The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
It’s official: Miya Oto will bid the California Community College Athletic Association Coast Conference adios as an undefeated swimmer.
As expected, the coast conference championship for the College of San Mateo were highlighted by a pair of standout individual performances.
Oto, the returning All-American superstar, swept through her individual events — winning gold in the 100-meter freestyle on Saturday afternoon to cap off another Most Outstanding Swimmer bid.
Oto’s 100 was part of a three-gold medal day for the CSM Bulldogs, who fell short in their bid for team gold for the championships. The women, defending last season’s title, come in third; while the men finished a respectable fourth.
CSM owns the breaststroke Saturday as Alvaro Andaluz and Kellsey Mercado swept gold.
“Al and Kellsey are very similar, good starts, great walls and very strong in the final 25 yards,” said CSM head coach Randy Wright via email. “Both [Friday] and [Saturday], the race was close until the homestretch.”
Andaluz will swim next week at CCCAA state finals.
“Next week there is no waiting, the race is on from the beep,” Wright added. “Al is in, Kellsey looks good.”
Oto will definitely swim next week at the state finals. “She is fast, feels good and is confident,” Wright said. “Al, Kellsey and Miya are all sophomores, their coast careers were special.”
Freshman Derek Koo tied for high point after placing first in the 200 individual medley, first in the 100 backstroke and second on Saturday in the 200 backstroke.
The 200 back was the best race of the day. Koo led early. Unfortunately, he lost the drag race that ensued during the final 25 meters of the race and was out-touched.
CSM picked up a pair of bronze medals. The first came in the 400 freestyle relay with Oto, Mercado, Rachel Rosas and Kelly Dwyer clocking in at 3:47.08
For the men, the 400 freestyle relay was bronze. Sean Doker, Trevor Jacobs, Jason Wong and Richard Gonzalez clocked in at 3:17.14.
Day 3’s performance came after CSM was truly golden on Friday.
In the 14 featured events, the Bulldogs won five gold and three bronze medals — completely dominating the breaststroke in the process, with Andaluz and Mercado pulling away at the homestretch for medals.
On Friday, Oto won a pair of gold — the first in the 200-meter freestyle and the second as part of the 200 medley relay.
At that point, Oto was 5-for-5 in two seasons at the conference finals.
“The plan for Miya was to swim a steady race and win,” Wright said. “We were both surprised to see her go low with a 1:54 (in the 200 free).”