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Mt. SAC Men’s Swim & Dive Places Third in 3C2A State Championships; Slezak (1650), Yeh (100 Backstroke) Win Individual Titles

Photo Courtesy of Richard Quinton
Photo Courtesy of Richard Quinton

(Costa Mesa, CA) School records, individual titles, and a third-place finish by the Mt. SAC Men's Swim and Dive team highlighted the 3C2A State Championships for the Mounties Thursday through Saturday, May 2-4 at Orange Coast College.

Mt. SAC (318 Pts.) placed third for the second consecutive year, behind four-time defending champion Sierra College (633.50) and second place Orange Coast (523). Riverside City College (248) and Cuesta (236) rounded out the top five finishers.

Sophomores Samuel Slezak and Eric Yeh were the two individual champions for the Mounties. Slezak, a long-distance specialist, took home the individual title in the grueling 1,650-yard event and set multiple records in the process. Yeh, meanwhile, won the 100 Backstroke (49.92) and finished sixth in the 100 Butterfly.

"Obviously, Eric (Yeh) and Sam (Slezak) winning their events was a pretty great accomplishment," Mt. SAC Men's Swim coach Marc Ruh said. "Sam set a new school record in the 1000 Freestyle and a new school record in the 1650 Free (15:35.93)."

Slezak also broke the school record (his own of 9:38.29) in the 1,000 with a time of 9:32.57. "He broke the 1,000 Free record by beating the time in the first 1000 of the 1650 event," added Ruh. "It is a legal split time. "It is pretty rare to do that for both events in one race. We typically swim the 1000 Free in dual meets and not in invites or championships. The 1650 is swum in invites and championships."

In the race, Slezak and competitor Nolan Chomin of Golden West took a big lead from the rest of the field and stayed close the entire race. Slezak, who finished second in the 2023 championships, out-touched Chomin to win this year. Slezak also broke additional school records in the 200 Free and 500 Free. Sophomore Markus Stegbuchner set a new school record in the 200 Breaststroke (2:02.67) for fifth place and finished sixth in the 100 Breast.

Other swims of note for the Mounties: Ray Chun, who placed 5th in the 50 Free; Jason Matsuda, who placed 6th in the 400 Individual Medley and 6th in the 200 Fly; and the Mt. SAC 400 Medley Relay team, which placed 5th. It consisted of Yeh (Backstroke), Stegbuchner (Breaststroke), Slezak (Butterfly), and Chun (Freestyle).

"All of the kids swam great, and we had a great meet as a team finishing third for the second consecutive year," Ruh said. "It was no easy feat. "Jason Matsuda, Ray Chun, Gavin Roberts, Kevin Poma, Aidan Gillooly, Luke Pedroche, Dylan Liu, Alex Chavez, and AJ Ceja, all contributed big to team points. Everyone swam great and all swam personal bests in most of their events."