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Results tagged “Larry Baratte” from College Sports Blog

VC water polo teams host, compete for WSC titles

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What figures to be a very competitive weekend begins at 9 a.m. this morning when the Western State Conference water polo championships opens at City of Ventura aquatics center.

"It's a pretty level playing field," said Ventura men's coach Mark Schmidt.

"It's going to come down to a couple goals here and there," Ventura women's coach Larry Baratte said. "It's going to be competitive and that's the way it should be."

After unbeaten WSC campaigns, the Los Angeles Valley men (12-9) and Los Angeles Pierce women (10-4) are the top seeds

The Ventura College men (15-8) are the No. 3 seed and faces No. 2 Cuesta (24-10) in the 12:45 p.m. semifinal.

"It's a little bit unusual to play them in the first round," Schmidt said. "I don't know if I've done that in a long time. But we typically know we have to play Valley and Cuesta, if we want to win a championship."

The Ventura men have won 11 of 12 matches since Oct. 10, the only loss coming 10-9 to Valley on Oct. 17.

"We're confident," Schmidt said. "We've been playing well. This is how you want to be playing going into the tournament... We feel like we have a chance."

The four-time defending champion Ventura College women (13-9) are the No. 2 seed and hosts either No. 3 Los Angeles Valley (17-8) or No. 6 Santa Monica (8-16) in the 3:15 p.m. semifinal.

"We're healthy, so I think we're ready to go," Baratte said. "We've had the bug bites, concussions and illnesses... We've had our share of distractions."

But the Pirates, who have enjoyed excellent seasons from sophomores like Olivia Barry and Emily Pinsky, have experience winning a title from the No. 2 seed. They achieved the feat a year ago.

"It's about them," Baratte said, "winning it for themselves and winning it for each other."

The championship matches will be held at Rio Mesa High Saturday at 1 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.

Giles takes pause from pool

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Mary Giles didn't want to let her team go.

But last month's heat wave, which saw temperatures rise to 105 degrees on the pool deck, made maternity leave a necessity.

"It was a little too exhausting," said the Ventura College women's water polo coach, who is nearly nine months pregnant with her second child.

Already 7 1/2 pounds, Makayla Giles is due to arrive next week.

Ventura College swimming coach Larry Baratte, who previously coached water polo at VC from 1988-99, has taken over Giles' whistle.

"He's got a great group of girls," Giles said. "And how nice is it to have a Hall of Fame coach available to take over?"

Considering the Pirates are the unprecedented four-time defending Western State Conference champions, Baratte's pinch-coaching role comes with some pressure.

"I don't worry that much about those types of things," Baratte said. "We'll be fine... Mary had a good foundation."

The sophomore quartet of Jenna Cutino, Anais Geysmonion, Emily Pinsky and Olivia Barry, plus freshmen like Ashley Runyon and Jerilyn Hollis and ahead of goalie Kayla Haas have the Pirates (10-5, 2-0) atop the WSC standings.

"They're all very complementary of each other," Baratte said. "They're really the foundation of the team, Emily is very solid and reliable... Anais is a good shot, Jenna really has been an outstanding defensive player for us. Olivia has always been unsung. She's our best conditioned swimmer and has to take the other teams' fastest swimmer or most talented athlete.

"All four of those girls have specific roles to fill."

Giles handed over a three-game winning streak on Sept. 24, which Baratte extended to seven games before VC, without Geysmonion, dropped a pair of games to finish third in its tournament Sunday.

Pinsky had three goals, Barry had five steals and Haas made nine saves in 10-9 loss to Chaffey. Barry leads the WSC in assists with 26.

"It's a nice group to work with," Baratte said. "We're learning. We're trying to get better every day. I think we'll put ourselves in a good position... We'll see what happens."

Giles, who is married to Thousand Oaks boys' water polo coach Mike Giles, attended the VC tournament and has already circled Nov. 2-3 on her calendar.

That's the weekend when Ventura hosts the WSC Championships.

"It's already scheduled," Giles said.

Short of London

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Despite swimming in three qualifying events, 19-year-old Ventura College swimmer Henry Chung came up just short of qualifying for this summer's Olympics in London.

"He gave great efforts," said Ventura coach Larry Baratte of the Pirates' triple state champion. "It's tight. That's why it's the Olympics. It's fast."

Chung, who competed in the Irvine Grand Challenge, Santa Clara Grand Prix and Hong Kong Olympic trials, was within a second of reaching Olympic qualifying standards for the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke.

