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Women's Swim 5th; Men's Liu, To Win Events At 12th Pasadena Invite

Women's Swim 5th; Men's Liu, To Win Events At 12th Pasadena Invite image

Things that have shaped this Pasadena City College swim season continued to stay consistent at the 12th Pasadena Invitational held Friday-Saturday at the Aquatic Center. The PCC women's team impressed with a fifth place overall finish while the Lancers' men once again saw big performances from their dynamic duo of Cario Liu and Stephen To.

The Lancers' women did not win an event, but received a slew of strong finishes to score 266 points, finishing just eight behind the current leader of the South Coast Conference--Chaffey College. Meanwhile, the men's team placed eighth (15 teams), but was thrilled with event victories turned in by Liu, a sophomore who won the 200-yard breaststroke (2:11.87) and freshman To, who captured the 200 butterfly with a swift 1:53.69.

For the fourth consecutive year, Orange Coast College accomplished the feat of winning both the men's and women's Pasadena Invitational team titles. The Pirates only defeated the Diablo Valley men by a slim margin of 6.5 points, 644.5-638.

In the 18-team women's competition, PCC showed its worth with a spirited second place placing in the 800 freestyle relay. The Lancers' foursome of freshman Giselle Mendieta, letterman Courtney Jensen, rookie Paige Watroba, and sophomore Mikela Velasquez swam a combined time of 8:30.72. In the 400 freestyle relay, the group took sixth, but broke the 4-minute mark with a time of 3:58.09.

Velasquez placed second in the 100 freestyle (55.48) while Mendieta took fifth in the 50 breaststroke (33:24) and sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:13.48). Jensen swam to sixth in the grueling 1,650 freestyle with a strong time of 19:17.06. Velasquez ended up with three sixth place finishes in other events, including Saturday's 2:19.84 in the 200 individual medley. The versatile sophomore even grabbed a 10th place in the 50 butterfly (29.07). Watroba scored 11th in the 100 butterfly (1:05.61).

The team's fifth place finish is believed to be the highest finish at the PCC-hosted event for the women's team dating back to 2003.


Besides the two event victories, To and Liu swam to high placings in other events. In one of the closest races in Pasadena Invitational history, Liu was beaten at the finish wall by Orange Coast's Michael Kim in the 400 individual medley. Liu's time of 4:11.89 was just .11 of a second behind Kim's 4:11.78.

Another exciting second place finish was made by To in the 100 butterfly, but it took a meet record time by OCC's Ashkaun Hami to defeat the Lancer. To's blistering mark of 51.28 came right behind Hami, whose 50.93 broke the meet record by just .04 of a second.

Liu took fourth in the 200 backstroke (2:00.66) and was fourth to To's win in the 200 butterfly (2:00.92). In five events, Liu finished with one first place, two seconds, and a pair of fourths as he remains one of the state's finest pool talents.


Taylor Kneisley, Mt. San Antonio, men's 100-yard breaststroke, 56.99 (previous record-Akbar Nasution, 2008, Chaffey, 57.01/the new mark is also a PCC Aquatic Center pool record).

Ashkaun Hami, Orange Coast, men's 100 butterfly, 50.93 (previous record-Riki Yano, Orange Coast, 2009, 50.97)

Michael Cohn, Grossmont, men's 200 backstroke, 1:52.61 (previous record-Kris Plavchyan, LA Valley, 2010, 1:54.54)

Grossmont, men's 800 freestyle relay, 7:07.24 (previous record-Chaffey, 7:10.60, 2009)

Shaila Yoder, Diablo Valley, women's 100 breaststroke, 1:08.24 (previous record-Alex Peters, Saddleback 2008, 1:08.28)
The 12th Pasadena Invitational complete results (team standings at end of html) located at the following link:

[Photo--Lancer Ashli Gonzalez-Griffen gets the jump on others with her dive to start a race during the 12th Pasadena Invitational Saturday at the Aquatic Center, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 04/08/12
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: