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The Lancers women’s swim team is preparing for the 2015 CCCAA State Championships that begin Thursday at East Los Angeles Community College and continue for three days through the weekend.

Head swim Coach Terry Stoddard with swimmers Connie Peng and Ariahn Givens at the PCC Aquatic Center on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Peng and Givens are two the three who have received the award for SCC Tri-Swimmers of the Year. (Shaunee Edwards/Courier)
Head swim Coach Terry Stoddard with swimmers Connie Peng and Ariahn Givens at the PCC Aquatic Center on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Peng and Givens are two of the three who have received the award for SCC Tri-Swimmers of the Year. (Shaunee Edwards/Courier)

With a successful second place finish at the 2015 SCC Championships, SCC Co-Coach of the Year Terry Stoddard feels he has thoroughly prepared the team for the upcoming State Championships.

Going from seventh as a team in 2013 to sixth as a team in 2014, coach Stoddard wants to meet that or exceed it.

To prepare for the events, Stoddard said they concentrated on resistance training and endurance work at the 200-yard level, where in previous years the concentration was on speed training.

“We really focus on detail. It’s the small things that make a big difference,” he said. “You just tune up. We’re working toward making it just a little bit better.”

For this year’s championship competition, there are four new events: the 400 individual medley, which is a 100-yard sprint for each stroke, the 200 butterfly, the 200 backstroke, and the 200 breaststroke. The championship program is “two sessions per day, beginning Thursday, with prelims in the morning and finals in the evening,” according to Stoddard.

“For the girls relay, we are positioned really well and that’s a lot of points,” he said. “Connie was second in the 100 to 200 backstroke last year. She’s seeded third in 100 back and fourth in the 100 fly.”

Of the seven member team—PCC’s largest women’s swim team to date since 1999—three swimmers are to compete in three of the new events, with five team members qualified for two events each.

Lancers’ sophomore Connie Peng, economics, and freshman Ariahn Givens, kinesiology, were two of the three swimmers named SCC Tri-Swimmers of the Year  after leading the Lancers to an 8-0 conference record and a share of the regular season title and PCC’s third consecutive year with the top swimmer’s award.

Givens, who is fifth for both the 200 free and the 50 free, and 11th for the 100 free, made it in all three of the freestyle competitions for the conference, along with Peng. She has been swimming since she was six months old—over 17 years—and competitively since she was six.

“I won two of my events, and I got second in another event,” said Givens.

Peng, who is transferring to UCSD, is in her second year in the U.S. from Shanghai, China.

“PCC has a good swimming team and a good academic school, so I think maybe it was a good choice for me,” Peng said. “I surprised [myself] this year. This year was harder than last season but I think it’s been a big improvement overall for the team, including all the sophomores like me.”

“They are a great group, they’ve trained very hard. They are mature in their thinking as athletes and they are very competitive,” said Stoddard. “We’ll know a lot more on Monday.”

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