A year's worth of hard work has led to this.
As spring sports wind down, more and more local college athletes are reaching the highest levels of competition. One team even has a chance to reach a state championship here in Bakersfield.
Here's more on what college sports teams have accomplished this past week, and what still awaits them.
Men's golf: The Renegades will send a representative to the California Community College Athletic Association championships in San Jacinto, after Octavio Romero shook off a first-round 76 to shoot 147 overall, qualifying as an individual for Monday's state competition.
Softball: BC entered the playoffs as a No. 8 seed, drawing No. 10 El Camino, which it had already beaten twice during the regular season. The Warriors provided a bit more of a challenge this time around, plating five runs in the final two innings of the series opener to win 6-5 on May 6, then earning a chance to close out BC with the tying run on third last Saturday, only to fall 2-1. The Renegades finished their doubleheader with a return to form, scoring nine runs on just eight hits to earn a chance for revenge against No. 1 Mt. San Antonio College beginning Friday night. The series winner will return to Bakersfield for the CCCAA playoffs on Thursday.
Swimming: The men's and women's swimming teams concluded their season last weekend in the state championships at East LA, with both finishing 13th overall. The results were highlighted by three new school records for the women, achieved by Reiley Pike in the 100-mter breaststroke, Kristyn Feola in the 200-meter butterfly and the quartet of Pike, Feola, Emma Jeffries and Zoe Amason-VanValey in the 200-meter medley relay.
Track and field: The Renegades took advantage of an additional chance to move on in regional competition, qualifying 18 athletes (10 men, eight women) for the SoCal Championships in Moorpark. Those competitors were in action Friday with a chance to move on to next Friday's state finals at Mt. SAC, for which Tucker Monaco has already qualified in the decathlon.
Miscellaneous and looking ahead: Xabi Iparraguirre earned conference first-team honors, Jose Ruiz made the second team, and three other Renegade baseball players earned honorable mentions ... BC softball racked up the accolades from the Western State Conference, including Talia Nielsen as Pitcher of the Year, Casey Goodman as Coach of the Year, four first-team honorees, three second-teamers and two honorable mentions ... Along with the women's swimming records, BC got a new single-season strikeout record from Talia Nielsen, and Crystal Raya earned the school's top steeplechase time at 11:58.34.
Cal State Bakersfield
Baseball: CSUB fell to 16-27 after getting swept on the road by Cal Poly in a three-game series last weekend. The Roadrunners got closer each day after a brutal 14-1 loss on May 6, but fell 6-2 Saturday and 4-2 on a pair of seventh-inning runs Sunday, even after A.J. Miller hit his 10th home run of the year. Besides the Big West crown, Miller is angling for the school's single-season record of 12, set in 2010 by Martin Medina. CSUB opened a home series against Long Beach State Friday night.
Softball: The Roadrunners' losing streak sat at 12 games after a road sweep in their penultimate series of the year at Long Beach State. The Beach's Samantha Fowler no-hit CSUB on May 6 in an 8-0 win, but the Roadrunners kept it competitive in 3-0 and 3-2 losses the following day. In the final game, as Kirsten Martinez put together one of her best outings of the year with three scoreless innings in relief, Jordan Head hit an RBI single to cut the deficit to one run, but a seventh-inning double play prevented CSUB from bringing home Kaia Johnson. That gave the Beach the win and dropped the Roadrunners to 8-34 entering their final series at home against UC Riverside.
Track and field: The Roadrunners wrapped up their regular season in Fullerton, led by a second-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles from Riley Slayton, and began competition at the Big West Conference Championships in Davis Friday, hoping to send top athletes to the NCAA regionals.
Miscellaneous and looking ahead: CSUB will host its ROWDYs award ceremony Monday night at the Icardo Center ... men's basketball signed Ugnius Jaurevicius, a 6-foot-10 forward from Alytus, Lithuania ... women's soccer added midfielder Amani Felipe of Las Vegas ... assistant coach Kate McArthur left the women's soccer program.