Returning champions and record setters will be the theme for the 2016 California Community College Swimming and Diving State Championship as the state's best once again meet up at East Los Angeles College's Swim Stadium Thursday-Saturday, May 5-7. It will be the sixth straight year that ELAC hosts the event.
With 41 state records shattered over the last five years, setting a state meet record is becoming a broken record here. Currently, 26 out of the 40 events for men and women have records that were set in the speedy Huskies pool since 2011.
Three top swimming/diving award winners return from last year in Diablo Valley's Brandon James, who earned the '15 Men's Performance of the Meet by setting a national record in the 200-yard backstroke, defending Women's Co-Swimmer of the Year Madison Varisco of Golden West, and Women's Diver of the Year Emily Dunkerson of Riverside City College.
The frontrunners in the team competition expect to be 3-time defending men's state champ Golden West and Big 8 Conference champion Sierra while the women's title could be a battle between Orange Empire champ Orange Coast and Sierra.
Here is an event-by-event preview:
DAY 1, THURSDAY, MAY 5
Event 1-Women's 200 Freestyle Relay
Sierra had the state's best seed time at 1:37.95 with Orange Coast right behind at 1:38.29. Diablo Valley is the defending champ in the relay.
Event 2-Men's 200 Freestyle Relay
This relay expects to be a thriller to the finish with Diablo Valley (1:22.98), defending champ Golden West (1:23.11), Sierra (1:23.36), Riverside (1:23.45) and Orange Coast (1:23.74) all separated by tenths of a second.
Event 3-Women's 500 Freestyle
After finishing as silver medalist last year, Golden West's Susanna Gonzales is the favorite with a seed of 5:02.80. Santa Rosa's Jessica Lee (5:07.99) hopes to challenge her.
Event 4-Men's 500 Freestyle
A bronze medalist in 2015, Riverside's Adrien Deloffre is a strong favorite with his state-leading 4:33.30 time. Mt. San Antonio's Philip Wright (4:37.99) could be his biggest challenger along with OCC's Sooud Altayyar (4:39.97).
Event 5-Women's 200 Individual Medley
If seed times stay to form, this could be a touch finish for gold between San Mateo's Erica Vong (2:10.77) and Santa Rosa's Celine Sargis (2:10.80).
Event 6-Men's 200 Individual Medley
Orange Coast's Jonathan Panchak has a solid top seed 1:50.22 with San Diego Mesa's Neil Franka next best at 1:52.04.
Event 7-Women's 50 Freestyle
Orange Coast's Rebecca Aguilar hopes to be repeat champion here with a fast 23.48 seed (23.71 won the title last year). San Francisco's Raquel Pea has the next fastest seed at 23.82.
Event 8-Men's 50 Freestyle
This sprint could be anyone's race but Foothill's Samson Siu is the frontrunner at 20.28. Riverside's Maxence Bouvier (20.58) and SD Mesa's Brandon Crabtree (20.65) will challenge him.
Event 9-Women's 400 Medley Relay
Orange Coast is the only squad coming in that has broken the 4-minute mark with a top seed of 3:57.05. San Mateo is next best at 4:00.20.
Event 10-Men's 400 Medley Relay
Diablo Valley set a state record last year and while that 3:17.56 time probably won't be challenged, the gold will be dogfight between Golden West (3:23.28), Riverside (3:23.49), Sierra (3:24.08), DVC (3:24.35), and OCC (3:24.67).
Event 11-Women's 1-Meter Diving
Last year, Riverside's Dunkerson lost out on the gold by just .65 of a point. While her 209.80 points is higher than last season, she could be second fiddle again as Sierra's Nicole Cox has a 238.75 mark. Nikki Burrelli 's state meet record of 240.10 (2008, Orange Coast) might be in jeopardy.
Event 12-Men's 3-Meter Diving
Saddleback's Jacob Swanson (262.60), Sierra's Austin Foote (244.65), and Riverside's Jakob Wood (238.35) will battle it out for gold on the high board.
DAY 2, FRIDAY, MAY 6
Event 13-Women's 200 Medley Relay
Orange Coast is the defending state champ and looks to repeat at 1:47.33 seed. The Pirates return both Aguilar and Alexa Clayfield from the '15 gold squad. San Mateo (1:49.58) and Golden West (1:49.60) hope to challenge.
Event 14-Men's 200 Medley Relay
Defending state champ Diablo Valley trails top seed Golden West (1:31.94) by .35 of a second while Orange Coast is in the mix at 1:32.79.
Event 15-Women's 400 Individual Medley
OCC's Clayfield has the state's best time at 4:36.16, a 3.5-plus second edge from nearest competitor-Sierra's Claudia Guillory.
Event 16-Men's 400 Individual Medley
Golden West's Alejandro Vassallo has the highest seed (4:07.07) but Mt. SAC's Wright swam a 4:07.04 to win the silver last year. Another challenger is Sierra's Alex Shibata (4:08.26).
Event 17-Women's 100 Butterfly
GWC's Varisco hopes to repeat as champion but her top seed of 57.13 is in reach by San Mateo's Morgan Smith (57.67).
Event 18-Men's 100 Butterfly
This figures to be a wild finish between top seed-Riverside's Bouvier (49.01), Golden West's Nathan Torres (49.32), Sierra's Andrew Murch (49.33), and SDM's Franka (49.41). Murch swam to a bronze last year at 48.98.
