The host Diablo Valley College men's and women's swimming teams overcame illnesses to give hearty efforts at the Big 8 Conference Championship, which concluded on April 23. 
The Vikings men, led by Brandon James, a Heritage High graduate who won the 100-yard backstroke and 200 backstroke titles, finished second with 680 points. 
The Vikings women were fourth with 477 points. Sierra won both team titles. 
"The kids we had swim did extremely well," Diablo Valley coach Rick Millington said, noting that three Vikings were out with illnesses, one with tonsillitis and two with flu-like symptoms. 
The Vikings set conference records in the men's 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays on back-to-back days. In the 200 free relay, Jake Frigard, Jeremy Peris, Drew Pitcher and Garrett Middleton had a time of 1 minute, 22.98 seconds. The 400 free relay of Frigard, James, Pitcher and Middleton beat Sierra in an exciting race with a time of 3:02.86. 
James had a commanding win in the 200 backstroke finalsHis mark of 1 minute, 45.42 seconds was just off his state and national record of 1:44.95 in last year's CCCAA State Championship meet. His mark in the 100 back finals, 48.94, was also close to his record of 48.32 at the state meet. 
This year's state meet is May 5-7 at East Los Angeles College. 
Giovanni Hernandez provided another highlight with a victory in the men's 200 butterfly in 1:54.95, and Pitcher was second in the men's 100 freestyle. Logan Killion was third in the men's 1,650 freestyle. 
In women's action, Diablo Valley's Mirelle Augst was second in the 1,650 freestyle, and Melody Pope was third.
Malia Dillon was second in the 100 free in 54.47The Vikings women were third in the 400 free relay in 3:44.33. 
The Vikings are looking to score big at the Big 8 Championship meet, which began on Monday at Modesto JC, with track trials and some field-event finals. The track finals are on Thursday. 
Visit the DVC athletics website for updates. 
The Vikings (15-19, 5-14) will complete Big 8 play with home games against Sacramento City (25-9, 13-6), which is tied with Cosumnes River for second place. 
Diablo Valley had a 1-2 record last week, highlighted by a 5-0 win over Modesto. John Anthon had two hits and three RBIs, and Stephen Hantos (4-2) worked six scoreless innings for the victory, allowing two hits and striking out two. Reliever James White allowed three hits over 2.2 scoreless innings. 
The Vikings (26-12-1, 10-10) have dropped four of their past five heading into Tuesday's conference season finale against visiting Cosumnes River (29-10, 13-7). 
The Vikings are one game behind fourth-place San Joaquin Delta in the highly competitive conference. 
Sophomore pitcher Nicole Nordahl, who has a 1.89 ERA, continues to lead the state in strikeouts with 259. She fired a four-hitter with five strikeouts and no walks in a 5-0 win over American River, and had an RBI on April 23. Bailey Simmons was also 3 for 3.  
But DVC dropped the second game of the doubleheader 7-6, in heartbreaking fashion as  the teams exchanged two-run rallies in the seventh inning. Cynthia Duenas had two runs scored, two hits and two RBIs, and Deighton had two hits and two runs. 
Freshman Julianna Deighton paces the Vikings in hits with 43 and in batting average at .417. 
Garrett Goldman completed his solid debut season with four wins, two in singles and two in doubles, at the CCCAA Tennis Championship in Ojai. 
Goldman and Mariano Salvador, the No. 1 seeds in men's doubles, beat Edward Mora and Derrick Higgins  of Mt. Jacinto 6-0, 6-0 in their first match, and then bested Ron Kang and Kenny Sakata of Mt. San Antonio 7-6 (3), 6-2. 
However, the powerful Vikings duo fell to Michael Park and Rico Goto of Saddleback 6-3, 6-2. 
In singles, Goldman, the No. 4 seed from the north region, opened with a win over Michael Burr of Ventura 6-4, 6-0. He then beat Goto 6-2, 6-0, and fell to Kang 6-2, 6-4.  
DVC's Sean Austin Miller dropped a hard-fought marathon match to Erik Martinez of Mt. SAC 6-7, 7-5, 7-6. 
In women's action, DVC's Danielle Powers fell in the first round to Kalie Laubie of Cypress 4-3, retired (injury). Saila Besirovic also dropped her first match 7-5, 6-4 to Gaby Ante of Riverside. Kristine Lencesova beat Kassandra Ortiz of Santa Barbara 6-1, 6-1 in the first round, but then fell 6-0, 6-0 to Linda Guerzizi of College of the Desert. 
In women's doubles, Lencesova and Besirovic, the No. 6 seed from the north, notched a 6-2, 6-0 win victory over Lora Oco and Rita Kerwin of Chabot, but fell to Kelli Reynolds and Lacy Patton of Riverside 6-1, 6-2.  
Powers and Monique Paris dropped their doubles opener to a team from Grossmont 6-2, 6-3.