The Ventura College men's swimming and diving team finished a strong second, and the Pirate women finished sixth at the Western State Conference Championships completed Saturday in Santa Clarita. Cooper Fuchs came in a close second in the 100-yard freestyle and anchored the come-from-behind victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay to lead the men while Hunter Massey earned silver in the 1650-yard swim. Adrianna Bese, Gracelyn De La Cruz and the 400-yard freestyle relay all earned silver medals for the women.
The Pirate men finished the meet with 621 points, behind conference champion Santa Monica with 710.5. Bakersfield edged Cuesta for third, 428.5 to 428, and LA Pierce was fifth.
Fuchs was denied his third individual gold of the meet by .18 of a second, finishing second in the 100-yard freestyle. Tobias Hynes was sixth in the event, Jake Peters eighth and Garrett Gallagher was 10th. Massey, meanwhile, led three lifetime bests for the Pirates in the 1650-yard swim, earning the silver medal while Anthony Amezcua and Ethan Enquist came in fifth and sixth, respectively. Marcel Hurtubise was sixth in the 200-yard butterfly , Kevin Smallwood came in seventh in the 200-yard breast stroke, and Christian Foster was 10th in the 200-yard backstroke.
In the final event of the meet, Fuchs, Hynes, Jake Peters and Gallagher claimed gold in the 400-yard freestyle relay in come-from-behind fashion.
Over the three days of the championships, Fuchs claimed two individual golds and a silver while helping earn two golds, a silver and a bronze in four relay finals. He tied for the most individual points in the meet, just missing out on the Athlete of the Year award.
Leading the women on Saturday, Bese claimed silver in the 200-yard breast stroke while De La Cruz was runner-up in the 200-yard backstroke. In the 200-yard freestyle, Alli Hopkins added to her team-best individual point total with a third place finish while Kaitlin Reagan was fourth and Caitlin Burditt came in 10th. Ary Martinez finished fifth in the 200-yard butterfly while De La Cruz, Reagan, Burditt and Hopkins touched in second place in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Next up for the Pirates, for those who qualify, will be the CCCAA State Championships May 2-4 at De Anza College.