PLEASANT HILL — Tim Richard, Modesto Junior College's tall and powerful sophomore, had gunned for John Monnich's 26-year-old 50-freestyle record since he graduated from Downey High.
Richard waited until late in his career and then delivered, lowering the record from 20.87 to 20.61, during Thursday's opening of the Big 8 Conference Swimming and Diving Championships.
He also reset the Big 8 meet record in the 200 individual medley (1:51.98), a mark that had held since 2004. The MJC men also lowered the school record in the 200 freestyle (1:25.12), another record that had gone unbroken since 2004. The Pirates' fast swim came from an outside lane.
Alexis Wheeler joined the record-breakers with her 500 freestyle (5:13.21), snapping by more than six seconds the record set by Nicole Scudder in 2010.
WALKOFF WIN MJC celebrated one of the its highpoints of the season walkoff-style.
Jake Hawkins' bases-loaded single to left chased home Gino Franceschetti to cap a three-run ninth and lift the improving Pirates over Cosumnes River 5-4 in Big 8 Conference action at the MJC diamond.
Chris Kahler's walk, Jake Scott's pinch-hit double and Franceschetti's single set the table for the Pirates (16-15, 9-11). Patrick Mulrey tied the game with his 2-run single to right and, after an intentional pass to load the bases, Hawkins delivered his 1-out game-winner.
It was the second win this week for fifth-place Modesto over the Hawks (12-19, 6-14).
MJC lead took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Franceschetti (3 for 5) singled, Mulrey doubled, Damien Arteago grounded out for an RBI and Hawkins singled for the other run. Cosumnes broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the ninth.
RUNNER-UP PIRATES Ryan Jones fired a 1-over-par 72 to lead the Pirates to a second-place finish, their best this season in the Big 8, as Modesto took advantage of home turf at Ripon's Spring Creek CC. Robert Wikoff posted a 75 as all six Pirates broke 80, a first for Modesto under seventh-year coach Ron Gross. MJC trailed Folsom Lake by only three strokes.