The Ventura College men's swimming and diving team led the Western State Conference championships after day 1 of the three-day meet at College of the Canyons while the Pirate women were fourth with a series of strong performances from both teams. Cooper Fuchs highlighted the day with a lifetime-best time of 20.31 in the 50-yard freestyle to claim the conference title. The men's 200-yard freestyle relay also claimed gold while the women's 400-yard medley relay team won silver. Alli Hopkins was second place in the 50-yard freestyle to lead the Pirate women.
In addition to his gold medal performance in the 50-yard free, Fuchs was a key part of the first place 200-yard freestyle relay with Tobias Hynes, Jake Peters and Garrett Gallagher. The team of Fuchs, Kevin Smallwood, Marcel Hurtubise and Hynes came in third in the 400-yard medley relay. Hynes and Gallagher finished came in fourth and seventh, respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle while Hunter Massey brought home the silver medal in the 500-yard freestyle with Ethan Enquist and Anthony Amezcua placing fifth and seventh. Meanwhile Hurtubise touched in seventh place in the 200-yard individual medley.
The Pirate men's first place point total also included the results from the 3 meter diving competition held last week at El Camino College. Rawley Mathis came in second for VC while Izaiah Martinez was third in the event. VC totaled 216 points on day one of the championships, 31 points ahead of second-place Santa Monica with 185. Cuesta was a distant third with 134.
Hopkins led the women's effort with her second place finish in the 50-yard freestyle while Gracelyn De La Cruz was fifth at that distance. De La Cruz, Adrianna Bese, Hopkins and Kaitlin Reagan claimed silver in the 400-yard medley relay while Reagan, De La Cruz, Ary Martinez and Hopkins teamed up for a fifth place result in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Bese earned points in the 200-yard individual medley coming in fourth.
The Pirate women were tied for fourth place after day one with 120 points, just 17 points out of the runner-up position. Santa barbara has the early lead with 165 points followed by Santa Monica at 137, Cuesta with 131 and VC and LA Valley at 120. Hancock and Bakersfield totaled 118 and 116 points, respectively, in the tightly-bunched conference race.
The WSC Championships continue Friday and Saturday April 19 and 20 in Santa Clarita. Preliminaries begin each day at 9:30 am with the finals beginning at 4:00 pm.