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Divers score surprise victories at league finals Phillip Brents | Fri, Jun 20 2014 02:37 PM

The Metro Conference championship diving meet, held May 19 at the Parkway pool, produced its share of surprises — pleasant surprises for a pair of Hilltop Lancers.

Kennedy Miranda scored 186.6 points to win the Mesa League girls competition while teammate Darius Marguet captured the Mesa League boys title with a score of 127.6 points.

For Kennedy it was her first league diving championship after finishing second two years ago.

Marguet, meanwhile, out-dueled favorite Josh Fischer, another Hilltop teammate, to claim his second consecutive league dive title.

South Bay League champions included Mar Vista’s Dakotah Strather (girls) and San Ysidro’s Efren Rivera (boys).
Separate awards were presented for divers of the year in the two leagues. Kennedy and Fischer represented the Mesa League while Strather and Rivers represented the South Bay League.

Mesa League honor roll
Marguet narrowly edged Fischer by 3.3 points to win the league championship this year. A failed third dive severely hurt Fischer in the scoring column, allowing Marguet to follow through to triumph.

Marguet credited “focusing and concentrating really hard and forgetting everything else” in recording his breakthrough win of the season.

“I just wanted to have good form,” he said. “I think one of the biggest things was having Josh beat me all year. That was the No. 1 thing — he pushed me to finally beat him.”

Fischer scored 124.3 points. Mesa League finalists also included Otay Ranch’s Ozkar Alvarez (third, 108.70 points), Gregory Giller (fourth, 100.6 points), Matthew Olimski (fifth, 76.8 points) and Jesus Martin (sixth, 73.45 points).

Miranda scored highest among the 12 female divers entered in this year’s competition. Next in line in the Mesa League finals were Hilltop teammates Jaquiline Zatarain (second, 114.7 points), Koehler White (third, 110.1 points) and Mia Ballesteros (fourth, 106.75 points) and Otay Ranch’s Brisa Garcia (fifth, 87.6 points), Angelica Sandoval (sixth, 77.35 points) and Kimi Walker (seventh, 62.75 points).

Defending Mesa League champion Veronica Guzman of Hilltop was not present due to a conflicting trip to Mexico.
However, that did not deter Miranda, who showed she was the most impressive diver at this year’s finals. Her score, in fact, qualified her to compete in this year’s San Diego Section Division II finals, which took place May 23.

“I was surprised,” Miranda said. “I had been pushing myself hard  through league to make CIF and it worked.”

South Bay League honor roll

In another narrow decision, Strather out-dueled San Ysidro’s Lizbeth Crisanto to win the South Bay League girls title by less than four points. Cristano scored 112.6 points to finish second. Following in order were Mar Vista’s Tatyana Garcia (third, 99.15 points) and San Ysidro’s Chelsea Esquivel (fourth, 78.75 points) and Lucero Torres (fifth, 69.55 points).

Rivera, a first-year diver, scored the highest in the combined field of 13 boys divers. Montgomery’s Cecilio Mendoza placed second among South Bay League divers with 99.1 points, followed by San Ysidro’s Angel Rodriguez (third, 94.55 points) and Isael Arciaga (fourth, 76.15 points).

Rivera attributed his success to participating in youth gymnastics.

“I enjoy the flips,” he explained.

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