By Tadzio Garcia
The women’s swim and diving teams opened the season producing competitive results that has put the Huskies back on the swimming map for the first time in eleven years.
The Huskies opened the season placing sixth out of 9 teams at the South Coast Conference Pentathlon Friday, Feb. 17, at Pasadena City College, in a preview of the competition the Huskies will face at the end of the regular season.
Mt. San Antonio College beat Cerritos College by seven points to win the meet. The Huskies bested SCC rivals El Camino College by 20 points and Los Angeles Trade Tech College by 45 points.
The Huskies then lost to both of these teams at the Mt. SAC Invite, last weekend. Trade Tech edged the Huskies by five points for 17th place out of 18 teams. Sierra College won the women’s title.
The Huskies sport 17 members on the swim team and one on the diving team. Melissa Marino edged a diver from Sierra to capture 16th place in her first diving competition ever, at Mt. SAC.
“I was happy to have her get out there and do her dives. She transitioned to diving this year after playing water polo in the past,” said Matheson.
Huskies lose a nail-biter
East Los Angeles College lost a 99-97 heartbreaker to Santa Monica College in their second meet of the season, which was their only home meet of the year.
“We have done amazing things in a short period of time, which says a lot of what will come,” said head coach Erik Matheson.
It was a bittersweet meet for Matheson, who was an 11-year assistant coach for the Corsair swimming team, a 6-year assistant coach/5-year head coach for the men’s water polo.
Veronica Pelayo won the 50-yard freestyle in the closest race of the day against Santa Monica. Pelayos’s 28.21 seconds edged Santa Monica’s Samantha Lambour (28.78) and teammate Genesis Hermosillo (29.46), who both placed second and third.
Pelayo won the 100 freestyle, edging teammate Christina Burrola by .81 of a second.
Other Husky top results included Beisi Li’s first place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke and Alexandra Gonzalez’s second place finish in the 500 freestyle race.
Edith Rivas placed second in the 100 backstroke. Gonzalez and Ashley Jauregui placed second and third respectively, in the 500 freestyle.
In the 200 individual medley, ELAC placed first, second and third. Sandy Mendieta won the race, followed by Gonzalez and Joanna Kim.
Huskies open season with a splash
At the Pasadena meet, approximately 100 women competed in each event. Tops for the Huskies were Li and Pelayo. Li placed sixth and Pelayo eighth in the 50-yard breaststroke.
“It’s been seven years since I’ve been swimming. Each week I improve my speed. I love competing for ELAC,” said Li, a psychology major.
Top-25 ELAC results at Pasadena included the 200-yard medley teams placing sixth and eighth and 14th.
Martha Rivas placed 10th in the 50-yard butterfly while Edith Rivas place 24th in the 100-yard individual medley.
Lyz Ruvalcaba, Joanna Kim, Pelayo, Hermosillo placed 19, 22, 23 and 25, respectively in the 50-yard breaststroke.
Pelayo also placed 19th in the 100-yard freestyle, 20th (100-yard individual medley) and 23rd (50-yard backstroke).
“I too have not competed in a while, six years in all. The coaches know their stuff and help us realize we can reach our goals. I am proud of our team. I have a chance to going to state and have a lot of work ahead of me,” said Pelayo.
ELAC will host the community college state championships next month.
The Huskies travel a short distance to Trade Tech to compete against the Roadrunners and Rio Hondo College, this Friday at 12:30 p.m.