By Peter J. Suter
For the first time ever, City College women’s swim team made history by capturing a relay medal and several others at the annual California Community College Athletic Association state championship meet at De Anza College May 3-5.
Led by Head Coach Phong Pham and Assistant Coach Natalie Taylor, the Rams had seven swimmers competing for the opportunity to be awarded as CCCAA’s top swimmers. City College took seven swimmers to the state championship meet: freshmans Keelin Alspaugh and Bianca Taylor, sophomores Carla Sakia Hovde, Julia Lane, Alika Lew-Koga, Ashley Davis, and Sophia Greco.
The Rams swim-relay team medaled in the 200 yard medley, placing 8th in the finals. Steered by team captains Greco and Davis, as well as, Lew-Koga and Lane, they became the first ever City College women to place in a team relay event. Individual swimmers were a strong presence, as well.
“The 200 Medley Relay team was CCSF’s first ever conference champions and recorded the 6th fastest time in State for 2018. The same relay team went on and placed 8th in Championship Finals for CCSF’s first ever relay medal at State Championships,” Coach Pham said.
Lew-Koga placed 7th in the 100 yard backstroke, shaving .59 of a second off her personal best speed, finishing the race in under a minute. Additionally, Lew-Koga earned a 9th place consolation placing in State.
Davis, who was ranked 6th in the State going into the meet and 2nd after the morning preliminaries, placed 4th in State during the 100 Yard Butterfly race. She also received a 7th place medal in the 200 yard butterfly race, winning a set of individual medals.
“After prelims finding out I was seeded second kinda mentally pumped me and at the same time just added a bunch of pressure trying to keep that spot going into finals,” Davis said.
After being disqualified on a technicality in the 400 Yard Individual Medley on the second day of competition, Greco who had one more individual event on the last day was determined to stay positive and finish what she set out to accomplish.
“I was definitely disappointed because I had high expectations, so being disqualified wasn’t ideal…but after talking with Coach (Pham), we put in a lot of hard work this season and more than anything I’m proud of that.”
Showing true resilience, Greco came back the very next day to bring home a bronze State Championship medal in the 200 Yard Backstroke.
Overall, City College placed 11th at State in team score, moving from 17th place in 2017 and 22nd in 2016.
“Swimming really is a tough sport because not a lot of sports train so many yards and hours just for an event that’s 2 maybe 4 minutes. The challenge has made me grow as a person and made me realize I can do things I never thought I could do,” Greco said.