After two of the greatest years in Pasadena City College women’s swimming, the Lancers and head coach Terry Stoddard are wondering what they can do for an encore. In 2014-15, PCC went 15-1 in South Coast Conference dual meets and finished sixth and then a PCC best-ever fifth last year at the CCCAA State Championships.
Returning from the ’15 Lancers are SCC Swimmer of the Year Ariahn Givens (shared award with two others including PCC graduated Connie Peng) and Liza Echeverria, a state contender for the 200 and 400-yard individual medley crowns.
Givens, who won the 100 and 200 freestyle titles at the SCC Championships, and Echeverria, a double champion as well at the conference finals in the 200 and 400 IM, each were a part of the state silver medalist in the 400 medley relay event. Givens set a school record in the 200 free.
“With Ariahn and Liza, we have a big 1-2 veteran punch,” said PCC head coach Terry Stoddard. “We have established a good run in the sport the past three seasons in particular (eighth at state in 2013), and our hope is to blend in our other swimmers to keep us competitive this year.”
Phoebe Lee is another returning swimmer who was on the state eighth-place 200 free relay medalist squad. PCC also brings back lettermen in Nancy Chen, Deborah McCandliss, and Megan Mora.
Of the freshmen, Anais Hacobian (from Burbank High) is a talented sprint freestyle newcomer. Other freshmen include Clarque De Young (South Pasadena High, from the 2015 PCC water polo team), Natalie Chong (Pay Fong High, Hong Kong), and Krystal Gonzalez (Highland High, Palmdale).
At the season-opening SCC Pentathlon held Feb. 19 at Rio Hondo College, Echeverria won the 200 IM (2:19.67) and 100 breaststroke (1:14.17) events while placing second in both the 100 butterfly (1:04.79) and100 backstroke (1:08.01). Givens also was a force as won the 100 freestyle (55.77) and placed second in the 200 IM (2:21.28) and 100 breaststroke (1:14.42, beaten to the wall by Echeverria by only .25 of a second.
MEN’S SWIMMING OPENS 2016 SEASON
Although the team returns only sophomore distance freestyler Samuel Sanchez, PCC has a solid freshmen group headed by David Jimenez (Marshall Fundamental) and Phillip Lee (from Hong Kong). Other newcomers are Carlos Estrada (Rosemead), Zachary Loomer (Cajon), Nuoni Qin (Temple City), and Leo Nuntampramote (Japan Aviation Academy), who happens to be the younger brother of Tai Nuntapramote, the 2009 state champion in the 200 butterfly and a SCC Swimmer of the Year.
Sanchez was second last year at the conference finals in the 1,650 freestyle.
At the SCC Pentathlon ’16 opening meet, Jimenez won the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.37 seconds, took fifth in the 200 IM (2:08.79), and was eighth in both the 100 butterfly (57.67) and 100 breaststroke (1:07.55).
Lee placed third in the 200 IM (2:07.52), fourth in the 100 butterfly (56.67), and seventh in the 100 breaststroke. Sanchez was fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:01.38), sixth in the 200 IM (2:08.99), seventh in the 100 butterfly (57.59), and ninth in the 100 freestyle (51.64).
Stoddard is in his 17th season directing both PCC swim teams.