When Gunn High won the Central Coast Section boys swimming championship in May, there was no doubting what a momentous achievement had occurred.
The Titans ended Bellarmine's incredible 31-year run as CCS champions, the longest section championship streak in CCS history.
Now an additional bit of recognition has come the team's way. Gunn has been named the Class III national champions by the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association.
Coaches from around the country submit their team's best times and the national body determines which team would have won in a head-to-head matchup. The Titans came out on top in the Class III Division (1,400 to 1,900 enrollment).
“All we really wanted to do was win CCS," Gunn coach Mark Hernandez said. “We knew that beating Bellarmine would be something special. This is just more cherries on top."
At the CCS finals the Titans went into the final event, the 400 free relay, trailing Bellarmine by three points. They took the lead in the race on a strong third leg by Michael Lincoln. Anchor Joao Ama held on to bring the team home in first place.
Gunn ended the meet with 442 points; Bellarmine was second with 431.
“There was no better way to win it," Hernandez said.
That was a senior-dominated Gunn team -- a great way to go out for that class. Ama will continue his swimming career at Arizona State; Daichi Matsuda at Duke.