Story and photos by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
Canyons swim & dive is sending five swimmers to the CCCAA State Championships next month after wrapping its regular season at the three-day WSC Championships last weekend.
COC's men's team finished sixth in the team standings but swam fast enough to advance to the state championship in a school-record nine events. A total of five COC student-athletes will compete.
The Cougars qualified in four relay events (400-yard medley, 200-yard medley, 200-yard freestyle, 800-yard freestyle) in addition to seeing sophomore Rowdy Feather (200-yard IM, 400-yard IM, 200-yard backstroke) and freshman Emilio Santoyo (200-yard IM, 100-yard backstroke) both move on to compete as individuals.
Feather, who competed locally for Canyon High School, won an individual conference title in the 200-yard backstroke at a time of 1:54.58 to best the field by four seconds.
He also finished runner-up in both the 400-yard IM (4:15.83) and 200-yard IM (1:56.86) to end the meet with a team-high 54 event points. That mark ranked fifth among the conference's 104 entries, with four swimmers tied for the meet lead at 57 points. His time in the 200-yard IM also represented a new school record.
In 2018 Feather won an individual conference title in the 400-yard IM.
Santoyo scored points for the Cougars with his third-place result in the 100-yard backstroke (52.93). The former Hart High swimmer also took fourth in the 400-yard IM (4:28.73).
Sophomore Kenny Payne came away with a pair of third place finishes in the 500-yard freestyle (5:02.75) and 1,650-yard freestyle (17:55.08). Payne also joined with Santoyo, Miguel Martinez and Feather to place fourth in the 800-yard freestyle relay (7:26.65) and qualify for the state meet in that event.
The combination of Santoyo, Feather, Martinez and Ian Werner made a splash by finishing second and setting a new school record in the 400-yard medley relay (3:33.85). Later, the same combination was fourth in the 200-yard version of the event (1:37.52).
Highlights from COC's women's team included the fourth place time turned in by freshman Kaley Gregory in the 100-yard backstroke (1:04.76). Freshman Kendra Marquez-Barrett took seventh (1:07.34) in the same event. Former Saugus swimmer Hana Hattori was fifth in the 50-yard freestyle (26.01) and Jackie Esse was 11th in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:15.73).
The 2019 CCCAA Swim & Dive State Championship meet will be held May 2-4 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.