M. Swimming: Team finishes fifth at conference championships

Falcons finished fifth at the conference championships
Falcons finished fifth at the conference championships

With 346 team points over the three-day South Coast Conference Championships at Mt. San Antonio College, the Cerritos College men's swimming team finished in fifth place. The team will find out on Monday if any of their swimmers have qualified for the CCCAA State Championships, which will be held in two weeks at DeAnza College.

Day 1 - The championships opened with the Falcons recording a fourth place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:30.46 and were barely edged out of third place by Pasadena City College and their time of 1:30.05. The foursome of Rodrigo Baca (Kennedy HS), Brian Luque (Salazar y Herrera, Colombia), Kevin Elizarraraz (Buena Park HS) and Matt Farias (Downey HS) saw their time placed eighth on the college's all-time list. Baca came up short on breaking the college's 41-year school record in the 50-yard freestyle, while he came in third place in the race. His time of 21.59 trailed Josh Harvey (21.36) of Long Beach City College and Kyle McCalahan (21.46) of Chaffey College, and is the second best time in school history behind Cliff Jolley and his time of 20.83 set in 1978.

In the day's final race, Guzman, Billy Catton (La Quinta HS), Baca and Elizarraraz were beat out of third place in the 400-yard freestyle relay by one second by El Camino College, while their time of 3:39.60 was the best turned in by any Falcon quartet this season.

Day 2 - A pair of second place finishes on the day allowed Cerritos to move into fourth place in the team standings. Baca recorded both second place finishes, with the first coming in the 100-yard butterfly, where his time of 51.18 was right behind eventual champion Ethan Trieu of Mt. San Antonio and his time fo 50.14. It was also the second best time in school history, with the record time of 48.79 by Nikos Kostainis set in 2008. In the 100-yard backstoke, Baca's time of 52.99 put him in second place as he held off East Los Angeles College's Aziz Jaouhar, who finished third in 53.21. Once again, Baca was off the school record by Kostainis, who posted a time of 50.26 in 2008.

Cerritos picked up third and fourth place points in the 100-yard breaststroke, as Elizarraraz recorded a time of 1:00.93, with Catton touching up in 1:02.00, while they represented the eighth and ninth best times in school history.

In the relay races, the Falcons picked up a third place finish in the 200-yard medley relay and were edged out of second place by Pasadena City College in a little over a second. The quartet of Guzman, Catton, Baca and Elizarraraz turned in a time of 1:40.10, which is the eighth best time in school history. The final event of the day saw the foursome of Colson Morrow (Long Beach Millikan HS), Nik Klimpfinger (Los Alamitos HS), Farias and Guzman record a fifth place time of 7:58.43, which was two second behind fourth place Pasadena City.

Day 3 - The final event of the championships was the 400-yard freestyle relay and the foursome of Baca, Elizarraraz, Farias and Guzman turned in the best time of the season in that event by the Falcons and earned a fifth place finish in a time of 3:20.56. It was also the seventh fastest time in school history. Catton also earned a sixth place result in the 200-yard breaststroke with a clocking of 2:56.21. It was :35 seconds off his prelim time, which would have put him in a tie for third place.