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(Photo by Tadzio Garcia)
(Photo by Tadzio Garcia)

Huskies Swim Team Gets 10th at Pasadena Invitational

PASADENA, CA — The East Los Angeles College women’s swim and dive team took 10th place in the 18th Annual Pasadena Invitational held at the Pasadena City College Aquatic Center, April 5-7.

Orange Coast College won the women’s title in a rout. The Huskies came through with an upset outscoring Ventura College.

ELAC continues to improve as eight Huskies totaled 14 personal records today. The Huskies sport a freshman laden team with just one sophomore.

Event 1: 200 Freestyle Relay: The Huskies did not compete in this event.

Event 3: 500 Free: Sophomore Crystal Rubalcava (Schurr High School) edged Allan Hancock College’s Kaila Guilleman at the wall, 6:30.37 minutes to 6:32.22. Elizabeth Melendrez (Mark Keppel HS) touched the wall ahead of Mt. SAC’s Samantha Dominguez 6:42.27 to 6:44.41.

Event 5: 200 Individual Medley: Caitlyn Woo (Mark Keppel HS) advanced to the championship finals and placed eighth with a personal record for the fourth straight meet in the event. She scored ELAC’s first 11 points. Two other Huskies had exciting finishes as well. Lizbeth Perez (Orthopedic Hospital Medical Magnet HS) and Kellie Ton (Mark Keppel HS) were side-by-side with Pasadena’s Erica Sanchez entering the final lap. Perez and Tan sprinted past Sanchez. Perez tapped the wall 24/100’s of second before Tan.

Event 7: 50 Free: The Huskies had three thrilling finishes in the 50 free with 74 women competing. Daniela Pastor (South Gate HS) tapped the wall before Ventura’s Sara McGuire 33.15 seconds to 33.29. Alejandra Gazpar (Maywood Academy HS) edged Pasadena’s Genesis Espinoza 38.11 to 38.92. Michelea Esparza (Los Angeles HS) hit the wall before L.A. Pierce’s Liliana Valencia. Pastor and Esparza had personal records.

Event 9: 400 Medley Relay: The Huskies placed 10th and scored 14 team points. The Huskies recorded a personal record, Woo in the backstroke, Vicky Zia-Lopez (Mark Keppel HS) in the breaststroke, Melendrez in the butterfly and Rubalcava in the freestyle leg.

Event 11: 200 Free: Pastor had a personal record and edged Pasadena’s Genesis Espinoza.

Event 13: 100 Fly: Melendrez hit the wall 20/100s of a second faster than Santa Monica’s Salena Nguyen, 1:12.35 to 1:12.55. Rubalcava had a personal record and outreached for the wall before Fullerton’s Sara Munoz 1:19.16 to 1:19.62. Gazpar edged Chaffey’s Sarah Chavarria 1:49.53 to 1:53.12.

Event 15: 200 Back: Woo placed third in the consolation finals, 11th overall, out of 28 women. She scored six points for the Huskies. Perez finished at the wall seven seconds faster than Pierce’s Kyrah Hunter. Ton finished behind Hunter.

Event 17: 100 Breast: Sprinting the final 25 meters, Zia-Lopez finished with a personal record ahead by 4/100’s of a second over Diablo Valley College’s Destinee Quinn 1:26.85 to 1:26.89. Pastor finished with a personal record.

Event 19: 800 Free Relay: The Huskies stunned Cypress College by 2 1/2 seconds for eighth place and scored 22 points. It was just the second time the Huskies competed in the 800 free relay and they came through with a personal record. It was Woo swimming the first leg followed by, Rubalcava, Zia-Lopez and Melendrez.

Event 21: 1-Meter Diving: Zia-Lopez scored seven points for the Huskies with a 10th place finish. It was her second personal record of the day and second of the season in the 1-meter dive, surpassing the 100-point mark for the first time in college competition.

Event 25: 200 Medley Relay: The Huskies upset the higher seeded Cypress team for 12th place, 2:10.29 to 2:11.94, which scored 10 points for ELAC. It was Woo in the backstroke, Zia-Lopez in the breaststroke, Melendrez in the butterfly and Rubalcava in the freestyle leg.

Event 27: 400 IM: Zia-Lopez swam back-to-back events in one of the toughest events of the meet, the 400-individual medley. She came through with a personal record, placed 16th and scored a point for the Huskies. Perez placed 21st with a personal record.

Event 29: 100 Back: Woo placed 17th out of 48 women edging Diablo Valley’s Gem La Bonte at the wall, 1:07.74 to 1:07.91. Ton finished at the wall ahead of Pasadena’s Josie King 1:35.16 to 1:38.10.

Event 31: 1650 Free: Rubalcava ended with a personal record of 22:22.16 in her second 1650-yard marathon event of the year and finished in 15th place. She scored two points for ELAC.

Event 33: 100 Free: Gazpar and Esparza, each added a personal record in the 100 free and placed back-to-back ahead of Pierce’s Liliana Valencia.

Event 35: 200 Breast: Zia-Lopez finished the 200-yard breast with a mad sprint to reach the wall ahead of Santa Barbara City College’s Nicole Poulos, 3:10.72 to3:14.02.

Event 37: 200 Fly: Melendrez placed second in the consolation finals, 10th overall, and scored seven points for the Huskies.

Event 39: 400 Free Relay: In the final event of the meet, the 400-yard free relay, the Huskies placed 10th with their fourth straight personal record and scored ELAC’s final 14 points. Rubalcava began for the Huskies followed by Zia-Lopez who clocked the fastest 50 meters at 29.70 until the final 200 meters. When Melendrez followed ELAC was in a distant 12th place seven seconds out of 10th. Woo gained nine seconds and ELAC placed in the Top-10 for the third straight relay race.

Next Up

The Huskies end their season at the South Coast Conference Swim Championships at the Mt. SAC Aquatic Center, April 19-21. Follow ELAC Athletics at or on Facebook at ELAC Huskies Athletics (@elachuskiesathletics).

story submitted by Tadzio Garcia