LA MIRADA, Calif. — Freshman Brandon Pon broke an 11-year old school record in the men's 500 yard freestyle and won the bronze medal to headline the second day of the 2016 SCIAC Swimming and Diving Championships for La Verne swimming and diving teams.
Pon broke the record twice on the same day. He went 4:38.53 in the morning prelims to shatter the old mark of 4:45.31 set by Justin Haas in 2005 and lowered the bar further in the championship final by going 4:36.70. Mark Hallman of Pomona-Pitzer won the race in a meet record time of 4:28.50.
"The records are awesome but his personal growth in such a short time was what is really impressive," La Verne head coach Pat Skehan said. "He came in not even in that ballpark. ... He made something happen and he really raced the big guys well so I'm really proud of him."
Pon combined with Timothy Polman, CJ Woodward and Daniel Carpenter to break another record in the men's 200 freestyle relay. The quartet posted a time of 1:25.03 to surpass the previous mark set by Viken Huening, Daniel Carpenter, Andrew Phillips and Devon Photias (1:25.43), but just missed out on the podium.
"After yesterday, we were cautious and that sometimes costs you time but everyone turned in lifetime best (splits)," Skehan said, referencing to La Verne's disqualification in the 200 medley relay yesterday. "It was a great redemption and Dan really brought it home well."
Polman added a fifth place finish in the 50 freestyle and Harry Bennett took seventh place in the 200 individual medley.
Rachel Fox, who helped the Leopards to a bronze medal in the 200 medley relay yesterday, scored the first individual points for the women with a 15th (5:16.05) place in the women's 500 freestyle. Karla Fuertez came in 17th with a time of 5:18.53.
Mary Hanna and Kayla Yip, who also swam relay yesterday, recorded a 15th (25.25) and a 17th (25.23) place finish, respectively. Hanna, Yip, Rachel Miyoga and Fuertez came in eighth in the women's 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:42.09.
"I'm really happy with the level we're swimming at," Skehan said. "We're getting so many great times and big improvements. And young people are stepping up and that's exciting for our future."