By Tadzio Garcia
The South Coast Conference Championships began with the diving preliminaries last Friday at El Camino College. Melissa Marinero was the lone East Los Angeles College diver to compete in the one-meter diving.
Optimism was high because Marinero was entering the competition off a recent season-high 84 points. These points were good enough for fourth place in a dual meet against Chaffey and Mt. San Antonio colleges on March 30, at Mt. SAC.
Marinero’s results this season were more remarkable considering this was her first year of diving. “I felt great, especially when I accomplished what the coaches trained me for,” Marinero said.
Marinero however failed to complete two of her dives, which made her ineligible for scoring in both the SCC prelims. The SCC one-meter diving prelims event was won by Chaffey’s Kathryn Realyvasquez with 159.75 points.
Second through fourth places were won by divers from Mt. SAC, Chaffey and Long Beach colleges. Rounding out the SCC divers who also scored points included Maleno Van Zitter from Cerritos (79.2 points) and Anna Hernandez from Mt. SAC (72.9).
If Marinero would of matched her season-high score, or close to it, it would have been good enough for a fifth place finish and good enough to advance to the SCC finals. The SCC diving and swimming finals take place today and Saturday at Pasadena City College.
Chaffey enters the finals undefeated in conference play at 8-0 followed by Mt. SAC (7-1), Cerritos (6-3) and Pasadena (5-4). ELAC is in the middle of the pack entering the finals with a 4-4 conference record.
The Huskies had upset wins over Long Beach and El Camino this season, as well as big wins over Rio Hondo and LA Trade Tech colleges. Preliminary swimming evenst begin at 10 a.m.
Today’s finals, which include diving as well as two relay races, and the 200-yard and 400 medleys, begin at 2:30 p.m. Saturday’s schedule includes prelims at 10 a.m. and finals at 2:30 p.m.
Huskies that place within the top 24 times in the state in each event advance to the swimming state finals, to be held at East Los Angeles College on April 26 – 28.