"He's 19, he's very competitive and he has big goals," Baratte said of Chung. "He's got a bright, bright future

Injury slows swim challenge

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The Ventura College men's swimming team has finished in the Top 3 at the California Community College championships for seven straight years.

That streak is in jeopardy this weekend at East Los Angeles College after the Pirates qualified only eight swimmers last week while winning the Western State Conference title.

"We're a little hobbled," Ventura coach Larry Baratte said.

The big blow was sophomore Eric Donahoo, who, slowed for much of the season by what was discovered to be a torn meniscus, failed to qualify in his freestyle events.

"He's been hobbling around and he's been avoiding the doctor," Baratte said. "He's really turned everything over to the team."

Despite soreness, Donahoo, whose healthy times last year would have made him the top seed in the 200-yard freestyle this weekend, still plans to compete in relay events.

"I'm really proud of him," Baratte said. "He could have very easily have shrugged his shoulders and chucked it in."

With just eight men and seven women qualified, both the Ventura men's and women's teams are focused on Top 5 finishes.

Henry Chung is in position to complete a stellar freshman season. The sprinter is the top seed in all three of his individual events -- today's 50-yard freestyle (20.23 seconds), Friday's 100-yard backstroke (49.42) and Saturday's 100-yard freestyle (45.24)

"And I wish I could swim him in even more (events)," Baratte said.

On the women's side, sophomore Shyla Motley is the No. 3 seed in the 50-yard breast stroke (30.92 seconds), while freshmen Christina Robledo and Abby Puczkowski are the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the 100-yard backstroke.

"They've just been solid all season long," Baratte said. "They're hard-working, good group with six freshmen and one sophomore.

"We're going to be right in the hunt. It'll be a great experience for the girls."

VC's Chung breaks Hong Kong record despite illness

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Ventura College freshman Henry Chung, attempting to qualify for this summer's London Olympics in his native country, broke the Hong Kong national record in the 100-meter backstroke Saturday at the 55th annual Hong Kong Olympic Time Trials.

Fighting the flu and fatigue from a delayed 16-hour flight from LAX, Chung swam the 100 backstroke in 57.49 seconds during the preliminaries, finishing less than a second short of the 56.59 mark needed to qualify for this summer's Games.

Chung missed the event finals with a fever, which prompted a trip to the hospital. But the 19-year-old return to swim a personal best 23.37 in the 50-meter freestyle, which is less than a half second short of both the national record and Olympic qualifying standard.

"What he did in the 100 back was remarkable," said Ventura coach Larry Baratte, who coached Chung via text message from Ventura. "He'll have a few more opportunities (to qualify) in May and June and the conditions should be much more favorable."

Chung returned to Ventura Sunday to train for this weekend's Western State Conference championships and the California Community College championships later this month.

Chung pushes limits in Olympic bid

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A swimmer's primary opponent is always the clock and his own body.

Ventura College freshman Henry Chung will be uniquely reminded of those confines this weekend, as he attempts to qualify for the Olympic team in his native Hong Kong.

For the opportunity, Chung will spend roughly the same amount of time aboard planes as he will on the ground in Hong Kong -- 32 hours.

"I'll do a little bit of stretching and walk around the plane to keep my body ready for the race," said Chung, who left LAX late Thursday, will arrive in Asia Saturday morning and will return Sunday. "I might have a little jet lag, but I still think I have an opportunity to quality."

To qualify for London, Chung, 19, needs to top 22.8 seconds in the 50-meter freestyle or 56.59 in the 100-meter backstroke. His bests this season at VC are inside a second of those benchmarks.

"He's rested up and ready to go," said Ventura coach Larry Baratte. "The challenge is the flights."

Chung joins Jeff Barrett, who participated in the U.S. Olympic trials in 2008, as VC swimmers to participate in Olympic trials. Although Barrett, who will be inducted into the VC Athletic Hall of Fame next month, did so he had completed his collegiate career.

If he qualifies, Chung would become VC's first international since Sally Tuttle competed in the 1975 Pan-Am Games.

Chung has already experienced the process last quadrennial, when he was just 15. If he comes up short this weekend, he'll have more opportunities to reach the qualifying standards in May and June.

"It'll be great if he's able to quality," said Baratte, "but we have other meets that we're pointing to, as well."

Whatever the result, Chung will return Sunday to prepare for the Western State Conference championships and the California Community College championships later this month.

