East Los Angeles College has its first-ever individual South Coast Conference swim champions.
All-American sophomores Yingfei “Alice” Zhang and Wenning Shen each won an event at the 2015 South Coast Conference Swim & Dive Championships April 16-18 in the Swim Stadium on campus.
In the process, each Husky broke the SCC finals meet records in their respective events with their first place wins.
Zhang and Shen won the 200-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard backstroke, respectively, each swimming to personal records while qualifying for the CCCAA State Swim & Dive Championships on April 30 – May 2, also in the Swim Stadium.
The Huskies outscored Long Beach City College, 398 to 341, to take fifth place in the women’s team results as all but one Husky scored. El Camino College upset Pasadena City College for first place.
“We placed fifth overall, (but) couldn’t quite catch Cerritos in the end,” said ELAC Head Coach Erik Matheson. Cerritos College edged ELAC by 15 points to take fourth place.
Zhang moves on to the state finals also in the 400-meter individual medley (IM), in which she took second place and the 100-yard breast (second place), in which she also recorded a personal record.
Shen also qualified for state in the 100 back (second) and in the 200 IM (third). Shen recorded personal records in both events.
Along with Zhang and Shen, advancing to the state finals for ELAC in the 400 freestyle relay include sophomore Beisi Li and freshman Ameyali Martinez. Sophomore Yvonne Young is the alternate for the event.
Three more relay team’s qualified for the state finals. Zhang, Shen and Martinez qualify in all four relays and Li in three. Young qualifies in one relay.
Other top 10 finishes for ELAC in the SCC finals include freshman Ashley Cortez in the 1-meter diving event (second), Li in the 100 breast (fourth), 200 breast (sixth) and 400 IM (eighth) with personal records in the latter two, Martinez in the 100 and 200-yard freestyle events (10th in each event, both personal records) and Young in the 200 back (personal best) and 200 IM (10th in each event).
A total of about 1,000 attended the 3-day SCC finals.
This is the sixth-consecutive year that ELAC will host the state swim finals. More than 3,000 are expected for the 3-day event. Prelims begin 9:30 a.m. each day. Finals each day begin at 5 p.m. except on Saturday when the final day of championship events begins at 4 p.m.
Other ELAC individual SCC finalists:
Alex Reyes – 200* breast (12th place), 400* IM (14th), 1,650* free (15th)
Ameyali Martinez – 50 free (12th)
Ashley Alfaro – 400* IM (12th)
Brandy Macias – 100* free (13th), 200* free, (14th)
Carmen Portillo – 200 fly (11th), 1,650* free (13th)
Genesis Flores – 400 IM (16th)
Julia Soto – 100* fly (16th)
Sarina Almengor – 400* IM (15th), 200* butterfly (15th)
Vivian Huynh – 1-meter diving finalist
Wendy Centeno – 200* back, 1,650* free (both 14th, both personal bests)
Yvonne Young – 100* back (11th)
Complete ELAC relay SCC finalists:
Shen, Young, Martinez, Zhang – 200* free relay (third)
Shen, Li, Zhang, Martinez – 200* medley relay (third)
Shen, Li, Zhang, Martinez – 400* free relay (fourth)
Shen, Li, Zhang, Martinez – 400* medley relay (third)
Young, Macias, Li, Portillo – 800 free relay (sixth)
* Personal Records in the finals (consolation rounds)
Story by Tadzio Garcia