Swimmer Moreno heading to South Coast Conference Championships


Marlon Moreno has qualified for the California Community College Athletic Association Championships. His time of 54.00 seconds on the 100 meter backstroke placed him 14 out of 16. Photo credit: Gustavo Olguin

After placing fifth in the South Coast Conference Championships, the Cerritos College men’s swim team has one swimmer to represent them at the state conference on Thursday, May 1 to Saturday, May 3.

Swimmer Marlon Moreno, California qualified for the Community College Athletic Association Championships with a 54.00 second 100 meter backstroke time.

Competitors in the tournament must place in the top 16 in a certain event and Moreno was 16 seconds away from not qualifying.

“Coach sent me a message saying that I made it and I just ran to his office because I was so excited and I couldn’t believe it,” Moreno said. “Now I am more anxious to swim in state.”

Head coach Joe Abing sees a top eight finish as a stretch, but feels that a top 10 finish isn’t out of the question with everything that Moreno has going for him.

“They have an indoor pool and it’s a fast pool. I think that gives him the opportunity to go a little bit faster,” Abing said. “He’s our strongest swimmer and he had three or four other guys that came extremely close.”

While Moreno is the only swimmer to come from the men’s team, he doesn’t see that he is alone for the competition.

“I feel like that I have to be strong to put the name of Cerritos College on the top,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me to be the only one because I know my team is going to be there to support me.”

Swimmer Fernando Lua is a teammate of Moreno and feels that he has become part of the family and that their support is something that should not be overlooked.

“It’s huge because Marlo came from Venezuela. He’s not from here,” Lua said. “For him to make it to state, it’s a huge accomplishment because he came here with a goal and I feel that he is fulfilling that goal.”

Lua has seen Moreno change not only as a swimmer, but also as a person outside of the pool as well.

“Marlon got here not knowing any English and now he can speak to you fluently in English,” Lua said. “He has always been a superior athlete, but he has gotten faster.”