The Southwestern Oregon Community College swim team crowned its first national champion when Collin McGuire won the 1,650-yard freestyle on the final day of the NJCAA championships at Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday.
McGuire finished the longest race in college swimming in 16 minutes, 17.67 seconds (a 39-second personal best), edging Dante Padron of Indian River State College (16:19.26).
After the first two of 36 lengths, McGuire settled into a remarkably consistent pace, ranging from 29.25 to 30.40 seconds for each 50 yards, including 23 in a row in the 29-second range.
Noah Ferber was ninth (17:33) and Jake Wyer 15th (18:54) in the event.
The Lakers almost had two champions. James Camp was second in the 50 butterfly (21.42) after posting the top qualifying time. He finished just behind Ruben Van Leeuwen of Indian River (21.35) in the final.
Austin Turner was 10th (23.88) and Noah Ferber 15th (24.69) for the Lakers in the final.
Landon Stalnaker was eighth (48.09) in the 100 freestyle, with Elliot Steward 12th (48.17).
Turner was fifth in the 200 backstroke (1:59.96), with Hunter Sherwood eighth (2:02.74), Brett Rice 10th (2:00.99), Mathew Bell 13th (2:04.29) and Kyiah Ingraham 14th (2:09.69).
Emerson Zaplatar was fourth in the 200 breaststroke (2:05.37) and Mason Teagle took 16th (2:21.38).
The Lakers capped the meet with a third-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. The group of Stalnaker, Steward, McGuire and Camp touched the wall in 3:08.66.
SWOCC’s women started the final day with a third-place finish by Patriciza Ozola in the 50 butterfly (26.48). Kaitlyn Hester was 10th (28.56).
Verity Vogel-Rigler was fifth in the 1,650 freestyle (18:34.75)
Kaitlyn Hester was 11th (56.26) and Lauren Adamson 16th (1:00.45) in the 100 freestyle.
Ozola also finished second in the 200 backstroke (2:06.86), with Piper Engler fifth (2:13.35).
Natalie Soive was third in the 200 breaststroke (2:29.19), with Jaelyn Estabilio fifth (2:31.26), Addi Graves 14th (3:04.02) and Taylar Spurgeon 15th (3:05.49).
The Lakers were fifth in the 400 freestyle relay, with Vogel-Rigler, Soive, Engler and Ozola finishing in 3:41.52.
SWOCC’s men finished third in the team race with 548 points, trailing Indian River, which won its 47th title in a row (1,297 points) and Iowa Central (662).
The Laker women were fourth with 478, finishing behind Indian River (1,277), South Georgia State (567) and Iowa Central (521).