HOUSTON, Texas – Paola Hernandez helped CSU Bakersfield’s swimming and diving program continues its dominance of the 200 freestyle race as the Roadrunner senior brought home CSUB’s fourth straight gold medal in the event at the Western Athletic Conference Championships on Friday night.
On the men’s side, junior Lovre Soric broke the school 400 IM record in the morning preliminary heats before smashing his own record en route to a silver medal in the finals.
“Lovre and Paola were big time tonight,” said Chris Hansen, CSUB’s Director of Swimming. “Lovre’s 400 IM puts him in another league. He swam that with guts. Paola keeps the 200 free WAC championship in the family. Michaela, Kelsey, Michaela again, now Paola. Paola also had a huge swim in the medley relay splitting a 53.88 in the 100 fly.”
Hansen went on to applaud the performances of some of his young ‘Runners as well: “Jayssie looked great in the 400 IM. This girl is going to do big things. Hannah made her first finals tonight in the platform. She is the future of our diving program and I am excited to see her get better. Owen continues to do a great job. He is starting to figure out his strengths.”
Paola Hernandez took the pole position in qualifying for the 200 free with a time of 1:49.63, less than three tenths of a second off of her personal best. In the evening finals, the native of Lompoc, Calif. had a body length and a half lead heading into the final 50 yards and extended that lead by another body length to take the WAC 200 free crown. Hernandez’s finals time of 1:48.15 moved her up to third all-time for the ‘Runners as the senior made it four straight 200 free WAC titles for CSUB (Michaela Paige, 2014 & 2016; Kelsey Lange, 2015).
Freshman Jayssie Haynes qualified for the A-final in the 400 IM Friday morning while sophomore Darya Samiee was close behind with a new PR (4:31.28) to make the B-final. Haynes, who made her second A-final in as many days, claimed Second Team All-WAC honors while finishing sixth with a new personal best time of 4:27.02, third-fastest in CSUB history.
Morgan King lowered her PR in the 100 fly by two seconds to 55.72 in the prelims, the third-best time in CSUB’s history in the event. The freshman qualified fifth overall for finals while sophomore Lexi Cannon was close behind King with a time of 56.19, also a personal best, to make the B-final in ninth. In the finals, King placed eighth overall to take home Second Team honors.
Senior Dylana Milobar qualified fourth for the 100 breast and finished fifth in the finals to earn Second Team honors. Milobar’s best time of the day (1:02.73) came in the finals and was her second-best mark of the season.
In platform diving, sophomore Hannah Chernabaeff squeaked past teammate Carlee Burks for the final spot in the platform finals by a mere .15 points. In the finals, Chernabaeff, who walked on to the team last year with no diving experience, placed seventh with 197.05 points to earn her first All-WAC award.
The women’s 400 medley relay team posted a time of 3:44.88 to finish third in Friday evening’s finals. The two final legs for the 'Runners made the difference as CSUB earned Second Team All-WAC for their efforts. Alyssa Madero, Milobar, Hernandez, and Maddie Cosgrove recorded the third-fastest 400 medley relay time in school history.
In the morning 400 IM prelims, junior Lovre Soric broke the school record with a time of 3:52.56, edging Jake Priest’s seven-year-old record by over two tenths of a second. Soric’s time qualified him fourth for the A-final. Sophomore Justice Kramer and junior Mario Vasquez both made the B-final with season best times.
In the finals, Soric smashed his own record by more than three seconds. The Croatian’s time of 3:49.04 was good enough for a silver medal while qualifying Soric for the US Open, World Trials, and US Nationals.
Jake Chir grabbed a spot in the A-final of the 100 breast with a time of 54.97, which also qualified the sophomore for the US Open and was an NCAA B cut. Greg Lee, Michael Hart, and Matt Ramos all posted PRs by at least a second. In the finals, Chir finished eighth to take home a Second Team award.
Senior Luka Seles lowered his PR in the 100 fly to 49.26 to qualify 14th overall for the B-final. Seles went on to make the A-final in the 100 back with another PR (50.18) by finishing eighth in the prelims. In the finals, Seles posted an identical time of 49.26 and wound up 14th in the field.
CSUB’s top four 200 free swimmers all posted big PRs on Friday, led by sophomore Owen van Krimpen, who earned a spot in the A-final with a personal best by almost two seconds (1:38.37). Joe Cobarrubias made it to the B-final (1:40.21), while Bryant Fascio and Steven Valiente qualified for the C-final with PRs as well. van Krimpen placed eighth in the finals with a time of 1:38.35 to take Second Team honors.
The men’s 400 medley relay team wrapped up the day of competition with a sixth-place finish. Bakersfield’s time of 3:18.56 was a season-best mark for the ‘Runners by over six seconds.
The Roadrunners will conclude the 2017 WAC Championships on Saturday with one final day of swimming and diving action. For full results from the meet thus far, click on the linked PDF above.