Freshman Haylee Hernandez swam a personal-best time to finish second in the women's 500-yard freestyle and a career-best by Meagan Stevens earned eighth place in the same race to highlight day one of the 2018 Western State Conference Swimming and Diving Championships on Thursday at Bakersfield College. They were two of the six Bulldogs who earned points in individual events on opening day of the three-day meet. With 86 total points, Hancock sits in sixth place out of 10 teams. Cuesta leads the pack with 183 points, followed by Bakersfield with 154, Ventura with 113, Santa Barbara with 108 and Santa Monica with 89 points, just three points ahead of the Bulldogs.
Hernandez, a Pioneer Valley High School graduate, smashed her personal-best time by seven seconds in the 500-yard final with a time of 5:25.04 to earn 17 points for the Bulldogs. Earlier in the day, she swam the sixth-fastest time in the prelims to qualify for the A-final. Stevens shaved three seconds off her PR to finish eighth in the A-final with a time of 5:39.23. The sophomore's effort earned 11 points for the Bulldogs. Kaila Guillemin placed 15th to earn two more points by setting a PR by three seconds with a time of 6:13.25.
Two Bulldogs also scored points in the 200-yard individual medley. Sophomore Makena Blanco, a Lompoc High School graduate, finished 13th overall with a time of 2:35.23 to rack up four points. Freshman Oceana Heath, an alumna of Righetti High, placed 16th with a personal-best time of 2:38.92 for another three points.
Freshman Angelique Landis swam a personal-best time in the prelims of 50-yard freestyle event by finishing 28.17 seconds. Later in the day, the Arroyo Grande High School graduate placed 16th overall in the finals with a time of 28.17 seconds to earn one point.
All six swimmers are registered for two more events during the three-day meet.
In the relays, Hancock finished seventh in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a season-best time of 1:48.94 to pick up 26 points. The Bulldogs later earned 22 points by finishing tenth in the 400 medley relay race.
The three-day meet continues Friday with the preliminary heats for eight events beginning at 9:30 a.m. The finals start at 4 p.m. The WSC Championships end Saturday.