Freshman Newcomers Expected To Lead PCC Men's Swim In 2019

Sophomore Lance Shoaf in action a meet from last season.
Sophomore Lance Shoaf in action a meet from last season.

While the success of the 2018 Pasadena City College men's swim team will be next to impossible to match, the Lancers and head coach Terry Stoddard has reloaded his '19 roster with some key freshmen recruits that will allow PCC to be a competitive crew this season.

Last year, PCC went a perfect 7-0 to win the dual meet South Coast Conference men's title, took third at the SCC Championships, then recorded the highest finish thus far in Coach Stoddard's now 20 years at the program's helm with a sixth place at the CCCAA State Championships. 

With state champion Samuel Jo and fellow school-record holder Sydney Odent now graduated and on scholarships at 4-year universities, Stoddard has brought in talented Michael Humphrey, a butterfly and individual medley specialist from St. Francis High and Harrison Tin, a speedy breaststroke/butterfly swimmer from China. The frosh pair put up some impressive marks to help the Lancers place third at the season-opening Arena Ram Crush Invitational hosted by Northern California's Clovis Community College Feb. 22-23.

Humphrey won the 100-yard butterfly event (54.97 seconds), grabbed second in the 400 IM (4:26.65), placed third in the 200 butterfly (2:08.10), took fourth in the 200 IM (2:06.18), and scored seventh in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.35). Tin won the 200 breaststroke title in 2:14.64, placed second in the 100 breaststroke (59.79), scored third in the 100 butterfly (55.36), was sixth in the 200 IM (2:07.01), took eighth in the 50 freestyle (23.08), and placed ninth in the 100 freestyle (50.62). 

Another newcomer is Brandon Tu, from Mark Keppel High, who placed fourth in the 100 backstroke (59.93), was ninth in the 200 breaststroke (2:33.94), and 10th in the 200 IM (2:13.90). Mario Castanon, one of four returning lettermen, placed sixth in both the 200 breaststroke (2:25.19) and 400 IM (4:47.86). Grayson Wade (Don Bosco Technical Institute) scored eighth in both the 200 backstroke (2:21.38) and 100 backstroke (1:02.90) and Jeffrey Kha (Mark Keppel) took seventh in the 200 breaststroke in 2:32.59 and 10th in the 100 butterfly (59.34). 

Freshman Mathew Bilaver (La Canada High) picked up ninth place finishes in the 50 freestyle (23.11) and 500 freestyle (5:26.49). Keppel High grad Kenneth Tiet was ninth as well in the 200 butterfly (2:39.31) while sophomore Sevada Avenessian was 10th in the 200 backstroke (2:32.17). The 400 medley relay squad of Tu, Tin, Humphrey, and Bilaver scored third at 3:48.09 and the 400 freestyle relay picked up a fourth place (3:32.97). 

Sophomore Lance Shoaf participated in the grueling 1,650 or mile swim and was 16th in 25:16.82. The rest of the Lancers 14-athlete roster is made up of sophomore William Loo and freshmen Joshua Rubio (Pasadena HS), Arootin Choobachian (from Iran), and Bryan Basabe (Montebello). 

"We have strength in numbers this season," Stoddard said. "Tin and Humphrey are top-notch swimmers and we have the potential to improve with each and every meet."

The Lancers open SCC dual meet competition on Friday, Mar. 1 in a double dual v. Chaffey at Long Beach City College.