WALNUT, CA — The East Los Angeles College women’s swim and dive team placed 18th in the Mt. San Antonio College Invitational at the Marie T. Mills Aquatics Facility at Mt. SAC.
The Huskies didn’t score many points, but they did score enough to defeat conference rivals Chaffey College and LA Trade Tech who place 19th and 20th, respectively. Orange Coast College won the women’s title. The Invitational is one of the largest meets of the season and averaged 60 women per event.
ELAC is improving as every Husky had at least one personal record in just their second meet. Vicky Zia-Lopez (Mark Keppel High School) placed her diving debut in 15th.
It will be a rebuilding year as the team lost two of its best swimmers to class schedule conflicts. The ELAC team includes eight freshmen and one sophomore.
The Huskies had their best results of the day in the 200-yard butterfly. Elizabeth Melendrez (Mark Keppel HS) placed 10th from a field of 20 women. Zia-Lopez placed 12th followed by sophomore Crystal Rubalcava (Schurr HS).
The ELAC 4 x 50-yard medley relay team made its season debut. The Huskies defeated heavily favored Santa Barbara City College 2:17.29 to 2:20.87. The Husky team consisted of Caitlin Woo (Mark Keppel HS) in the backstroke, Zia-Lopez in the breaststroke, Melendrez in the butterfly and Rubalcava in the freestyle leg. The same ELAC members in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay, with Woo swimming the final leg, beat Santa Barbara 4:26.99 to 4:28.82.
The 4 x 100-yard medley relay team edged two conference rival teams from Chaffey and Pasadena City Colleges. The Husky team consisted of Woo in the back, Zia-Lopez in the breast, Melendrez in the fly and Rubalcava in the final freestyle leg.
Event 7: 50 Backstroke: This was the first of seven events for Lizbeth Perez (Orthopedic Hospital Medical Magnet HS) who swam a personal record (PR). She tapped the wall before Mt. SAC’s Janel Sepulveda 42.54 to 42.62.
Event 9: 200 Individual Medley: Woo placed 22nd out of 62 women with a personal record. Seven other Huskies were in this event and two of them had PRs. Melendrez followed Woo, then Zia-Lopez, Rubalcava with a PR, Perez, Kellie Ton (Mark Keppel HS), Daniela Pastor (South Gate HS) with a PR and Alejandra Gazpar (Maywood Academy HS).
Event 13: 50 Butterfly: Three Huskies competed in this event. Melendrez placed 26th out of 53 women. Rubalcava placed just behind her and finished with a PR.
Event 15: 50 Freestyle: Three Huskies competed in this event of 117 women. Woo placed 22nd followed by Ton and Michelea Esparza (Los Angeles HS) who placed in the bottom half.
Event 25: 100 Back: Woo placed 22nd from a field of 79. Melendrez swam a PR, followed by Perez who competed in her first 100-yard back of the season and Ton.
Event 33: 200 Free: Seven Huskies added this event to their repertoire, Woo, who placed 27th out of 106 followed by Melendrez, Rubalcava, Pastor and Gazpar.
Event 35: 400 IM: Woo had her best individual result of the day in this grueling 400-yard IM, which was 13th place. Even though this was her first attempt in this event, it is one of her fastest events. Zia-Lopez, in her first try in the event, placed 20th, with her last leg, the eighth lap, the fastest.
Event 37: 200 Back: Perez defeated Bakersfield’s Alayna Geoghgan in just over a half of a second 3:14.28 to 3:14.86.
Event 39: 4 x 50-yard Free Relay: The ELAC “A” team with Melendrez in the backstroke, Zia-Lopez in the breast, Rubalcava in the fly and Woo in the freestyle leg, edged a Bakersfield team 1:58.58 to 1:59.34. The Huskies “B” team edged a Chaffey squad by 3-1/2 seconds—Perez, Pastor, Gazpar and Ton.
Event 41: 200 Breast: Gazpar was the only Husky to debut in this longer 200-yard breast event.
The Huskies compete in their first South Coast Conference dual meet against Mt. SAC and Cerritos College on Friday at Mt. SAC.
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index or on Facebook at ELAC Huskies Athletics (@elachuskiesathletics).
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia