By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Cougars exited the three-day Western State Conference (WSC) Finals with three individual conference titles and the assurance that College of the Canyons would be represented at next month's CCCAA State Championship meet.
Meanwhile, COC sophomore Jennifer Yamauchi continued to cement her status as the most successful female swimmer in COC swim & dive program history.
Yamauchi, who last season become the first conference champion in program history by winning the 100y backstroke, successfully defended her title on day two of this year's meet as her time of 1:01.35 proved to be the best in the field. The conference title came on the same day that Yamauchi learned she had been accepted into the COC nursing program.
The following day Yamauchi doubled down with a first-place time of 2:11.68 in the 200y backstroke, to win the third WSC title of her Cougar career. The Valencia High School graduate also set a school record with a time of 2:32.71 in the 200y butterfly, good for a second-place finish.
As a result of her performance, Yamauchi qualified to compete at the CCCAA State Championships in both the 100y and 200y backstroke events.
The women's team placed ninth in the field of 10 teams. Cuesta College took the conference title and was followed by Bakersfield and Ventura, respectively, in the top three.
COC freshman Rowdy Feather was the other individual conference champion for the Cougars after his time of 4:16.27 in the 400y IM was tops at the meet.
Feather also finished runner-up in the 200y backstroke at a pace of 1:54.56. His time of 53.47 in the 100y backstroke was good for fourth. Feather will join Yamauchi at the state championship meet after qualifying in the 400y IM, 100y backstroke and 200y backstroke events.
Kendal Payne also finished as runner up in the 1,650y freestyle with a school-record time of 17:07.24.
COC's men's squad finished fifth in the field of eight with 103 event points. The Cougars trailed conference champion Cuesta (184), Ventura (152), Santa Monica (146) and Bakersfield (145).
The 2018 CCCAA Swim & Dive State Championship meet will take place May 3-5 at De Anza College in Cupertino.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.