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PCC's To Rallies To State Swim 200 Butterfly Title

PCC's To Rallies To State Swim 200 Butterfly Title image

Nine state meet records were set at the fast indoor pool that is the East Los Angeles College Swim Stadium. But none of those swims had the drama or element of comeback quite like the one turned in by Pasadena City College freshman Stephen To on Saturday. To somehow stormed from back in the field and made a furious rally in the final 50 yards to become state 200-yard butterfly champion.

To's victory in the final individual event of the meet helped the Lancers finish in 15th place at the CCCAA Swimming and Diving Championships held April 26-28.

Although not a state record, To's 1:50.52 gold medal finish was remarkable in that he was fourth after the first 50 yards and fell to seventh midway through the race. In third going into the last 50, To (pronounced toe) picked up speed while the rest of the field tired. His final split of 27.61 was more than two seconds faster than any of the other seven competitors as he finished 1.44 seconds ahead of second-place Danh Bui (De Anza). Orange Coast's Michael Kim, the leader for most of the race, finished in third.

To, who won both the 100 and 200 butterfly titles at the South Coast Conference Championships April 21-23, is the first Lancer since Sharif Alaoui in 2010 to win a state title. It is the sixth state individual champion in the past five seasons coached by PCC head coach Terry Stoddard.

To (from San Marino High) also scored fourth place in the 100 butterfly (50:12). Sophomore Cario Liu ended his fine career at PCC with a third place medal in the 400 individual medley (4:06.50) and a fourth place medal in the 200 breaststroke on a time of 2:08.09.

The PCC women's pair that qualified for state didn't medal, but sophomore Courtney Jensen swam a career best 18:47.58 to place 12th in the 1,650 freestyle. Letterman Mikela Velasquez, who medaled at last year's meet, took 12th in the 100 IM (1:02.82).

[Photo--Lancer swimmer Stephen To raised his arm in triumph after winning the 200 state butterfly event Saturday at East Los Angeles College, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 04/29/12
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu