Last season, the Pasadena City College men's swim team made a return to the upper tier with a ninth place showing at the CCCAA State Championships. The Lancers featured the South Coast Conference Co-Swimmer of the Year and double-event state champion in Samuel Jo and produced 11 All-American swims.
In 2018, PCC should build on its success with the fact it has back a dynamic duo in Jo, who won the 100 and 200-yard backstroke titles at state, and Sydney Odent, who was a 7-time All-American (including three relays), broke a 39-year-old school record in the 200 individual medley, and took a silver medal in the state 1,650-yard swim. Jo also shattered school marks in the backstroke events and had the nation's second-best time of 50.20 seconds in the 100 backstroke.
Add in two more lettermen in Narek Yeghikyan, who was an All-American in the 1,650 and one relay, and Jayson Wilia, a member of three Lancers All-American relay performances. Yeghikyan also won the South Coast's 200 butterfly title.
"We have as strong a roster as I've coached in my 19 seasons here," said PCC head coach Terry Stoddard. "It's always hard to tell what will happen in the South Coast, especially with teams like Mt. San Antonio and Long Beach. We have the potential to be very good in the dual season, place high at the conference championships, and then shoot for another high spot at the state meet. We're expecting that the team's goals will help motivate the individual performances."
Last season, PCC place third as a team at the SCC Championships. The Lancers have never won a SCC team title since joining the South Coast in 1987. Under Stoddard, Pasadena's best showing as a team at state was eighth place in 2008 and then again in 2011.
Among the Lancers' 10 freshmen is Ryan Wang, a Pasadena Star-News All-Area First Team selection from Arcadia High. Wang helped Arcadia win the Pacific League team team title, breaking Crescenta Valley High's 24-year run of sole and shared championships. Wang won two league titles and tied the PL record in the 100-yard breaststroke. His best time of the year in that event was 57.12 (second at the CIF Finals), putting him in a position to possibly break PCC's school record of 56.85, a state title swim in 2008 by Keisuke Yagi.
Newcomer Roman Rostomyan was a top swimmer at Burbank High and will help PCC in the butterfly events as well as relays. Another freshman is Sevada Avanessian, who swam for Crescenta Valley High's top program.
PCC WINS 5 EVENTS AT SCC PENTATHLON
At the season-opening South Coast Conference Pentathlon held at PCC's Aquatic Center (hosted by LA Trade Tech) on Friday, Jo won both the 100-yard backstroke (53.51) and 100 freestyle (49.69) while Wang captured titles in the 200 individual medley (1:56.72) and the 100 breaststroke in 59.61. He was the only SCC swimmer to break the minute mark in the event. Rostomyan showed his conference worth by winning the 100 butterfly in 52.97. He was ahead of Lancers teammates Jo (54.69, third), Wang (55.12, fourth) and Odent (56.20, fifth). Jo was second to Wang in the 200 IM as the letterman swam 1:57.29.
Freshman Chris Hunt (Mark Keppel High) won his heats in the 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 200 IM, showing a competitive advantage as a swimmer. Hunt was seventh overall in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.51).