Strong performance by swimming team at state

After breaking eight Pierce College records during the season, the swim team competed at this year’s California Community College Athletic Association’s Swimming State Championships.

The championships took place at East Los Angeles College April 26-28.

Pierce’s swimmers Lara Hagopian and Samantha Elam made the cut.

Hagopian’s best races were the 50-yard and the 100-yard, she placed fourth in both.

“I feel like I really pulled through at state, I’m happy for how I did, for my first year especially,” said Hagopian.

Elam’s best were the 1650-yard; where she placed second and the 500-yard, where she placed third.

“It was a lot of fun but it was a lot of work, it was definitely way harder than last year,” Elam said.

Swimming team’s head coach Fred Shaw said was proud of the team and male swimmer Blair Kroetz, who according to Shaw, improves immensely with every competition.

“The only people that get invited to the state championships are the 16 fastest people in the entire state of California,” Shaw said.

Kroetz placed fourth in the 100-yard, and five in the 200-yard.

“I’ve been at Pierce 20 years and this was by far the fastest championships I’ve ever seen,” Shaw said. “A few years ago what it took to win the event is what it took to even be invited to the meet.”

Shaw wasn’t the only one speculating on how much faster the opponents were this time.

“The craziest part about it was the level everyone was at,” Hagopian said. “If you’re swimming at your own conference and you’re number one there you think you’re at a certain level, but everyone else over there is crazy fast.”

According to Hagopian, next season looks really promising for the team in terms of competing at a higher level.

“I am so excited [for next season], next year we’re going to kick butt,” she said.