandi, Davit Sikharulidze)
Fittingly, Golden West capped its state title by winning this relay, just missing a state meet record by .47 of a second. Orange Coast placed second (3:03.03) while Cuesta was third in 3:04.76.
Release by Robert Lewis, CCCSIA, CCCAA Meet SID
Pool side contact number 818-679-1335
Photo by Richard Quinton