Women's Swimming Sets 6 SCC Records At Conference Finals
The Pasadena City College duo of sophomore Shannon Cheung and freshman Connie Peng raised the bar for Lancers women's swimming with their overall performance at the South Coast Conference Championships held April 17-19 at Mt. San Antonio College. Overall, the team smashed six conference records and 11 school records.
Cheung and Peng each set their second SCC record of the meet to close the event on Saturday. Cheung snapped the 14-year-old conference record set by Golden West's Micha Burden in winning the 1,650-yard freestyle title in 17 minutes, 42.91 seconds. Cheung beat the previous record by 3.15 seconds and produced an impressive three PCC school records in the process. Her opening split of 5:06.26 is a new school record for 500 yards and her 10:27.05 set a new school standard at the 1,000 freestyle mark.
Peng also shattered a 14-year-old SCC record when she won the 100 backstroke at 58.09 seconds. Peng nearly sliced a whole second off Golden West's Maya Grozdanic old 2000 record at 59.08. She also broke her own school record set earlier in the meet by just .01. Peng went on to win the 100 butterfly at 58.57 seconds, breaking a 6-year-old school record set by Malia Garcia. Peng is the first Lancer women's swimmer ever to break a minute in that event.
PCC finished breaking six South Coast records, including the 200 and 400 medley relays, the 200 individual medley (Cheung) and the 50 backstroke (Peng).
The Lancers settled for fourth place at the championships with 506 points as they trailed second-place Chaffey by just 17 points (523) and third-place El Camino by only seven points (513). Mt. San Antonio won the conference team title with 705 points.
Cheung became a repeat winner of the SCC Swimmer of the Year, sharing the award with teammate Peng and Mt. SAC's Rosemary Garcia, who matched the Lancers pair by winning three events each. However, Garcia did not set any conference record while both Cheung and Peng were a part of four new SCC standards a piece (two medley relays earlier in the meet). Cheung is the first Lancers' women swimmer to win the prestigious conference award in two straight years.
The Lancers won a meet-best 10 events overall (Mt. SAC six), the same total as the 2013 PCC team that placed fifth at the finals.
PCC head coach Terry Stoddard talked about what drove the Lancers to their record-setting swims.
"This is a sign that the South Coast Conference is getting stronger," Stoddard said. "In the competitive drive to win events and to qualify for state, swimmers are breaking records out of necessity. A good example of that is Arolyn Basham, who not only set our school record but breaks a long-standing conference record (in the 50-yard breaststroke) and still loses out on a SCC title by one-hundredth of a second.
"Shannon and Connie were in a zone and it produced great swims. I'm proud of all the girls here including our conference records set in both medley relays. We're looking forward to take this energy into the state meet."
The Lancers will learn about the qualifying swimmers early this week for the CCCAA State Championships to be held once again at the East Los Angeles College Swim Stadium on May 1-3.
UPDATE OF PCC WOMEN'S SWIM RECORDS SET AT SCC CHAMPIONSHIPS, APRIL 17-19
500 freestyle--Cheung, 5:06.26, breaks her own record of 5:06.28 set earlier in the meet. *-the record was the first 500 yards of her 1,650 swim
1,000 freestyle--Cheung, 10:27.05 (old record not available) *-the record was the first 1,000 yards of her 1,650 swim
1,650 freestyle--Cheung, 17:42.9, breaks 2012 record of 18:47.58 set by Courtney Jensen. (new South Coast Conference record)
50 backstroke--Peng, 27.20, breaks her own record of 27.80 set in the preliminary heat (new South Coast Conference record). Previous 2013 record set by Cheung, 28.03.
100 backstroke--Peng, 58.09, breaks her own record of 58.10 set in the 400 medley relay earlier in the meet (new South Coast Conference record). Previous 2013 record set by Cheung, 59.27
50 breaststroke--Basham, 30.69, breaks her own 2013 record of 31.52.
100 breaststroke--Basham, 1:07.57, breaks her own 2013 record of 1:08.99
100 butterfly--Peng, 58.57, breaks 2008 record set by Malia Garcia of 1:00.02
200 freestyle relay--PCC (Basham, Peng, Tiffany Wong, Cheung), 1:39.62, breaks 2013 record of 1:41.24
200 medley relay--PCC (Basham, Peng, Wong, Cheung), 1:50.11, breaks 2013 record of 1:51.64 (new South Coast Conference record)
400 medley relay--PCC (Peng, Basham, Wong, Cheung), 3:58.94, breaks 2013 record of 4:05.62 (new South Coast Conference record)
Note--Cheung's win in the 200 IM was a new South Coast Conference record at 2:07.76, but her 2013 school record still stands at 2:06.58 set at last year's state meet.
[Photo--Connie Peng (left) and Shannon Cheung pose with their SCC Swimmer of the Year award that they shared Saturday at the SCC Championships at Mt. San Antonio College, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]