The Eastlake High School swim team cheered the loudest during the awards ceremony that capped last Friday’s Mesa League championship meet at Mater Dei Catholic High School. The reason? The Titans engineered a stunning sweep of team titles in both the boys and girls meets.
“The kids have worked hard all through the season — they came together after all the early morning practices and workouts,” EHS coach Bryan Monzon said. “We knew it was going to be tough against Otay (on the girls side) after what happened in the dual meet. We needed everyone to step up. I told the kids they had to finish in an all-out sprint.”
The Titans boys team, undefeated in league dual meets, captured first-place finishes in eight of the 11 swim events to post a runaway 588 point total. Otay Ranch finished a distant second in the team standings with 341 points — a massive 247-point drop from first place.
But the surprise — or reward, depending on one’s viewpoint — came on the girls side as Eastlake edged regular season dual meet champion Otay Ranch by 18 points for the championship meet’s first place trophy.
In one of the closest team point races in the history of the league, the Titans recorded a meet-best 465 points to the Mustangs’ total of 447 points.
Thus, Monzon did not put up any resistance when it came time for his team to give him the ceremonial post-meet pool dunking.
“The water was so warm, I wanted to stay in it,” he quipped after climbing out of the pool, a wide grin still etched on his face.
Eric Hum, John Randazzo, Daniel Lord and Dylan Chase started Eastlake’s boys team on a roll by winning the meet-opening 200-yard medley relay in 1:46.43. The Titans went on to sweep all of the three relay events, winning the 200 freestyle relay in a school record 1:32.40 and the meet-closing 400 freestyle relay in 3:25.90.
Jian Miclat, Luca Casimiro, Jimmy Jeffery and Michael Tong each swam legs on the Titans’ two freestyle relay teams.
Casimiro turned in a memorable meet by also winning individual titles in the 200 individual medley (1:59.37) and 100 butterfly (52.85) to finish with four gold medals and honors as the league’s male swimmer of the year.
Jeffery (1:52.54 in the 200 freestyle) and Miclat (22.67 in the 50 freestyle) also won individual titles along with teammate Guillermo Gonzalez-Loyola (5:20.78 in the 500 freestyle).
Back for more, Tong placed runner-up in the 50 freestyle (23.19) while Randazzo was second in the 200 IM (2:09.20) and Miclat was second in the 100 freestyle (49.36).
In fact, the Titans notched the top four finishes in the IM event. Hum was third in 2:13.11 while Alex Lopez was fourth in 2:13.38.
Next up for the reigning Mesa League champions is a trip to the San Diego Section Division I prelims and finals (May 16 and 19) at Del Norte High School.
Casimiro, in particular, has some unfinished business to attend to: namely, winning the Division I title in the butterfly event.
“The guy who beat me last year graduated, so I’m the top guy returning in the event,” he said. “But if I am going to win it, I’ve got to match my best times.”
That has been an uphill battle all season after Casimiro broke his arm in a skateboarding accident last October. He’s still about two seconds behind his best times last year.
“I’ve made up a lot of ground but I still have some to go,” he said. “I’ve still got two weeks left before I taper. Hopefully, I can do it.”
Bonita Vista’s Anthony Ribal made up some ground of his own in winning the boys 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke titles.
Ribal won both events in 2010 but repeated only in the breaststroke last year.
The Baron standout, an IB diploma candidate who would like to study business and finance at an Ivy League school, timed 48.64 in winning the 100 freestyle this year and doubled his gold medal total with a winning time of 1:00.97 in the breaststroke.
Ribal, who scored a perfect 5.0 last semester and carries an overall 4.39 grade-point average, said the making of a championship swimmer is all about setting goals and going after them.
“Knowing what you want and having goals and then focusing on them are the most important things,” he said.
Otay Ranch’s Matthew Switzer rounded out this year’s Mesa League boys swim champions after out-touching Eastlake’s Jeffery in a furious finish in the 100 backstroke. Switzer timed 58.21 seconds to Jeffery’s 59.53.
Switzer finished second in the 200 freestyle (1:52.98). Also for the Mustangs, Irbin Torres was second in the butterfly (57.03).
Amazingly, Eastlake’s girls team took its first-place finish despite winning just two of last Friday’s 11 swimming events. Mia Lam won the 50 freestyle race in 26.47 while the quartet of Kelsey Schauer, Jana Miclat, Lam and Kerry Lindsay timed 3:54.29 to claim first in the 400 freestyle relay.
Team depth figured prominently in the outcome. Melanie Yngson (2:23.35) finished second in the 200 IM while Miclat was second in both the butterfly (1:05.16) and backstroke (105.01) and Lindsay was second in the 100 freestyle (58.62).
A three-deep finish by Eastlake in the 50 freestyle also helped matters. Lindsay was second in 26.97 (a half-second behind Lam) while Schauer was third in 27.01.
Otay Ranch set two school records in last Friday’s league finals: Sarah Medina timed 55.79 in the girls 100 freestyle while Laryssa Lucatero timed 1:03.97 in the girls backstroke.
Medina also won the 200 freestyle in 2:00.86 (just off her own school record pace) and swam legs on the Mustangs’ victorious 200 medley relay unit (2:01.31) and 200 freestyle relay squad (1:46.28).
With four gold medals, she earned honors as the league’s female swimmer of the year.
Medina becomes the first Mesa League female athlete to win the league’s player of the year award for girls water polo and swimmer of the year in the same school term.
Lucatero, Sara Gagarin and Mariela Rodriguez joined Medina on the 200 medley relay unit; Angeline Tapia and Isabel Parks joined Medina and Rodriguez on the 200 freestyle relay team.
