By Tadzio Garcia
The swim and dive team ended the regular season outscoring Cypress College for ninth place at the Pasadena Invitational April 4-5, and with two South Coast Conference wins, one an upset at Long Beach City College, March 28.
The upset win against Long Beach, 133-125, vaulted the Huskies from seventh to a fifth place tie with the Vikings at 3-5 in dual meet head-to-head SCC competition.
ELAC also shut out Los Angeles Trade Tech College 192-0 at the double-dual meet at Long Beach. Trade Tech ended its women’s swim season done to only one athlete.
Mt. San Antonio College won the SCC Dual Meet Championships with its second consecutive undefeated season, 8-0.
The Huskies move on to the postseason. ELAC diver Daisy Gomez will compete in the combined SoCal Diving Championships and SCC Diving Championships April 11-12 at El Camino College. The ELAC swim team, will compete at the SCC tournament finals April 16-19.
At least six women from each individual event in the SCC finals will advance to the state finals. The Swim and Dive state finals will take place at ELAC in the Swim Stadium pool, May 1-3.
ELAC freshmen were responsible for scoring 143 of the teams’ 177 points during individual races at the Pasadena Invitational against some of the toughest competition in Southern California.
Alice Ying Fei Zhang and Carmen Portillo took first and second place, respectively, in the 200-meter butterfly, the last race of the two-day Invitational.
Portillo’s result, breaking the three-minute mark, was a personal record. She is improving at the right time during the season, just before the postseason.
Zhang scored 99 points for the Huskies at the Invitational including three personal records. She recorded her fastest time in the 100-yard fly and 50-yard freestyle placing third in both events as well as the 50 breaststroke in taking second.
Zhang’s personal record in the 50 free surpassed her season goal of breaking 25 seconds. “I (finished) in 24.98 seconds…My new goal is 24.3,” Zhang said.
Zhang surpassed her 100 fly goal in February. Since then she hasn’t competed in the event until the dual meet in Long Beach. “I changed (that) goal-time a few days ago to push myself to go faster,” Zhang said.
As a result of Zhang pushing herself, her 100 fly result in Pasadena is one of the fastest times in the state. Zhang also took third in the 50 fly and fifth in the 100 free.
Gomez scored a personal record in the women’s 1-meter diving. She scored 102.70 points, good enough for seventh place out of 14. Gomez began diving this semester at ELAC.
She has come a long way after opening the season not being able to complete all of her dives during her first meet.
Gomez has finished in the top half of competition in her previous three meets.
Twenty-one hundredths of a second was good enough for Wenning Shen to edge Renae Di Bartolomeo of Diablo Valley College for fourth place in the 100 individual medley. According to her recent times, Shen has a good chance of advancing to the state finals.
Relay races were key to ELAC beating Cypress for 17th place in the Pasadena Invitational. The 200 medley relay team of Shen, Veronica Orantes (ELAC’s only sophomore), Irene Young and Zhang finished with a personal record erasing six seconds off their previous best.
“…Half of (the teams in) our conference were at the Invitational, so it really opened our eyes… We have a week to prepare and give everything we’ve got,” Young said.
Shen and Zhang lead the upset against Long Beach winning three races each. Shen won the 50 and 100 breaststroke events and the 100 free. Zhang won the 50 fly, 50 free and the 100 fly.
Young added a first place finish in the 50 back. Portillo took second in the 200 free while Ortega took third in the 50 fly.
Gomez added a second place finish in the 1-meter diving event while Jokabeth Vicente won third in the 100 backstroke.
Long distance specialist Orantes won second place nods in the 1000 and 500 free races.