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Is this the best ever Eastlake boys swim team? Phillip Brents | Fri, Apr 12 2013 02:07 PM

The Eastlake High School girls swim team had a chance to take  the spotlight after finishing with five consecutive top four finishes at the San Diego Section Division I championship meet from 2006-2010. Now it’s the EHS boys swim team’s turn to shine.

Titan coach Bryan Monzon is not holding back anything when he proudly declares that this year’s boys squad is “one of the best teams we have ever put out since the school started.”

Now, is this 2013 Titan boys squad the best ever? That will obviously be determined at the section finals in May.

In the meantime, the EHS boys team is certainly convincing Mesa League rivals that it deserves to be considered among the best. The Titans defeated a traditionally strong Otay Ranch team, 120-58, in the teams’ league opener on March 20. Otay Ranch subsequently defeated a traditionally strong Hilltop team, 105-80, on April 3.

“I want us to be in the top five teams at CIF, possibly even the top three,” Monzon said.

It could happen. On Wednesday, the Titans out-swam the previously undefeated Bonita Vista Barons, 121-49, in a high profile encounter at Southwestern College.

Top returners include Jimmy Jeffery (100 freestyle and 100 backstroke), John Randazzo (200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke), Jian Miclat (50 and 100 freestyle) and Daniel Lord (100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly).

Jeffery won the 200 freestyle title at last year’s league finals while also swimming legs with Miclat on Eastlake’s victorious 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

Miclat is the defending league champion in the 50 freestyle; Randazzo and Lord each swam legs on the Titans’ winning 200 medley relay team.

Eastlake has also been impacted by a number of freshmen who had strong backgrounds at the youth club level. They include Tristan Yan (200 IM and 100 backstroke) and Norberto Madero (200 freestyle and 100 butterfly).

Madero captured the 200 freestyle in 1:55 in Wednesday’s dual while sophomore Kyle De Alva impressed in his first outing this season by winning the boys 500 freestyle in 5:30.79. Yan was second in the 200 IM and backstroke.

Among the veterans, Miclat doubled in the 50 and 100 freestyle while Randazzo won the IM and nearly upset Bonita Vista’s Anthony Ribal, the defending Division I champion, in the 100 breaststroke. Ribal won by 0.26 second.

The Titan boys swept both the 2012 Mesa League dual and league championship titles, out-pointing the runner-up Mustangs 588-341.

“I see a lot of potential,” Monzon said. “The Mesa finals will be a good indicator of how well we’ll do in CIF.”

Eastlake’s girls team capped its 2012 season in surprise fashion by upsetting regular season dual champion Otay Ranch, 465-447, at the league finals. The rematch expects to be close after the Mustangs topped the Titans, 95-88, in the teams’ league dual match-up earlier this season.

“We’re a little bit stronger than last year but still rebuilding,” Monzon said. “We’re still a strong team as far as our league goes.”

Top returners on the EHS girls team include Kelsey Schauer (50 and 100 freestyle), Jana Miclat (100 backstroke and 100 freestyle) and Mia Lam (50 and 100 freestyle).

Lam won last year’s league title in the 50 freestyle while Schauer, Miclat and Lam were members of last year’s league champion 400 freestyle relay team.

The Titans’ impact newcomers include Paola Rivas (200 and 500 freestyle) and Elisa Levine (200 IM and 100 breaststroke).

Rivas recorded first-place finishes in the 200 freestyle (2:10.4) and 500 freestyle (5:53.3) on Wednesday while Levine won the 100 breaststroke in 1:20.32.

Among the returners, Miclat captured the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke in Wednesday’s dual while Lam won the 50 freestyle and Melanie Yngson was victorious in the IM for the Titans in posting their 120-55 victory against the Barons.

For those counting, the EHS girls team finished third at the Division I finals in 2007 and 2008 and fourth in 2006, 2009 and 2010. 

Horse power: Otay Ranch Mustangs keep on winning
Otay Ranch’s girls squad remained unbeaten in league duals after recording a 123-63 victory against Hilltop on April 3. Event winners for the Mustangs included Fernanda Arambula (200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke), Isabel Park (200 IM and 100 backstroke), Sarah Medina (50 freestyle and 100 butterfly), Angie Tapia (100 freestyle) and Gabby Nunez (500 freestyle).

Otay swept all three relay events, leaving Hilltop with its lone win (out of 12 events) in the one-meter diving competition. 

Medina, the reigning Mesa League Swimmer of the Year, has already notched automatic CIF qualifying times in the 100 freestyle, 50 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly and remains undefeated on the season.

The Otay girls also have posted CIF automatic times in the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay. Team members include Dania Oreas, Arambula, Medina and Park in medley relay and Emma Cornwell, Park, Tapia and Medina in the 200 freestyle relay.

Medina won league titles last season in the 100 and 200 freestyle as well as in the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay (along with Tapia and Park). 

Meanwhile, the Mustangs boys team owns victories this season against San Ysidro, Monte Vista and Hilltop besides a tie with Patrick Henry.

Mustang individual event winners in the meet against Hilltop included Ryan Gagarin (200 IM), Matthew Switzer (50 freestyle and 100 freestyle), Irbin Torrez (100 butterfly and 500 freestyle) and Bryan Thai (100 backstroke).

Switzer is the defending league champion in the 100 backstroke.

The Mustangs continued their winning ways on Wednesday by sweeping Olympian. The ORHS girls won all individual events and relays in swimming to a 168-39 victory while the Mustang boys (124-55 winners) won all individual events and relays except the 50 freestyle as Andres Luna (23.00) edged Gagarin (24.06).

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sosocal Says:

Sat, Apr 20 2013 11:46 AM

If this is the best ever Eastlake swim team, I encourage them to savor their experience at SD CIF's this year. And--if they like it--to make sure they return next year.

To the real deal, the SD CIFs, not the dummied-down, Ed Brand version he is trying to fob off on this district. You swimmers know that you want to be in the fastest heat, to complete against the best, because it is only then that you can really find out what you are capable of doing.

Ed Brand wants to take this away from you. He thinks your feelings are hurt when kids from other schools are faster...can you please tell him he is wrong?

Maybe he will listen to all the student-athletes if/when they show up in force...because apparently a show of strength is the only thing that convinces Mr. Brand.

Don't let him take CIFs away from Sweetwater!

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