VC women striving for heights of VC men's swimming

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With seven straight seasons in the Top 3 at the state meet, including state championships in 2005 and 2010, competing for the ultimate honors has become an annual rite of spring for the Ventura College men's swimming team.

Although, this spring, it looks like it will have some company.

By winning the annual Cuesta Invitational last weekend, when it topped the teams that have won the past four state titles, the Ventura College women's swimming team also showed it can compete on the state level.

"We're in the right company," said coach Larry Baratte. "Our relays are very strong."

With a hard-working sophomores class joined by 2010 All-American Shyla Motley and a deep, talented freshman group that includes Jessica Ball (Oxnard High), Abigail Puczkowski (Westlake), Christina Robledo (Santa Clara), Alicia Romero (Pacifica) and Taylor Amstutz (Oaks Christian).

"It's come together very nicely," said Baratte. "It's as good of a core of freshmen that we've ever had. They trained hard in the fall. They're versatile. They've filled a lot of events and relays."

A native of Valencia, Venezuela like former Pirates Katherine and Cristina Fung, Rafael Aponte and Rafael Ingannamonte, freshman Gaby Romero broke a 22-year-old school record in the 100-yard butterfly in San Luis Obispo March 9, finishing second in 58.56 seconds.

It wasn't the only record-breaking swim of the weekend, as freshman Henry Chung set the school record in the 100 backstroke Saturday, winning in 50.48.

The performance was remarkable considering Chung, who also won the 50 freestyle in 20.72 seconds and 200 backstroke in 1:53.35, bettered the mark of last year's state champion (Steven Tennant) in midseason, outside in windy conditions, on his fifth swim of the day

"It was one of the best swims Ventura College has ever had," said Baratte.

Chances are there will be many more from Chung, a Hong Kong national who will be chasing state records as he strives to qualify for the Olympics this summer in London.

"He passes the eye test," said Baratte. "He's intimidating when he gets up on the blocks."
Chung and sophomore Eric Donahoo led a men's team that features eight sophomores from last year's state runner-up, including Tyler Kaslik, Spencer Lewis, Thomas Maires, Coleman Goode and Griffin Pool.

"When you put those two together with that solid core of sophomores," said Baratte, "the freshmen just need to move from high school to college quickly."

The VC men won the Mount San Antonio Invitational Feb. 25, beating defending state champion Orange Coast 657-579, and finished second to Santa Rosa last weekend at Cuesta, 816-539.

"Santa Rosa is very good," said Baratte. "They're ahead of us right now. We have a long way to go if we're going to get past them.

"It's going to be based on the freshmen stepping up and accepting their roles."

In winning Mt. SAC, the VC men dominated the relays, winning the 200 free (Chung, Dillon Cleavenger, Donahoo and Lewis) in 1:26.73, the 200 medley relay (Chung, Goode, Kaslik and Donahoo) in 1:37.76 and the 400 medley relay (Chung, Goode, Kaslik, Donahoo) in 3:33.84.

Tyler Kaslik won the 500 free (4:48.65) and 200 butterfly (1:56.24). Chung won the 50 free (20.83) and 100 butterfly (51.83).

For the women, freshmen Ball and Puczkowski were highlights at Mt. SAC. Ball won the 500 free (5:22.61), 200 free (1:59.70), mile (19:10.17) and anchored four winning relays. Puczkowski finished second in the 50 free (25.55), 100 free (55.46) and 200 free (2:01.74) and was part of three of the winning relays.

Just the two record-breaking swims themselves would have made it a memorable weekend at Cuesta.

"It's been a long, long time since we've had a school record broken in the middle of the season," said Baratte.

But the VC women also earned a valuable lesson by edging Orange Coast by one point, 550-549.

"We won the first event of the meet by .06 and that was the meet," said Baratte. "They're learning that every place from one to 16 crucial. That's a different kind of environment."

VC swimming builds 102-point lead a state

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There may not have been an individual champion Saturday, but every member of the Ventura College men's swimming team drew closer to a state championship today by piling on the points on the second day of the California Community College championships.

The Pirates will bring a 102-point cushion into the final day of the meet today at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.

"Today was our depth day," said Ventura coach Larry Baratte. "We scored over 200 points.

"They're fired up and excited about tomorrow."

Ventura leads second-place Orange Coast, 347-245, followed by Diablo Valley (241), Santa Rosa (202) and Sierra (174.5).

