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Warden Upstages Teammate At SCC Women's Swim Finals

Warden Upstages Teammate At SCC Women's Swim Finals image

Mikela Velasquez came oh so close to being the first Pasadena City College women's swimmer in eight years to earn South Coast Conference Swimmer of the Year honors. But Velasquez, who had won two events earlier in the meet, found the stiffest competition of all from her own teammate Julia Warden.

Warden, a freshman from Crescenta Valley High, beat Velasquez to the wall by a hand to win the 100-yard freestyle title in a time of 54.31 to 54.58 on Saturday, the final stage of the SCC Championships at Cerritos College April 21-23. Because of Warden's win, Velasquez ended up behind the SCC Swimmer of the Year Nicole Blum of Mt. San Antonio, who won all three of her events.

Overall, the PCC women's team took fourth place the conference finals and with many personal best swims for a young Lancers squad. The team's three event wins was the first time Pasadena matched that total since 2005.

The final standings for the SCC Championships were as follows: Chaffey champion (784), Mt. San Antonio (657), Cerritos (481), PCC (444), Long Beach (413), El Camino (283), Rio Hondo (123) and Los Angeles Trade Tech (53).

Warden's meet included a second place in the 200 freestyle (1:59.78) and a third in the 100 backstroke (1:03.34). Courtney Jensen finished third in the grueling 1,650 freestyle with a mark of 19:09.95.

PCC's 400 free relay and 800 free relay squads took third place in those events. In the 400 relay, the Lancers swam a 3:52.08, seven seconds faster than their seed time entering the event.

"I'm really excited about how our women's team has continued to raise its level of performance," PCC Head Coach Terry Stoddard said. "Mikela is practically a swimmer of the year, missing out by a photo finish. Julia was just tremendous in her races. Courtney may have had the biggest performance jump of anyone. The fact that they are all freshmen just gives us great possibilities for next year's conference season."

Check this website for PCC's state qualifying swimmers for the CCCAA Championships to held at East Los Angeles College (April 28-30).

[Photo--PCC's 400 freestyle relay team includes sophomore Brianna Estrada and the talented frosh trio of Mikela Velasquez, Julia Warden and Courtney Jensen, seen here at the SCC Championships Saturday at Cerritos College, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 04/24/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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