Event 19-Women's 200 Freestyle
OCC's Aguilar wants to improve from her '15 silver medal swim as she holds top seed at 1:52.71. GWC's Gonzales is her direct competition at 1:53.44.
Event 20-Men's 200 Freestyle
Riverside's Garret Shimko's state best time of 1:40.56 is only a fraction ahead of Orange Coast's Altayyar (1:40.75).
Event 21-Women's 100 Breaststroke
After settling for bronze medal last year, Foothill's Layna Auchard is back with a top seed of 1:06.39. OCC's Hannah Veseth appears to be her toughest matchup at 1:06.55.
Event 22-Men's 100 Breaststroke
Orange Coast's Panchak is looking to smash the state meet record here as his top seed time is 55 seconds flat or .18 better than the current record of Modesto's Brian Haile set a decade ago. RCC's Delofrre was fourth last year but his 57.08 seed may only net him a silver at best here.
Event 23-Women's 100 Backstroke
GWC's Varisco shoots for being a repeat champion but her 56.27 seed is behind San Mateo's Vong at 55.99.
Event 24-Men's 100 Backstroke
Diablo Valley's James smashed the state meet record last year at 47.90. No other swimmer is below 50 seconds entering this race. The only suspense may be can James break another record.
Event 25-Women's 800 Freestyle Relay
Orange Coast's 7:44.93 seed mark appears miles ahead of nearest competitor and defending state champ Golden West (7:53.63).
Event 26-Men's 800 Freestyle Relay
This should be a 3-horse race between Riverside (6:47.06), defending champ Golden West (6:50.84) and Sierra (6:51.83). The state meet record has held strong since Ventura swam a 6:43.32 in 2011.
Event 27-Women's 3-Meter Diving
Expect Sierra's Cox (239.95) and defending champ Dunkerson (216.05) to go dive for dive on the high board. No other diver reached 200 points this season.
Event 28-Men's 1-Meter Diving
Sierra's Foote took the silver last year at 260.80 and will have a stiff test to try to win gold as Saddleback's Swanson is the top seed (275.85). Riverside's Wood (224.70) makes this event the usual suspects from the meet's earlier high board competition.
DAY 3, SATURDAY, MAY 7
Event 29-Women's 1,650 Freestyle
GWC's Gonzales hopes to repeat her from start-to-finish mile win of a year ago with her 17:41.65 top seed. Just like the 500 free, Lee is her toughest challenger at 17:46.21.
Event 30-Men's 1,650 Freestyle
Mt. SAC's Wright is the favorite (16:05.20) to win gold after posting a silver last year. In a duplicate scenario from 2015, Golden West's Mark Olsen is swimming in the opening slower seeded heat but don't be fooled as he grabbed the bronze there at 16:13.08.
Event 31-Women's 200 Backstroke
Varisco set the state meet record (2:02.19) as a first-time event in 2015 and holds the top seed again in an effort to repeat. This will not be an automatic as CSM's Vong (2:04.44), the OCC pair of Lauren Weins and Clayfield, who took the bronze last year, and Sierra's Guillory all will pressure Varisco.
Event 32-Men's 200 Backstroke
Diablo Valley's James made headlines last season with his national community college record in this event (1:44.95). The only swimmer remotely close is Golden West's Conor Paterson (1:48.78 second seed). Can James make lightning strike twice?
Event 33-Women's 100 Freestyle
Defending champ Aguilar of OCC figures to reach gold again as her 51.10 seed is faster than her 51.26 win a year ago. Sierra's Shelby Parker is no slouch at 52.62 seed.
Event 34-Men's 100 Freestyle
Riverside's Bouvier is the favorite with a sizzling 44.44 state best time, but expect SD Mesa's Crabtree (45.14) and Orange Coast's Altayyar (45.49) to be in pursuit.
Event 35-Women's 200 Breaststroke
After establishing the historic first event meet record here last year, Foothill's Auchard is back to try to do it again as her 2:22.99 is faster than her '15 mark of 2:24.24. The next fastest competitor is San Joaquin Delta's Jensyn Breakfield (2:28.35).
Event 36-Men's 200 Breaststroke
This race is up for grabs as OCC's Panchak has a 2:01.21 top seed, Santa Rosa's Bradley-John Erickson seeded at 2:02.91 while defending state champ Deloffre of Riverside just happens to be in the event as well at 2:04.17 seed.
Event 37-Women's 200 Butterfly
Chabot's Madison Faulkner would like to build on her bronze medal of last year as her 2:07.90 is state best coming into the race. San Mateo's Smith (2:08.38) is the only other swimmer under 2:10.
Event 38-Men's 200 Butterfly
GWC's Torres took fourth last year and now is the favorite at 1:51.83, but he will be tested by OCC's Diego Pabalan (1:52.88).
Event 39-Women's 400 Freestyle Relay
Orange Coast is the frontrunner at 3:31.50 while Sierra is 3:34.72 and Golden West at 3:35.73.
Event 40-Men's 400 Freestyle Relay
The state meet record is a possibility here with Riverside entering at 3:01.76, only .55 behind the record set by Orange Coast in 2009. Diablo Valley is fast at 3:02.86 as is Sierra (3:03.16) while defending state champ Golden West (3:03.23) is always in the hunt in this relay.
Release by Robert Lewis, CCCSIA, CCCAA Meet SID
Pool side contact number 818-679-1335, email@example.com