The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
For the first time in school history, the College of San Mateo women’s aquatic team is a champion.
Down 91 points to De Anza College at the start of the Coast Conference championships on Thursday, the Bulldog women erased that deficit, winning 11 of 18 events and capturing a total of 15 medals to win their first ever championship.
“What a great day to be a Bulldog,” said head coach Randy Wright via email. “These girls have dominated the Coast (Conference) all season and today they are champions. It’s CSM’s first title, what a perfect team to share the honor.”
The end result wasn’t really close. The CSM women’s team won the title by scoring 608 points. Their closest competitor was Foothill College at 508.5, followed by Chabot at 488 and Cabrillo at 481. De Anza, which led the event after the diving events, finished eighth with 268 points.
It was quite the three-day event for the women’s team. Day one saw them make up the huge point gap by sweeping all five of the events with Andrea Chan and Najelah Najdawi capturing three golds apiece. The 91-point deficit was now only 13.
With the momentum in hand, day two was all business for CSM as they took the lead by picking up another five gold medals. Freshman Shelbi Oskolkoff-Campbell captured two silvers in the 200 individual medley and 50-meter butterfly. Chan added another three gold medals to her individual tally, including one in her final individual event as a Bulldog, the 200-meter free, which she won by seven seconds. At the end of day two, CSM led by 47 points.
The Bulldogs picked up two more golds in the event’s final day to lock up the championship. Oskolkoff-Campbell won the 100-meter butterfly and the 400 freestyle relay team capped off a dominating performance by the women’s team by winning in 3:46.78. Najdawi picked up silver in the 100-meter breaststroke.
The CSM men had a great swim meet as well, finishing a strong fourth. The men were paced by Masa Oto and Alvaro Andaluz, with the latter capturing a pair of gold medals during the conference championships. In all, the CSM picked up eight medals: three gold, one silver and five bronze.