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Swimmers Velasquez, Liu Grab Event Wins At SCC Championships, Day 1

Swimmers Velasquez, Liu Grab Event Wins At SCC Championships, Day 1 image

Pasadena City College women's sophomore Mikela Velasquez became a back-to-back champion in the 100-yard individual medley (IM) and men's sophomore Cario Liu scored an exciting comeback win in the 200 IM to highlight the opening day of the South Coast Conference Swimming Championships held Thursday at the PCC Aquatic Center.

The SCC Championships continue Friday-Saturday, April 20-21. Preliminary heats begin at 10 a.m. and finals start at 4 p.m. each day.

Velasquez swam a 1:02.85 time to win the 100 IM, just .33 of a second slower than her SCC title of a year ago at Cerritos College. With still more events to come, Velasquez is now a 3-time SCC champion, only the third PCC woman to accomplish the feat in 13 seasons under head coach Terry Stoddard. Velasquez has an opportunity to be the first Stoddard-coached 4-time, SCC champion on the women's side.

Liu is attempting to keep a streak alive by PCC of winning the SCC Men's Swimmer of the Year, a title that the Lancers have captured each of the last six seasons. The school record holder in the 400 IM, Liu went up against another swimmer of the year candidate in Mt. San Antonio's Taylor Kneisley in the 200 IM. Kneisley held the lead for the first three legs, but Liu finally caught him and beat him to the wall with a winning mark of 1:55.17 to 1:55.80.

Liu is the first Lancer under Stoddard to win the 200 IM at the SCC Championships.

Kneisley's Mt. SAC team leads the men's team standings after 12 events with 200 points to Long Beach's second at 197. Pasadena is sixth with 98 points. Kneisley also was part of the Mounties' foursome that broke a 16-year-old conference record in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:24.78 (old mark 1:24.80 set by Golden West in 1996).

For the PCC women, Courtney Jensen raced to third place in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:29.26. The Lancers are fifth in the team standings (122 points) while Chaffey, the dual meet champion, leads the event thus far with 197.

In the 400 medley relay, PCC had to settle for second place despite a blistering 4:16.97 mark that just was edged by a touch at the wall by Chaffey (4:16.80). The Lancers' swimmers included Velasquez, Jensen, Paige Watroba and Giselle Mendieta. Mendieta earlier was fourth to Velasquez in the 100 IM (1:06.28).

Click the link below for complete results for Day 1, South Coast Conference Swim Championships:

[Photo--Pasadena's Mikela Velasquez (top) on her way to winning the 100 IM title with teammate Giselle Mendieta in pursuit during the first day of the South Coast Conference Swim Championships Thursday at the PCC Aquatic Center, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 04/20/12
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: