The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Patch and is being reprinted with permission.

A week after finishing up a come-from-behind first-place finish in the Coast Conference Championships, the College of San Mateo women’s team made its mark in the state finals at East Los Angeles College over the weekend—medaling in several events. Led by prodigies Andrea Chan (Mills High) and Najelah Najdawi (El Camino), the Bulldogs finished ninth, competing against over 40 California Community Colleges.

Chan bronze-medaled in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 butterfly, and she placed fourth in the 500 freestyle.

Najdawi silver-medaled in the 50 breaststroke, finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke and took sixth in the 50 freestyle.

The Bulldog men were led by Masa Oto’s brilliant performance in the 200 butterfly, his strongest event. The Aragon alum beat out three swimmers halfway through the event to finish third with a 1:53.62 clocking.

CSM’s Randy Wright, the Coast Conference Coach of the Year, said this has been his best group of swimmers and describes this year as a special one. “This was a tremendous season,” said Wright. “Top 10 at states … our first conference title. But it’s the joy of watching our swimmers win medals at states, earn All-American honors and swim their best when it counts the most that is this season’s most defining moment.”

Slippery finish for CSM baseball

The Bulldogs saw their nine-year run atop the Golden Gate Division come to an end, finishing a game behind Chabot. CSM was 3-3 in its last six games, losing to Chabot, West Valley and Mission College.

Seeded seventh in the Northern California playoffs, CSM will host No. 10 seed College of the Sequoias on Friday at 2 p.m. to kick off the best-of-three series.

While the Bulldogs haven’t been the slugging team that propelled them to the state championship game last season, they have played consistently after a 5-5 start to the season—stringing 10 wins in a row in the middle of conference play.

2010 Golden Gate Division Coach of the Year Doug Williams has gone through a tough task this year—rebuilding from a veteran team that reached the state title game.

Williams has once again built his team around pitching, counting three stud right-handers: preseason All-American Devin Bradley (Carlmont), Clay Bauer and reliever Josh Fredendall (Hillsdale), who has posted a minuscule 0.25 ERA this season.

Bulldog softball visits Shasta in first round

Ending the season in two 1-0 losses and falling a game short of the Coast-North Conference title, the No. 10 seed CSM softball team will visit No. 7 Shasta College in a best-of-three series that begins on Saturday at 2 p.m. The teams split their season series in early February.

Sophomores Alyssa Jepsen (Notre Dame), Samantha Pacheco (Mills) and Danielle Brenner (South San Francisco), and freshman shortstop Lindsay Handy (Hillsdale) earned first team all-conference honors. Sophomores Ashley Rincon (Sequoia), Callie Pacheco (Half Moon Bay) and Morgan Elkins (Carlmont) made the second team, as did freshman center fielder Annabel Hertz (Lincoln).

Ross dashes his way to Bulldog record book

Damian Ross entered the CSM track and field record book at No. 8 after posting a winning mark of 10.93 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the Nor-Cal Multi’s in San Mateo on April 20.

For the Bulldog women, Samantha Hoffmann (San Mateo) ran her fastest time of the year, finishing third in the 100 at 12.82.

Mills grad Josh Uikilifi led a medal sweep in the shot put at the Coast Conference Championships in San Jose City College last Friday, placing first with a throw of 48-7.25, followed by Sione Fanaika (45-10) and Tevita Lataimua (43-1.75).

Uikilifi also placed second in the hammer throw at 136-3. Zeke Edwards took a close second the men’s javelin at 164-6, two inches shy of winner Vaughn Aldape-Soratos of Hartnell.