The Lancers once again proved their strength during the SCC double dual against El Camino and Long Beach that took place right at PCC’s Aquatic Center.
Despite an unexpected rain showering down, the Lancers swept the meet winning 21 out of 30 events with state champion Melissa Cienega taking 1st place in the 200 yard butterfly and the 1,000 yard freestyle, one of the longest events in collegiate swimming.
“You don’t pick the events, the events pick you,” said Cienega. “For the longest time, I tried to fight [swimming long distance] but the more I tried to fight it, I realized I had to swim distance because it’s what I’m good at.”
According to Cienega, this year’s swim team is slightly bigger than last year’s with some new faces, one of them being Sophomore Karina Mendiola.
“[Joining the team this year] was kind of out of the whim. I was talking to my co-worker about it and he said, “Just join. The worst they could do is say is no.” So I decided to join the swim team again,” said Mendiola. “I like competing and being with teammates.”
Another new face is Freshman Haley Ragusa, who competed in the board diving competition winning with 200.15 points and defeating El Camino’s Athena Katsouridis by 13.35 points.
Currently undefeated in the 1-meter board in the last 3 meets, Ragusa is the only diver on the team at PCC, but has been diving since she was 7 and practices with her club coach at USC.
“[Being the only diver on the team] is more pressure,” said Ragusa. “I don’t really feel like I’m the only diver on the team because all the swimmers give me a team kind of feel.”
The men also crushed their competitors including sophomore Jayson Wilia, who beat Shaun Spalding from Long Beach by 0.02 seconds in the 200 yard butterfly.
The next two meets will take place at Diablo Valley College and Marin College in northern California. As the season continues, it seems to be that the Lancers are on track to defeating more teams.
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