After a strong morning in the preliminaries, Ventura started the night session strong as Collin Baratte, Rafael Ingannamonte, Steven Edgar and Daniel Colvin combined to win the win the 200-yard medley relay in 1:33.03.

Ventura piled up 36 points in the men's 200 free as Eric Rennspiess finished third (1:42.69), Michael Craft was sixth (1:44.12), Evan Hedrick was 13th (1:45.56) and Spencer McGrath was 14th (1:45.91).

David Hine finished second in the 400 individual medley (4:05.03). Ingannamonte was sixth (58.57) in the 100 breast stroke.

Edgar finished second in the 100 butterfly in 49.94 seconds. Wade Federer was seventh (51.66) and Colvin was 12th (52.42).

In the 100 backstroke, Jordan Singleton was fourth (52.10), Baratte was seventh (53.34), and Michael Crowley was eighth (54.06).

Edgar, Hedrick, Craft and Reinspeiss were second (6:52.46) in the 800 freestyle relay.

"Most of it was just solid performances,' said Baratte. ""Everybody did their job. We're looking forward to (today), a good morning and we should be in good shape."

It all started in the morning for the Pirates Friday.

"It was great morning in which we just loaded up championship and consolation finals," said Baratte. "We got all the people we really needed back.

"It was the best prelims that we've had."

The Ventura women sat in eighth with 146 points, 13 behind sixth-place Modest. Orange Coast leads the meet with 362.

Shyla Motley finished second (30.12) in the women's 50 backstroke. In the 200 freestyle, Deanna Pickman was ninth (1:57.73) and Kayleigh Jeffrey was 12th (1:59.64).

Pickman, Jeffrey, Cristina Fung and Kelsey Michon were a strong fourth in the 800 freestyle relay.

"That was just a terrific swim," said Baratte.

In position in the pool

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Larry Baratte won't know if his Ventura College men's swimming team will be the favorite in this weekend's California Community College championships until today.

But it looks pretty close.

The Pirates look like they qualified a school-record 15 men and five women for the three-day meet at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.

"I don't know for sure," said Baratte Sunday. "I'll know when I see the psych sheets.

"We'll see. I think we're in the conversation."

Nine men were unshaven when the Pirates won the WSC Championship Saturday by a record margin in Santa Claritate.

"I think that's pretty big," said Baratte. "That's a pretty good thing."

VC swimming makes waves at WSCs

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The Ventura College men's and women's swimming teams were lifted by championship performances Saturday at the Western State Conference championships at Santa Clarita Swim Center.

The men finished with a record setting 1,034 points, and easily distanced itself from the next closest finisher in Cuesta, which had 423 points to win their eighth straight conference championship.

In opening up the widest margin of victory in WSC history, Ventura surpassed 1,000 points for the first time.

"It's a dominating year," said Ventura coach Larry Baratte. "We had 26 guys that we took to the meet, I had to designate eight of them non-scorers... Of those eight, all of them would have scored points if they were at a different school."

The mile freestyle was the lone swimming event in the three-day, 18-event meet that the Pirates did not win.

The women earned the championship with 665.5 points, followed by Cuesta with 524 and Bakersfield with 522.

"We only won one really," said Baratte. "It wasn't neccesary because of our talent. It was the depth."

Steven Edgar earned swimmer of the year honors for the men's side and Shyla Motley did likewise for the women.

Motley won the 1,650-yard freestyle and, three events later, broke a 20-year-old record in the 100-meter breaststroke with a first place finish of 1:07.20.

"Big time," said Baratte. "She's pretty good."

For the men, Edgar won the 200 butterfly, Collin Baratte won the 200 backstroke, Daniel Colvin defended his title in the 100 freestyle, Rafael Ingannamonte won 200 breast stroke.

VC swimming surging at WSC championships

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The Ventura College men's and women's swimming teams remained in front at the Western State Conference championships at Santa Clarita Swim Center.

Freshman Shyla Motley broke the conference record in the 50-yard breast stroke, winning in 31.42 seconds, and Kayleigh Jeffrey and Kelsey Michon finished 1-2 in the 200 freestyle as the women's team stayed atop the team standings, 448-377, over second-place Cuesta.

"The way it was seeded, we should be in second place after today," said Ventura coach Larry Baratte. "They're doing a great job."

Rafael Ingannamonte defended his 100 breast stroke title in 59.86 seconds and Collin Baratte (53.01) and Jordan Singleton (53.42) finished 1-2 in the 100 backstroke as the men opened up a 427-point lead on second-place Cuesta, 714-448.