Rodriguez won the 500 freestyle in 5:34.58 and was second in the 200 freestyle (2:05.09).
Gagarin was second in the 500 freestyle (5:36.90).
The Mustangs’ Isaac Noyola received the Mesa sportsmanship award. He is the first Otay Ranch male swimmer to receive it.
Zully Maldonado got the Mustangs going by winning the diving competition earlier in the week. She became the first Otay Ranch female diver to win a league title.
Bonita Vista freshman Addison Seale upstaged many of the league’s upperclassmen by winning titles in the IM (2:15.23) and breaststroke (1:11.72).
Seale was joined in the winner’s circle by teammate Brigitte Bordenave, who captured the butterfly title in 1:04.21.
Hilltop finished third in both the boys and girls team standings at last Friday’s league finals while Bonita Vista was fourth.
Mater Dei Catholic finished fifth in both fields while Olympian was sixth.
MESA LEAGUE SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
200 medley relay: Eastlake (Eric Hum, John Randazzo, Daniel Lord, Dylan Chase) 1:46.43
200 freestyle: Jimmy Jeffery (Eastlake) 1:52.54
200 individual medley: Luca Casimiro (Eastlake) 1:59.37
50 freestyle: Jian Miclat (Eastlake) 22.67
Diving: Aaron Siaumau (Hilltop) 192.85
100 butterfly: Luca Casimiro (Eastlake) 52.85
100 freestyle: Anthony Ribal (Bonita Vista) 48.64
500 freestyle: Guillermo Gonzalez-Loyola (Eastlake) 5:20.78
200 freestyle relay: Eastlake (Jian Miclat, Luca Casimiro, Jimmy Jeffery, Michael Tong) 1:32.40
100 backstroke: Matthew Switzer (Otay Ranch) 58.21
100 breaststroke: Anthony Ribal (Bonita Vista) 1:00.97
400 freestyle relay: Eastlake (Jian Miclat, Luca Casimiro, Jimmy Jeffery, Michael Tong) 3:25.90
1. Eastlake 588, 2. Otay Ranch 341, 3. Hilltop 305, 4. Bonita Vista 282, 5. Mater Dei Catholic 177, 6. Olympian 139
Swimmer of the Year
Luca Casimiro (Eastlake)
Isaac Noyola (Otay Ranch)
200 medley relay: Otay Ranch (Laryssa Lucatero, Sara Gagarin, Sarah Medina, Mariela Rodriguez) 2:01.31
200 freestyle: Sarah Medina (Otay Ranch) 2:00.86
200 individual medley: Addison Seale (Bonita Vista) 2:15.23
50 freestyle: Mia Lam (Eastlake) 26.47
Diving: Zully Maldonado (Otay Ranch) 189.65
100 butterfly: Brigitte Bordenave (Bonita Vista) 1:04.21
100 freestyle: Sarah Medina (Otay Ranch) 55.79
500 freestyle: Mariela Rodriguez (Otay Ranch) 5:34.58
200 freestyle relay: Otay Ranch (Angeline Tapia, Isabel Parks, Mariela Rodriguez, Sarah Medina) 1:46.28
100 backstroke: Laryssa Lucatero (Otay Ranch) 1:03.97
100 breaststroke: Addison Seale (Bonita Vista) 1:11.72
400 freestyle relay: Eastlake (Kelsey Schauer, Jana Miclat, Mia Lam, Kerry Lindsay) 3:54.29
1. Eastlake 465, 2. Otay Ranch 447, 3. Hilltop 347, 4. Bonita Vista 288, 5. Mater Dei Catholic 133, 6. Olympian 131
Swimmer of the Year
Sarah Medina (Otay Ranch)
Mallory Davenport (Mater Dei)
Chelsea Tomlinson (Hilltop)
South Bay League Swimming Championships
200 medley relay: San Ysidro 1:52.12
200 freestyle: Dominic Rodriguez (Mar Vista) 1:58.72
200 individual medley: Armando Inzunza (San Ysidro) 2:14.13
50 freestyle: Tony Maldonado (San Ysidro) 24.89
100 butterfly: Dominic Rodriguez (Mar Vista) 58.17
100 freestyle: Justin Patacsil (Mar Vista) 53.33
500 freestyle: Armando Inzunza (San Ysidro) 5:22.18
200 freestyle relay: Mar Vista 1:43.28
100 backstroke: Zack Mahan (Mar Vista) 1:01.94
100 breaststroke: Justin Patacsil (Mar Vista) 1:08.39
400 freestyle relay: San Ysidro 3:45.21
Team champion: Mar Vista Mariners
Swimmer of the Year: Justin Patacsil (Mar Vista)
Sportsmanship award: Jon Nicoloff (Mar Vista)
200 medley relay: Mar Vista 2:12.51
200 freestyle: Kaitlin Wilson (Mar Vista) 2:24.86
200 individual medley: Lidia Espinoza (Chula Vista) 2:25.65
50 freestyle: Ashley MacAskill (Mar Vista) 28.71
100 butterfly: Lidia Espinoza (Chula Vista) 1:06.34
100 freestyle: Natasha MacAskill (Mar Vista) 56.90
500 freestyle: Natasha MacAskill (Mar Vista) 5:35.20
200 freestyle relay: Mar Vista 1:55.30
100 backstroke: Alexis Patacsil (Mar Vsta) 1:10.70
100 breaststroke: Reilly Landry (Mar Vista) 1:20.61
400 freestyle relay: Mar Vista 4:31.15
Team champion: Mar Vista Mariners
Swimmer of the Year: Natasha MacAskill (Mar Vista)
Sportsmanship award: Lidia Espinoza (Chula Vista)