Kenisha Liu of Ayala wins two individual titles at inaugural CIF State Swimming Championships

Ayala’s Kenisha Liu finished second in the 200 yard freestyle during the CIF division 2 swimming finals in the Riverside Aquatics Complex at Riverside City College in Riverside, Calif., on Saturday, May 16, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Kenisha Liu of Ayala High School won two individual events at the inaugural CIF State Championship Meet. She competed in the Girls 100 and 200-yard freestyle events.

She had a time of 1 minute and 46.14 seconds in the 200-yard freestyle championship race.

“I was so nervous before my 200 free because I had set goals for myself before the meet and once I won I felt a lot of relief,” Liu said. “Going into the 100 free, I had calmed down and I was just motivated to win another event.”

She finished with a time of 49.22 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle event to win her second individual event.

Liu’s goals going into the meet were to drop a second off her personal best time in the 200 freestyle and a half of a second in the 100 freestyle.

“I did reach my goals and it was pretty exciting for me,” Liu said. “I think having my teammates there with me was really helpful because they always support me. They are also just really fun to be around.”

Mikki Thompson of Ayala finished second in the consolation finals of the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:56.41. Shannon Steele finished third with a time of 4:58.52.

Thompson also finished eighth in the consolation finals for the girls 200-yard individual medley.

Megan Delgado competed with Liu, Steele and Thompson in the consolation finals of the girls 200 freestyle relay event. The team finished seventh. The team concluded the meet with a fifth place finish in the consolation finals of the 400 freestyle relay.

Ayala finished eighth in the overall girls team standings at the inaugural CIF State Swimming and Diving Meet.

Liu believes that having her teammates there at the state finals made it more enjoyable and less stressful.

“They make the meet more fun and team oriented,” she said. “Having them with here is a blast and they take some of the pressure off of competing.”

Other Results

Michael Tenney of Chino Hills took fifth in the championship finals of the boys 500-yard freestyle event while Richie Campbell of Damien High finished third in the consolation finals of the boys 50 yard free event.

Fernando Duenas of Redlands East Valley finished second in the boys 100 backstroke consolation finals at CIF State Swim Meet.

Redlands (Tyler Ocasio-Pare, Tom Frye, Collin Green and Shea Macready) finished second in the consolation finals of the boys 400 free relay event.

Green believe the state meet was a great way to conclude his senior season with Redlands High.

“It is definitely memorable. It was exactly the way I wanted to finish my high school career, going great times with greater teammates,” Green said. “Even though it was just supposed to be fun it really gave me a chance to close out the season well.”

Green also finished fifth in the consolation finals of the Boys 200 IM while Melissa Pepper of Redlands finished fifth in the consolation finals of the Girls 50 free event. Diamond Bar’s Kathleen Gani finished eighth in the Girls 100 butterfly event.

The 2013 and 2014 Inland Valley Daily Bulletin swimmer of the year, Sonia Wang, took first in the 100-yard backstroke, setting a state record with a time of 52.99 seconds. Ella Eastin of Crean Lutheran was second. Wang, who now attends JSerra High, spent the first three years of her student-athletic career at Upland High. Wang will continue swimming at Harvard on a scholarship.

Wang finished second to Eastin in the 200 IM and both the 200 medley and 400 free relays.


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