(Norwalk, CA) – By John M. Sherrard
Before a packed house at the Cerritos College pool complex, the men and women pulled off a "double" with the third consecutive South Coast Conference (SCC) title for the men and second in the last three years for the women.
Both teams will now await the final CCCAA State Championship entries to be announced late Monday and are hoping to get individual swimmers and relays into the state meet which will be held at East Los Angeles College, May 5-7.
"Today (Saturday) was a great day for the Mt. SAC Swim Program." said a drenched Mt. SAC Men's Coach Marc Ruh, after being thrown into the pool by his championship team.
"This was an extremely fast year and it will be difficult to qualify for the state meet."
Both teams are hopeful they will get individuals and relays into the championship meet.
Highlighting the day for the Mounties was an SCC record swim in the 200 yard butterfly by freshman Kaitlyn Dickinson (Chino Hills HS) and sophomore Phillip Wright (Pacific Coast HS) won the grueling mile freestyle (1650) with a state-leading best time of 16:05.20. Phillip, who won "SCC Swimmer of the Year" for the second consecutive year, was the lone men's winner on Saturday.
"It's shocking, very shocking," Dickinson said, surrounded by her parents and coaches. "It's amazing. I didn't think I had a chance at it (record). One of my friends told me and I said, 'no, I don't believe it.'"
The freshman, who learned of the record seconds after her race, finished with a time of 2:15.82.
"It's always a big deal to see records fall," Mt. SAC women's coach Chris Jackson said. "To have these girls swim their lifetime best is huge. They've work hard for it."
In the event, the Mounties swept the top three as sophomore Shania Fontanilla (Roosevelt HS) finished second and in third was freshman Jazzie Hernandez (Covina HS). Fontanilla, who will be attending Cal State Bakersfield, also placed second in the mile, and third in the 400 yard individual medley. "I'm so proud of her (Dickinson), extremely proud of her," Fontanilla said. "All three of us had to push each other in practice to begin with and Jazzie, who came in third, she sprints everything, tirelessly."
However, depth was the big winner for both teams as they pulled away on the final day for big margins to win the titles.
Wright, who also swam in the 500 freestyle and 400 IM and won all of his events. "It feels pretty good," Wright said of winning the swimmer of the year a second time. "All my swims I was pretty close to my best times. When I go to state I want to drop some serious time. I want to win state."
Wright had his best start in the 1650 and knew that is why he won the event.
"I took out the mile the fastest I ever have before," Wright said. "I have never had a 4:47 in the 500 split."
The men, who came into the final day with a huge 181-point lead extended it and finished almost 300 ahead of a distant Long Beach City College. The final top three were: Mt. SAC (818), LBCC (529) and Cerritos (408).
As for the women, they came into the final day a mere 26 points ahead of Cerritos College and won by almost 100 points over the nearest team (Pasadena City College). The final top three were: Mt. SAC (649), PCC (552) and Cerritos (531).
For more information contact Mt. SAC Sports Information at 909.274.4630. Follow all of your favorite Mountie Sports on Twitter @MtSAC_Athletics.