CSUB makes big splash in conference championships

Victor Rodriguez

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The CSU Bakersfield men’s and women’s swim and diving teams headed into Houston, Texas for the 2017 Western Athletic Conference Championships with some trepidation but with success on their minds.

Over the span of the four-day WAC Championships, the Roadrunners won two gold medals, two silver medals and three bronze medals.

The Roadrunners also earned 2 First Team and 10 Second Team All-Conference Honors, as well as an All-WAC Honor.  

To top it off five school records were broken.

“I was a little nervous, but we didn’t let them know we were nervous,” CSUB Director of Swimming Chris Hansen. “It surpassed anything that I thought. I knew we were going to have some successful swims, but not only did we do really well we had a fun week.”

On the first day of the WAC Championships, senior Carlee Burks qualified first overall in the 3-meter board with a score of 287.75.

In the finals, she upped her score to 298.60, but placed in second to earn a silver medal.

The women’s 200 medley relay squad, which consisted of Paola Hernandez, Dylana Milobar, Morgan King and Maddie Cosgrove, broke the school record with a time of 1:41.50 and earned Second Team All-Conference Honors.

The second day at the WAC Championships saw the Roadrunners winning two bronze medals.

Burke managed to finish third overall in the women’s 1-meter board.

On the men’s side, junior Lovre Soric finished third and also broke the school record in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:46.60.

Another school record was broken when senior Paola Hernandez finished fourth overall in the women’s 200 IM with a time of 2:02.08.

The third day at the WAC Championships saw the Roadrunners continue their dominance in the women’s 200 freestyle race as Hernandez won the gold medal with a time of 1:48.15.

This was the fourth year in a row that CSUB won the gold in this race.

In the men’s 400 IM prelims Soric broke the school record with a time of 3:52.56. In the finals of that same race, Soric managed to beat his own record and place second for a silver medal with a new time of 3:49.04.

“The fact that the whole team witnessed it and was there to support me for all my races was great,” said Soric. “During the season, I didn’t have much confidence, but once we came to the conference [championships] and I saw everyone cheering on the stands I truly believed that I could do it.”

On the last day of the WAC Championships, Soric broke another school record and earn a gold medal in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:45.14.

Hernandez became the first CSUB women diver to go under 50 seconds since 2005.

Hernandez won the gold medal with a time of 49.94.

“It was nice, this has been a goal for a long time,” said Hernandez. “Those were goals since my freshman year, so to reach that was better.”

CSUB swimming and diving hopes that many of the NCAA B cuts posted this week will be accepted to the NCAA Championships.

Burks will be competing at the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships this March.