Women’s swimming came out on top against rival Mt. San Antonio College and Cerritos College in a double dual, scoring 157-117 and 175-96 respectively in the first round of South Coast Conference games on Friday at the Aquatic Center.
Courtney Fukushima competes in the 1000 yard freestyle against the opposing schools of Mt. San Antonio College and Cerritos College at PCC's Aquatic Center on Friday February 27, 2015.(Traece O. Craig/Courier)
Courtney Fukushima competes in the 1000 yard freestyle against the opposing schools of Mt. San Antonio College and Cerritos College at PCC’s Aquatic Center on Friday February 27, 2015.(Traece O. Craig/Courier)

Women’s swimming came out on top against rival Mt. San Antonio College and Cerritos College in a double dual, scoring 157-117 and 175-96 respectively in the first round of South Coast Conference games on Friday at the Aquatic Center.

Men’s swimming lost to both teams and stands at 0-2 in SCC.

Overall, the women’s team won 10 out of 14 events, including three individual wins each by freshman Ariahn Givens and sophomore Connie Peng.

Undeterred by PCC’s abysmal record against Mt. SAC, Peng was eight seconds ahead of the next swimmer in the 100-yard backstroke (1:03.74) and used that momentum to secure the 200 backstroke by only .67 of a second over Mt. SAC’s Kayleigh Davidson and an even closer win by .53 over Cerritos in the 200 butterfly.

Despite the victories, Peng was determined to push herself harder.

“I don’t feel good today because I didn’t make my best times,” said Peng. “I’m going to practice more on my endurance. I’ll try my best this season but I can’t promise anything.”

All around, the victory over Mt. SAC was the crowning achievement.

Sophomore Jovana Meza researched the competition before diving into the pool alongside them.

“I knew that Mt. SAC was pretty good but I didn’t think we could beat them but we did,” said Meza. “I did research on Cerritos. I went on their team website and said, “I can beat this person, I can beat this person…I can’t beat this person.”

Head Coach Terry Stoddard was all smiles after the meet for his team despite the loss on the men’s side.

“This was an outstanding day for us,” said Stoddard. “The men’s meet…we have two people injured right now, so I knew that we couldn’t keep up with [Mt. SAC and Cerritos] in team points but I knew we could have some really good races.”

A standout on the men’s team was Mohammad Esmaeilian who won the 100 freestyle by .01 of a second for a time of 48.78 over Mt. SAC’s Philip Wright (48.79). He also went on to win the 200-freestyle.

“I know [Mt. SAC] has a very good men’s team,” said Esmaeilian. “Last week we went to the Mt. SAC Invitational and they got first place.”

Esmaeilian was also disappointed he didn’t beat his best times.

“A swimmers mentality and happiness is about going your best time,” said Stoddard. “Where you’re the best you’ve ever been and they strive for that.”

“I really felt that Muhammad and Samuel [Sanchez] both stepped up in their events. This is as tough a competition as we’re going to have and we responded well,” Stoddard added.

Win or lose, the team is set on improving throughout the season and taking the Mounties off their throne.

The Lancers swim team will be back in the waters this Friday when the travel to face Diablo Valley College. The first race is scheduled for 12 p.m.

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