To make the California state swimming championships, you need to finish in the top two at the CIF Central Section Championships. Liberty senior Julio Alcantar knew just how difficult that is so he tempered his pre-match expectations.
In the 100 backstroke the difference between going and not going was separate by less than two tenths of a second. "You have four laps of swimming," he said. "Might as well make the best of it." Julio certainly did that, becoming the only male in Kern County to win a D-I event. Something that still comes as a shock to the Patriot. "I didn't think I was going to get first and the moment I saw first place on the board I just fist pumped, started freaking out and was like 'Oh my God I did it!"
While this week's success may be a shock to him, he's hoping his future team can also open a few eyes. Next year he'll be swimming at CSUB with goals of helping to turn the Runner program into a state power. "I just want to be a part of that team knowing how good that team (CSUB) will evolve into. Maybe as good as the USC or Santa Barbara swimmers," he said.
Alcantar and Frontier's Colin Rabanal, Kassidy Lemminn and Ariane Skeggs will race in the state prelims Friday in Clovis. The top 16 times in each event will get to race in the state finals Saturday.