One year ago, Oakdale High graduate Jen Cadmus was attending school far from home and burned out on swimming.
Her return to the sport paid off with a state title Saturday as the Modesto Junior College sophomore won the 100-yard freestyle at the California Community College Championships.
Cadmus swam a personal best 57.70 seconds at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, well ahead of Chaffey's Roxanne Garcera (58.14). Cadmus was seeded third after a subpar morning preliminary.
"It was a complete 180 from the morning," Cadmus said. "At first, I thought, 'Oh, another year of disappointment. That's being dramatic, but I talked to Kurt (coach Kurt Olson) and we just figured it out. We fixed what I did wrong and there we go. I absolutely could not ask for anything more from a season, a team or a coach."
Olson said Cadmus didn't breath in the morning race and went out too fast -- she admitted being preoccupied with the top-seeded Garcera in the lane next to her. In the final, Olson said Cadmus was all smiles before swimming "her race," keeping her head low and breathing normally.
"I swam the whole race and finished strong, just like I had wanted to," Cadmus said. "To see the No. 1 by my name was perfect."
She also helped the 400 free relay team finish seventh in 3:44.44. MJC finished seventh out of 35 teams. Santa Rosa won the women's team title and Diablo Valley won the men's.
Cadmus, who attended Towson University in Maryland for one year, plans to continue swimming at a four-year school.
Track & Field
STANISLAUS MEN, at Los Angeles -- Ricky Gurrola surpassed his personal best mark in the hammer throw by three feet to win the CCAA Championship title at 170 feet, 1 inch Saturday at Cal State Los Angeles.
Chico State (230 points) won its fifth consecutive conference title. Stanislaus placed sixth with 70.
STANISLAUS WOMEN, at Los Angeles -- Returning All-American Kristen Loftin captured the CCAA pole vault title with a height of 12-6, an NCAA Division II provisional mark that matched her season high. Stanislaus was sixth out of eight teams with 52 points.