The 2014 Lancer women’s swim team made a bold statement with their impressive performance at this year’s South Coast Conference Championships, breaking several conference records.

Led by two-time SCC Swimmer of the year Shannon Cheung and freshman Connie Peng, the Lancers broke six conference records and 11 school records on their way to a prosperous meet from April 17 to April 19 at Mt. San Antonio College.

“We put up a pretty good fight,” Cheung said. “I’m happy with our improvement from last year. All of our girls swam best times so that was great.”

On the opening day of the SCC Championships, the Lancers broke a 14-year-old SCC record in the 400-yard medley relay with a new conference record of 3:58.94 in the event title win. Returning sophomore Arolyn Basham and freshman Tiffany Wong paired with Cheung and Peng to become the first team in conference history to break the four minute mark in the 400.

“I’m so proud to have such amazing teammates,” Peng said. “I’m having the best time of my life swimming with such amazing athletes.”

Adding to their record breaking meet, the quartet of Basham, Cheung, Peng and Wong also recorded a new SCC record in the 200 medley relay (1:51.64) and finished first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:39.62).

“It was really fun and exciting,” Cheung said of winning the relay events. “I don’t think I’ve had that much fun in relays. We knew we were going to do well, but I don’t think anyone expected us to do so well. We exceeded expectations.”

No stranger to winning and high expectations, Cheung snapped a 14-year-old conference record in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 17:42.91. Cheung beat the previous record by 3.15 seconds and finished the championships with three school records in the process. Cheung also broke her own SCC record by winning the 200 individual medley in 2:07.76

“Shannon and Connie were in a zone and it produced great swims,” head coach Terry Stoddard said. “I’m proud of all the girls here. We’re looking forward to take this energy into the state meet.”

Despite admitting to being anxious before the meet, Peng showed no sign of nerves by breaking the SCC record in the 50-yard backstroke with a title-winning time of 27.20. Peng also broke a 14-year SCC record by winning the 100 backstroke in 58.09 seconds and became the first Lancer women’s swimmer to break a minute in the 100 butterfly with her first place time of 58.57 seconds.

“Connie has improved so much this year,” Basham said. “It’s amazing watching her swim because she doesn’t know how fast she is.”

Peng and Mt. SAC’s Rosemary Garcia were also named the SCC’s Swimmer of the year, joining repeat winner Cheung.

“Our focus has always been state,” Basham said. “We just want to give it our all like we did in conference and perform well. We’ll be well rested and that should help.”

Not to be outmatched by her teammates, Basham won her first SCC individual title with her victory in the 100 individual medley. After finishing second in the same event at last year’s championships, Basham swam her personal best of 1:01.13 to claim this year’s conference title.

“Honestly, I just wanted to improve my best time,” Basham said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen and my best time ended up winning. I’m happy I won.”

The Lancers settled for fourth place at the championships with 506 points as they trailed second-place Chaffey by just 17 points (523) and third-place El Camino by only seven points (513). Mt. San Antonio won the conference team title with 705 points.

The Lancers won a meet-best 10 events overall (Mt. SAC six),and will learn about the qualifying swimmers early this week for the CCCAA State Championships. The 2014 State Championship will be held at the East Los Angeles College Swim Stadium from May 1 to May 3.

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