Merced boys, girls swim to CCC championships

sjansen@mercedsunstar.comApril 28, 2013 

— Not many people are frustrated after a record-setting swim. Merced's Brett Fogelberg, however, was shooting for a better time in the 50-yard freestyle at Saturday's Central California Conference Swimming Championships at Pitman High.

Fogelberg was in a more celebratory mood after the meet with the Bears boys and girls sweeping the CCC championships. Fogelberg scooped up Merced coach Kit Gratton and carried him up to the starting block on lane one and jumped into the pool.

In all, four Merced coaches were dunked, including longtime coach Steve Eccles, who is retiring after this season.

"It was a very special day," Gratton said. "This is five straight titles for the boys and four straight for the girls. It's the last swim meet for coach Eccles. It's kind of an end of an era in Merced High history and I'm glad to be part of it."

It was also a banner day for Pitman senior Hailee Baldwin, who took home two individual titles. Baldwin's time of 2 minutes, 10.79 seconds in the 200 individual medley ranked third best ever at the CCC meet. She also had the third best time in meet history in the 100 breastroke (1:05.57).

"I just wanted to see where I'm at," Baldwin said. "My focus is on sections. I just wanted to get in there and race. I really didn't have anyone close so it's hard to get that extra push."

It was a day that saw three CCC records fall.

Fogelberg broke former Golden Valley swimmer Brian Carter's 50 freestyle record of 21.44 seconds when he finished in 21.37.

The Merced senior said he was chasing the school record of 21.29 second.

"It's frustrating because I'm swimming slower than I did two weeks ago," said Fogelberg, who swam the 50 in 21.35 seconds at the Stanislaus County Championships. "It's probably unsportsmanlike to walk away like I did. The emotions got me."

Fogelberg added a win in the 100-yard freestyle (47.60) and also swam on two winning relay teams. Merced's 200 freestyle relay team of Fogelberg, Patrick Roberts, Isaac Santana and Josh Fluetsch set a school record with a time of 1:28.95.

Golden Valley's Connor Hoppe set a new CCC meet record in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 56.45.

"Without being shaved or tapered, I'm pretty happy with my times," said Hoppe, who also won the 200 individual medley. "I'm shooting for 53 or 54 seconds at sections. We'll see."

Buhach Colony's Noelle Farrar also came away with a CCC record in the 100 freestyle with a time of 53.28 seconds.

"The record means a lot," said Farrar, who also won the 100 backstroke. "It wasn't my goal. I was trying to get to 52 seconds, but I'm happy with a meet record."

Other double winners included Merced's Alison Miller (200 and 500 freestyle) and Fluetsch (200 and 500 freestyle).

The swimmers will have two weeks to prepare for the Sac-Joaquin Section meet, which will be held May 9-11 at Tokay High in Lodi.

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