Lum and Liu lead swimmers at quad meet

The Santa Monica College men’s and women’s swim team had their third Western State Conference meet of the season at LA Valley College last Friday, with SMC’s Michelle Liu grabbing first place in the 200-yard individual medley, and anchoring the 200 yard freestyle relay team for another first place. SMC’s Jeff Lum won the 200-yard individual medley, Ahmed Mathlouthi won the 1000-yard freestyle, and both swimmers led the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay team to first place.

Overall, both the men and women’s teams from SMC came in second place at the quad meet.

Ventura College scored 115 total points to come in first place within the women’s division.

The Corsair women scored 54 combined points to come in second place, while College of the Canyons placed third with 26 points, and LA Valley College placed fourth with 19 points.

The Ventura men also won first place, with 103 total points, while the Corsair men scored 68 combined points for second place.

College of the Canyons and LA Valley College tied in the men’s division with 34 total points to take third.

SMC swimmer Liu won first place in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:13.84; she also competed in the 200-yard freestyle relay and 200- yard medley relay.

The women’s 200-yard freestyle relay team comprised of Liu, Katya Shatalova, Tracy Vassallo and Patty Salgado, came in first place with a time of 1:46.19.

Meanwhile, the women’s 200-yard medley relay team, that included Juju Allison, Juli Giner, Liu and Sam Lambour, came in second place at 2:01.29, just behind Ventura College’s team who had a time of 1:58.39.

Shatalova and Vassallo came in second and third place for SMC in the women’s 500-yard freestyle. Shatalova completed the race in 5:31.64, followed by Vassallo at 5:37.15, and Salgado clinching third place in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 57.78 seconds.

SMC’s winning men included Mathlouthi, who swam the 1000-yard freestyle and came in at 10:11.74, and 1:40.16 in the 200-yard freestyle,

SMC’s Lum timed in at 1:58.37 in the 200-yard

individual medley to nab first place. Both were part of the men’s 400-yard freestyle

relay team that included Michael Carden, Lum, Aaron Clements and Mathlouthi, who added points with their first-place finish at 3:18.77.

Clements also got second place in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:21.24) and third place in the 200- yard individual medley (2:01.56). Carden, at 49.47 seconds, came in second place in the 100-yard freestyle.

According to SMC’s head coach for the swim teams, Steve Contarsy, the team is a month away from the championship, and needs to train harder.

“One of the goals of the program is designed to have the athletes train hard, and get tired during the training,” said Contarsy. “Then they learn how to race while they are tired. The team had a lot of best times today, and I’m really pleased with that.”

The upcoming WSC Championships are scheduled for April 18-21 at Cuesta College, and the State Championships will be held on April 25-28 at East LA College.

“They [East LA College] got two championships back to back, and they are going to get tired, so they have to learn how to perform while they are tired,” said Contarsy. “And that’s exactly what we are doing, and we’re doing well.”

Contarsy also said that even though the men’s 400- yard freestyle relay team got first place, he is not satisfied with all the results.

“That was a good relay, not the best time, but it was a solid relay,” said Contarsy. “That relay is going to compete at the state level.”

The Corsairs host their next swimming meet at home, and it represents the last chance for the swimmers to fine-tune their skills before the WSC Championships that will be held at home on Friday, April 6.



SMC’s Noah Nevins won the three-meter diving competition in the men’s division with 220.10 points, and third place in the one-meter diving competition. Nevins, a former gymnast, has been the only diver representing SMC this year.

“He just got to work out a little on his gym lines,” said diving coach Eduard Gorodetsky. “I hope he’s going to make a stay, that’s my goal.”