A Hale Of A Finish: Women's Swimmer Wins 400 IM For Her 3rd SCC Title In 2 Seasons

A Hale Of A Finish: Women's Swimmer Wins 400 IM For Her 3rd SCC Title In 2 Seasons

Pasadena City College women's swimmer Nickey Hale rallied from four seconds behind at one point to win the 400-yard individual medley gold medal at the 2023 South Coast Conference Championships held April 20-22 at East Los Angeles College. The sophomore Hale won the IM crown for the second straight year and finished with three conference titles in her two seasons.

The Lancers placed sixth out of the eight SCC teams with 272 points while Mt. San Antonio won the conference team title for the fifth time in the last six years the event was held. *No SCC Championships were held in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hale extended an amazing streak of 15 straight complete seasons that a Lancers swimmer won a SCC individual title under head coach Terry Stoddard. Since the program's only conference championship in 2003, PCC has had at least one swimmer win an event at 18 of the last 19 South Coast Finals meets only missing out in 2006. One streak did go by the wayside, a stretch of eight straight SCC Finals where a Lancer won at least two events. 

In defending her 400 IM crown, Hale made a furious rally in the last 50 yards in the freestyle leg to overtake Mt. SAC's Madison Dorsey at the wall in 4:57.20, winning by just .16 of a second. Hale's time is third fastest in PCC history. 

"Lancers swimmers are proud of their traditions," Stoddard said. "These traditions are instrumental in developing their drive to be their best. Hard work, pride and working together is why landing on the top of the podium has become a Lancer tradition. Nickey etched her name in our Lancers lore by defending her title."

Stoddard has guided PCC women swimmers to 83 conference titles since taking over the program in 2000. 

Hale settled for third in the 500 freestyle (5:33.43), an event she won in 2022. She then swam her personal best 19:19.22 in the 1,650 freestyle to place second behind Mt. SAC champion Laila Topinio (19:01.11). 

Arabella Carboni scored second in the 200 breaststroke in 2:35.36, fourth fastest in school history. She was beaten by only .29 of a second by Melissa Chavez of Mt. SAC. The freshman Carboni scored silver as well in the 100 breaststroke as her 1:11.26 ranks her fifth fastest in the PCC record book. She also took third in the 50 freestyle sprint (26.15) in an outstanding overall performance at the meet. 

Emily Padilla took sixth in the mile swim in 21:09.94 and was sixth in the 100 butterfly at 1:06.41. The freshman scored seventh in the 500 freestyle (5:54.72). 

The 200 medley relay squad of Hale, Carboni, Padilla and Berte Montes raced to third in 2:02.45. The four also placed fourth in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:50.22, 400 medley relay (4:33.14), and 800 freestyle relay (9:07.49).