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Eastlake's Randazzo swims to CIF gold medal in 100 breaststroke Phillip Brents | Fri, May 24 2013 05:34 PM

This year’s Eastlake Titans boys and Otay Ranch girls swim teams rated among the best ever in the Metro Conference. Their performance at last Saturday’s San Diego Section championship meet at Granite Hills High School’s new aquatic complex was commendable, though maybe not as spectacular as some might have hoped.

“CIF was fast,” ORHS coach Ernie Medina said. “The top six in each event were consistently all fast. For us to make top 12 was big for us this season.”

EHS coach Bryan Monzon likely had similar feelings. He had projected his Titans to place among the top five teams, possibly even post an elite top three finish.

However, neither Medina or Monzon’s reigning Mesa League juggernauts managed to crack the top six in the Division I team point standings. Eastlake placed eighth in the boys field while Otay Ranch was 14th in the girls field.

Still, there were plenty of individual highlights.

EHS junior John Randazzo won the gold medal in the boys 100-yard breaststroke final with a time of 58.54 seconds to edge Torrey Pines’ Kevin Wang (59.01) and Granite Hills’ Thomas Hodgson (59.28).

Defending division champion Anthony Ribal of Bonita Vista was fourth in this year’s event in 59.65. Ribal won last year’s title in a league record 58.53.

Randazzo (1:08.81) had finished third to Ribal (1:05.09) and Otay Ranch freshman Ryan Gagarin (1:06.74) at this year’s Mesa League championship meet on  May 11.

CIF was indeed fast this year.

“John has worked so hard to achieve one of his primary goals, winning the 100 breaststroke at CIFs,” Monzon said. “First and sixth places in the championship final were separated by only 1.5 seconds and was one of the more exciting races of the day.”

Ribal, the 2013 Mesa League Swimmer of the Year, finished fourth in the 100 freestyle in 47.47. That was slightly slower than last year’s third-place time of 47.38.

Eastlake’s Daniel Lord, the 2013 Mesa League champion in the 100 butterfly, finished sixth at the Division I finals in 53.15. It bettered his 54.40 time at the league finals.

Eastlake placed fifth in the 200 medley relay in 1:40.37 — two seconds faster than at league finals.

Honorable mention
Carlsbad edged El Camino for this year’s Division I boys team championship, followed by Torrey Pines, Granite Hills, Rancho Bernardo and La Costa Canyon.

Torrey Pines won the Division I girls team title, followed by Carlsbad, Westview, La Costa Canyon, Rancho Bernardo and San Marcos.

“Our team swam well at the Mesa championships, then struggled with injuries and illness at CIF,” Otay’s Medina explained.

Gagarin led the Mustangs with a ninth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke with a school record time of 1:00.96 and also placed 13th in the 200 individual medley.

Otay Ranch’s boys team placed 12th in 200 medley relay while Mesa League 100 backstroke champion Matt Switzer placed 10th in the 100 backstroke and 13th in the 50 freestyle.

 The Mustangs’ only medal in the girls meet came via a sixth-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay with Emma Cornwell, Angie Tapia, Isabel Parks and Sarah Medina timing 1:44.84.

Sarah Medina, the 2013 Mesa League Swimmer of the Year, was the league’s highest-placing female swimmer with an eighth-place finish in the 100 freestyle; she was 12th in the 50 freestyle.

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