PASADENA, Calif. - On March 17 in a conference dual meet at Long Beach City College, Pasadena City College men's swimmer Samuel Jo established the state's top two times in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke events. After some research, it was learned that Jo also broke two long-standing PCC school records in the process.
Jo's 1:54.55 in the 200 back smashed a 40-year record set by John Rathbun in 1977 of 1:54.96. Jo's 51.85 seconds mark in the 100 back was nearly a second faster than the old record of 52.75 set by Ernie Lee in 1991.
The significance of Jo's records are that now nine school records have been set under head coach Terry Stoddard in his 18 years directing the program. Many of the records that Stoddard's swimmers have made broke those of the glory teams of the 1970s under the late Ron Ballatore. PCC won five state team titles under Ballatore in 1971-72 and 1976-78. The men's swim program of the '70s is arguably the most successful of any sport in the college's 93-year history in athletics.
"Samuel is a special swimmer and has the potential to win two state individual gold medals this year," Stoddard said. "He belongs in the conversation of great PCC swimmers but as a freshman he has work to do to finish the job at the state championships in May. To set two school records at a March meet is truly an outstanding feat."
Jo (from Loyola High) will be in action this Friday-Saturday, April 7-8 as part of the 17th Pasadena Invitational (diving only on Thursday, April 6) at the Aquatic Center.