The men swept the Top 4 in the 200 freestyle behind Erik Rennpiess (1:43.10), Evan Hedrick (1:44.51), Michael Craft (1:44.93) and Spencer McGrath (1:46.31); the Top 3 in the 400 individual medley behind Michael Fernandez (4:19.40), David Hine (4:21.70) and Tyler Payton (4:22.33) and the Top 3 in 100 butterfly behind Steven Edgar (51.11), Wade Federer (52.40) and Daniel Colvin (52.58).

The men's 200 medley and women's 800 free relays also set conference records.

Heads above water

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The Ventura College men's swimming team isn't just treading water.

The Pirates have finished in the Top 3 at the state meet for five straight seasons, including a state championship in 2005 and state runners-up trophies in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

And with a deep and talented roster of 28 men, coach Larry Baratte thinks he may just have a group that can contend for another trophy come May 1.

"We've been dealing with some injuries and some illnesses," said Baratte. "Once we get together, I think we're going to be right in the hunt."

Ventura lapped the competition in the first Western State Conference meet of the season last week, winning every event. Freshman Erik Rennspiess took the 100-yard freestyle (48.55) and 200 intermediately medley (2:02.11).

"Talent wise, I think we're pretty solid," said Baratte. "We're just getting through the hardest training phase of the season. Some respond to it differently than others."

Ventura returns several key sophomores, including sprinter Daniel Colvin, middle-distance expert Michael Craft and breakstroker Rafael Ingannamonte, and picked up four-year transfers Evan Hedrick (UC San Diego), Jon Rye (Cal State Northridge) and David Hine (Cal Baptist).

But the freshman have been making a mark thus far, including Rennspiess and two of the county's top products last spring, Steven Edgar (Ventura High) and Colin Baratte (Oaks Christian), the coach's son.

"So far the freshmen have been really the ones who have stepped up and been noteworthy," said Baratte.

Fung, Pickman leading VC women's swimming

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The Ventura College women's swimming team, which also opened its WSC campaign by impressively sweeping a quadmeet last week, is reliant on sophomores Christina Fung and Deanna Pickman for leadership.

Pickman won the 500 free (5:27.96) and 1,000 free (11:07.45) events last week.

Freshmen Shyla Motley and Kayleigh Jeffrey have also impressed early. Motley has already defeated last year's state champion in the breaststroke Feb. 27 at Mount San Antonio College.

"We swam that meet in a hailstorm," said coach Larry Baratte. "That was probably one of the better performances."

The women's team has also been boosted by several water polo players, including Emily Allen, Mary Dugan and Marrisa Herold.

"They are hard working girls who will be good point-getters at the conference meet," said Baratte. "They've been good additions."

VC swimming relay a second short Friday

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The Ventura College men's swimming team's first shot at state relay glory came up a second short Thursday night.

The quartet of Eric Anderssen, Michael Craft, Daniel Colvin and Tyler McClure finished second in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:23.15.

Orange Coast took both the relay (1:22.46) and the first-day team lead at the California Community College swimming and diving champions at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach. Ventura sits in fourth place with 100 points, 92 behind the leaders.

"It was a great race," said Ventura coach Larry Baratte. "We just came up a little short."

McClure, Rafael Ingannamonte, Wade Federer and Colvin finished fourth (3:28.75) in the 400 medley relay.

Behind a pair of fifth-place finishers, the Ventura women sit in seventh with 73 points, 53 behind leaders Sierra.

Brooke Penney finished fifth (24.32) in the 50 freestlye. Deanna Pickman and Bonny Bordwell finished fifth (5:13.17) and 12th (5:18.97) in the 500 freestyle.

Jacqueline O'Hagan finished 13th (1:02.90) in the 100 individual medley.

The quartet of Brooke Penney, Cristina Fung, Deanna Pickman and Bonny Bordwell finished eighth (1:40.76) in the 200 freestyle relay. The quartet of Fung, O'Hagan, Kendall Avrea and Penney finished 10th (4:08.23) in the 400 medley relay.

The Ventura men had three of its four participants score in the 50-yard freestyle.

Eric Anderssen was fifth (21.13), while Daniel Colvin and Michael Craft followed in 11th (21.19) and 14th (21.68), respectively.

Chris Baier finished fifth (4:40.05) in the 500 freestyle.

Tyler Pool and Rafael Ingannamonte finished 16th (1:59.62) and 21st (2:00.85) in the 200 intermediate medley.

