Making A Splash

A fierce struggle for points developed when Santa Monica College aquatics hosted Los Angeles Pierce College this past Friday afternoon. It was the first meeting between the two schools, and it marked the season debut of the Corsair diving team.

An uncontested showing in the diving event gave the Lady Corsairs a sizeable lead early in the meet. They would maintain their advantage throughout the meet with some hard earned victories.

Relay swimmers Nam-Hee Kim and Isabella Zhang both swept their scheduled events for the day contributing to victories in the 200-meter medley relay, 200-meter-freestyle relay and put forward solid first place finishes in the 100-meter freestyle and the 100-meter fly, respectively.

Chelsea Kemp also stood undefeated in her three events, taking first place in the 100-meter backstroke by an impressive margin of 8.23 seconds. Midway through the meet the Pierce Matadors' thinly spread women's roster faced a formidable points deficit. Despite wins in the 1000-meter and 500-meter freestyle events, and close heats throughout the day, the Lady Corsairs would manage to hold back the efforts of their visitors and take home a meet victory of 142-52.

"We're on point as far as our training and conditioning goes," said SMC assistant coach Erik Matheson who expressed optimism towards the coming season. "Our male swimmers were challenged to bring the fruits of their training to bear as they faced a team Corsair swimmer and diver Colin Roberts [who was] called 'a force to be recognized.'"

After earning an early deficit in the meet the Corsairs kept hope alive with victories in the 1000-meter freestyle, one-meter diving, 100-meter fly and overall solid placement throughout the meet. Alejandro Fausto, Tyler Contarsy, Ted Boehm and Bob Velandra each took home podium finishes for all of their events. Fausto dug deep in the 100-meter fly battle and took the event by a margin of 1.07 seconds. Contarsy made a statement in the 1000 meter freestyle event by winning by a margin of over 37 seconds.
By the ninth men's event the Corsairs were biting at the Matador's heels, but the Pierce swimmers answered back with gusto with aggressive finishes in the 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter backstroke and 200-meter breaststroke.

The day culminated with the 400-meter freestyle relay. Boehm, Colin Roberts, Brian Peck and Contarsy put forth a valiant effort against two Matador relay teams, but saw victory just barely slip through their fingers by 1.80 seconds. "We were looking forward to this was tough," said Roberts after seeing the heartbreaking times of the final event. At the end of the day the men's team suffered a loss in the points tally of 100-130.

"We can only get better," said Matherson, giving voice to the promise the coming season holds. After a brief huddle featuring words of wisdom from head coach Steve Contarsy, the hands of the SMC aquatics teams come together for a chant of "good meet Pierce" sending a spirit of sportsmanship and eagerness for competition that will carry them to their next challenge.