Sports in the News
Returners Cheung, Basham Puts PCC Swimming On Record Watch
After an amazing 2013 season where 14 school records were shattered, the Pasadena City College women's swim team returns two key players, Shannon Cheung and Arolyn Basham, for another run at the record books in 2014.
Cheung, the South Coast Conference Swimmer of the Year last season, is off to a strong start after winning three events at the season-opening SCC Pentathlon held Friday at East Los Angeles College. The sophomore didn't set any records, but clearly demonstrated her versatility and strengths in five different events overall.
Cheung won the 100-yard individual medley with a 1:03.49 time, the 50-backstroke at 29.44 seconds, and the 100-freestyle in 55.43. She also took a close second in the 50-butterfly (27.92) while scoring third in the 50-breaststroke at 33.38. Cheung holds four individual and five relay records from her breakout freshman season.
Basham won that 50-breaststroke with a slick 32.35 mark. The letterman took third in the 100 IM (1:05.03) and a pair of fifth place finishes in the 50-fly (28.89) and 100-free (57.70). Basham has two individual and five relay records to her credit from last season.
"We have two talented returning swimmers that should lead the team this season," said PCC head coach Terry Stoddard (15th season). "With the addition of Connie Peng and Tiffany Wong, we have enough strength to take on all our conference teams. This is the most depth that we've had in years, not as much in numbers as the strength of our second tier swimmers."
Peng, a freshman from Arcadia High, placed second to the heralded Cheung in the 50-backstroke as she swam a 29.66. No other conference swimmers out of 88 participants were able to break the 30-second mark. Peng was also right behind Cheung with her third place in the 50-fly (28.07) and was a respectable ninth in the 100 IM (1:06.78).
Wong, from Mark Keppel High, placed eighth in the 100 IM (1:06.45) and seventh in the 50-fly (29.13), but Stoddard expects her to show some big improvements in the next few meets.
Other Lancers on the 9-member roster are freshmen Courtney Fukushima (Keppel), Stephy Lao (Alhambra), Victoria Leflang (Pasadena HS), Jovana Meza (Gabrielino), and Lauren Walls (Highland, Palmdale).
MEN'S SWIMMERS LED BY ESMAEILIAN
The all freshmen 8-man, 2014 Lancers appear to have a gem in Mohammad Esmaeilian, from Iran. Esmaeilian placed second overall in the 100-freestyle with a time of 48.53 seconds. Only Mt. San Antonio's Edward Sanchez was ahead of him with a winning 47.88 time.
"This is a rebuilding year for the men," Stoddard said. "Mohammad will be our strongest chance for a conference individual champion. He understands and loves to compete. That combination should bring some exciting races for us."
The rest of the team consists of Ryan Caceras (Arcadia), Zeeshan Khan (Verdugo Hills), Brendan Lee (Alhambra), Luis Morales (Pasadena HS, a potential diver), Ethan Nava (Alhambra), Robert Ponce (Temecula Valley), and Victor Torres (Maywood Academy).
[File photo--Shannon Cheung returns from the record-breaking 2013 team as PCC head coach Terry Stoddard directs the aquatics teams in his 15th season in '14.]
Release Date: 02/18/14