VC wins seven more swimming events

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The Ventura College swimming teams won conference titles in seven events Friday, the second day of the Western State Conference Championships in Bakersfield, where the Pirate men finished 1-2 in four different individual events.

Michael Craft and Eric Anderssen finished first (1:43.72) and second (1:43.86), respectively in the 200-yard freestyle. Rafael Ingannamonte and Juan Camero finished first (1:00.28) and second (1:00.86) in the 100 breastroke. Tyler Pool and Chris Baier finished first (4:17.30) and second (4:18.03) in the men's 400 intermediate medley.

Tyler McClure and Michael Crowley finished first (51.53) and second (53.55) in the 100 backstroke. McClure's mark set the school record.

"The men are just in a dominating position this year," said Ventura coach Larry Baratte. "Every school has some strong swimmers, but our depth just kills everybody."

With 700 points, the Ventura men's leads Cuesta (329) and Citrus (316) by a healthy margin going into the final day of competition.

The Ventura women used a strong performance in the 200 freestyle event to build a 33-point lead on Santa Monica, 482-449, with Cuesta (354) in third.

Bonny Bordwell (1:58.40), Brooke Penney (1:58.49), Deanna Pickman (2:01.96) and Kelsey Michon (2:02.81) swept the first four places in the 200 freestyle.

"That really helped us there," said Baratte. "It's puts us in a good position to win (the meet) now."

The Ventura men swept both relays. The quartet of Tyler McClure, Juan Camero, Wade Federer, Eric Anderssen captured the 200 medley relay in a conference record of 1:34.82. The quartet of Chris Baier, Daniel Colvin, Wade Federer and Micheal Craft won the 800 free relay in 7:01.58.

For the women, Cristina Fung, Kelsey Michon, Deanna Pickman, Bonny Bordwell took the 800 freestyle relay in 8:08.80, while Fung, Jackie O'Hagan, Kendall Avrea and Brooke Penney finished second (1:54.56) in the 200 medley relay.

Colvin, Federer and Crowley swept second (51.26), third (51.40) and fourth (51.98) in the men's 100 butterfly.

O'Hagan and Fung were third and fifth, respectively in the women's 200 intermediate medley. Kendall Avrea was fourth in the 50 butterfly. Aja Ming was third in the 50 backstroke.

Primed and ready

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While the Ventura College men's swimming team is in a dominant position entering this weekend's Western State Conference championships in Bakersfield, the Ventura women have a race on their hands.

Santa Monica enters the women's meet a perfect 6-0 in dual meets, having defeated Ventura 61-50 on March 27, just the Pirates' second loss in 78 dual meets since 1998.

"It should be a close meet based upon the seeding," said Ventura coach Larry Baratte. "It should be real exciting."

Ventura (6-1) is led by returning All-Americans Brooke Penney, Jacqueline O'Hagan and Bonny Bordwell.

Returning All-Americans Chris Baier, Tyler McClure and Eric Anderssen have the Ventura men on the cusp of the program's seventh straight WSC title.

Freshmen Daniel Colvin, Rafael Ingannamonte, Michael Craft, Michael Crowley, Juan Cameron and Wade Federer will also be vying to qualify for next week's state championships in Long Beach.

"There are two goals," said Barrate. "To come away with a conference championship and as qualify as many swimmer as we can for the state meet.

"We want as many bullets in the gun as we can get."

Answering questions

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Ventura College swimming coach Larry Baratte is looking forward to learning just what type of team he has this season.

The Ventura men enter Saturday's final WSC meet at Ventura College at 4-0, even with Cuesta, one week before the WSC Championships at Bakersfield College.

"We've got 22 guys and 15 girls," said Baratte. "It's a pretty deep team and a pretty solid team. I think a lot of questions will be answered about what we are at the conference meet.

"I think we're in the hunt, I'm just not quite sure yet."

Top coached team?

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This Ventura College women's water polo team might be one of the best-coached teams in the state.

The Pirates have an experienced head coach in Mary Giles, who opened her ninth season at the helm last weekend at the Mount San Antonio College tournament.

But the team also is being forged by morning workouts with Larry Baratte, VC's Ventura County Hall of Fame-member swim coach, and much of the roster takes a weight training class with perhaps future Hall of Fame football coach Jon Mack.

"Most of them go to coach Mack because he kicks their butts in the weight room," said Giles. "So I've got an all-star coaching staff. Just not at the games, where it's just me."

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