Story and Photo by Marcus Tolero
The freshmen trio of Sophia Greco, Ashley Davis, and Alika Lew-Koga have one more meet left in their season – this week’s CCCAA State Championship.
They paved their road to the state championship with impressive performances in the Coast Conference Championships held at Ohlone College two weeks ago. Greco captured the conference championship in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:45.90, a new CCSF record. She also finished second in the 200 backstroke and third in the 500 freestyle, and set the 200-freestyle leadoff time record in the 800-freestyle relay (2:03.69). Davis finished third in three events: the 100 fly, 200 freestyle, and 200 fly. Lew-Koga finished fourth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:01.51, a new CCSF record.
The trio also had a strong showing in the relay events. Along with freshman Katie Magers, they captured second place in the 800-freestyle relay and fourth place in both the 200-freestyle and 400-medley relays. They also set new school records in the 200-freestyle relay, 400-medley relay, 400-freestyle relay, and 800-freestyle relay.
Their success in their respective individual heats and in the relay events resulted in the Rams capturing third place in the conference championship's team rankings. The Rams scored a total of 389 points.
Head Swimming Coach Phong Pham, who predicted a top-three finish prior to the conference championships, said the team’s performance was the result of the consistency shown throughout the year.
“We had amazing swims. The swimmers from the other teams were improving throughout the championships – it was a competitive meet,” Pham said. “But we had 63 percent (30 finalists out of 48 entries) of our swimmers qualify for the conference finals. With all of our swimmers contributing and being in the finals, it resulted in a third-place finish. Overall, it was an impressive all-around team performance.”
The Rams qualified swimmers in eight individual events for the state championship. Greco will compete in the 500 freestyle, 400 individual medley, and the 200 backstroke. Lew Koga will swim in the 50 freestyle, 100 backstroke, and 200 backstroke. Davis qualified for the 100 and 200 fly.
After the three-day long conference championship, Pham has had close to two weeks to rest and prepare his swimmers for the state championships.
“The three-day meet took a lot out of everybody, so we did a few recovery swims last week. This week we started to ramp back up again. The goal is to get them to have several good swims before we head off to state (championships). The preparation has been going well,” Pham said.
Pham expects his three swimmers to have strong performances at the final meet of the year.
“It will be a good meet. The venue will be indoors, which will be to our advantage since we practice indoors – we don’t have to deal with the environment. We are hoping that all of our swimmers will make finals and improve their times,” Pham said.
So far, Pham’s predictions have be spot on.
The three-day state championships begin this Thursday at East LA College.