While the Olympian Eagles, Hilltop Lancers, Bonita Vista Barons and Mater Dei Catholic Crusaders each expect to be fairly well represented in the medal count for next week’s Mesa League prelims and finals, the league’s resident juggernauts — the Eastlake Titans and Otay Ranch Mustangs — are expected to walk off the deck with a sizable share of the medals.
The Titans and Mustangs sized one another up in a key league dual meet May 1 at Southwestern College, with Eastlake out-distancing Otay Ranch in both gender competitions in a match-up of teams previously undefeated in league play.
The two rivals expect to once again lead the way in the most important meets of the season.
The Mesa League prelims are scheduled Tuesday, May 13, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Mater Dei Catholic High School pool.
The league finals are scheduled Friday, May 16, starting at the same time at the same site.
Eastlake displayed its scoring strength in its dual meet sweep of Otay Ranch. The Titans recorded power-packed wins in both the boys (120-63) and girls (101-82) meets.
“A lot of good swims, a lot of best times,” EHS coach Steve Wiggs said in summing up the teams’ annual high profile match-up. “I always like to see good marks. It’s great to see an energetic meet on both sides. Hopefully, that will roll over into league finals.”
Eastlake’s boys team scored first-place finishes in all 11 swimming events, including all three relay events, while the Titans girls squad captured first-place finishes in six of the 11 swimming events.
Otay Ranch swept the diving competition, with Andrea Revilla (girls) and Jesus Martin (boys) recording winning scores of 93.3 and 110.96, respectively.
Eastlake’s boys team went 1-2-3 in the 200 freestyle, led by event winner Tristan Yam, and went 1-2-4 in both the 100 butterfly and 500 freestyle events. The Titans placed 1-2 in both the 200 and 400 freestyle relay events.
Yam, along with returning CIF 100 breaststroke champion John Randazzo and teammates Alex Lopez and Jimmy Jeffery all recorded individual doubles in the win over Otay Ranch.
Yam also touched first in the 100 backstroke (58.09) while Randazzo recorded first-place finishes in both the 200 individual medley (2:02.63) and 100 breaststroke (1:01.67).
Lopez scored individual doubles in the 100 freestyle (56.98) and 500 freestyle (5:24.70) while Jeffery emerged victorious in the 50 freestyle (22.65) and 100 butterfly (50.86).
The quartet opened the meet as members of Eastlake’s victorious 200 medley relay with a time of 1:44.54.
Yam out-touched teammate Norbert Madero, the defending league champion in the 200 freestyle.
Randazzo is the defending league champion in the 200 IM.
Eastlake is also the defending league champion in all three boys relays. This year’s 200 freestyle relay unit includes Lopez and Madero along with Kyle Schauer and Kyle De Alva. The foursome timed 1:40.20 in besting the Titans’ B-unit of Ricky Gonzalez, Johnny Velasquez, Nate Niehaus and Zack Randall (1:43.44).
Otay Ranch scored runner-up finishes in the 200 medley relay (1:50.43), 200 IM (Ryan Gagarin, 2:02.52), 50 freestyle (Nick Sadan, 24.81), 100 freestyle (Irbin Torrez, 57.39), 100 backstroke (Brian Thai, 1:04.75) and 100 breaststroke (Gagarin, 1:03.10).
Thai, Torrez, Gagarin and Tim Oreas each swam legs on the Mustangs 200 medley relay unit.
Otay Ranch out-scored Eastlake 545-519 at last year’s league finals, though it appears the Titans may have more depth this season based on the teams’ dual encounter.
Still, the Mustangs appear to be gold medal favorites in several events.
Isabel Park is the defending league champion in the 200 IM and 500 freestyle while Fernanda Arambula is the defending league champion in the 100 breaststroke.
Park won the 50 freestyle (25.87) and 100 butterfly (1:03.70) in the dual meet against Eastlake while younger sister Michelle Park won the 500 freestyle (5:31.93) while also placing second in the 200 IM (2:20.03).
Julie Parsons rounded out the list of individual event winners for the Mustangs against the Titans with victories in the 200 freestyle (2:04.53) and 100 backstroke (1:03.21). Arambula finished runner-up in the 100 breaststroke (1:22.09).
Eastlake returns with two defending league champions in its line-up: Paola Rivas (200 freestyle) and Jana Miclat (100 backstroke).
Miclat recorded the top time in the 100 freestyle (58.11) in the meet versus Otay Ranch while Rivas (2:11.44) finished second in the 500 freestyle (5:58.74) to Otay’s Isabel Park and placed third behind Otay’s Parsons and Titan teammate Kyra Mena (second, 2:04.86) in the 200 freestyle.
Eastlake has its own potent sister act in Melanie and Anjelika Yngson. Anjelika won the 200 IM (2:17.85) and 100 breaststroke (1:11.49) while Melanie finished third in the 200 IM (2:31.45) and 100 butterfly (1:10.60).
Recording runner-up finishes against the Mustangs were Titans’ Valerie Chin (50 freestyle, 26.18) and Mena (100 butterfly, 1:04.1).
Otay Ranch is the defending league champion in both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays while Eastlake is the defending league champion in the 200 medley relay.
The Titan foursome of Miclat, Mena, Anjelika Yngson and Mia Lam timed 1:58.28 to win the medley relay in the dual against Otay Ranch.
Making a splash
Hilltop, which finished fourth in the league dual standings, has several standout swimmers who should contend for finals berths: Wyatt Schmidt (backstroke), Marko Martinez (butterfly), Mauricio Martinez (breaststroke) and Aki Sydney (breaststroke).
Eastlake's boys team closed out its league dual meet season on Thursday with a 111-59 win against Mater Dei Catholic. However, a pair of Crusaders stole some of the Titans' thunder: Jonathan Alcaraz and Alejandro Arredondo. Alcaraz scored wins in the 50 freestyle (23.34) and 100 freestyle (52.60) while Arredondo recorded a victory in the 100 backstroke (1:01.06) while finishing second in the 100 freestyle (53.60).
Eastlake's girls team closed out its league dual season with a 121-25 win against Mater Dei Catholic. Lam doubled in winning the 50 freestyle (27.24) and 100 freestyle (1:00.88) for the Titans.
The South Bay League swim prelims are scheduled Wednesday, May 14, at the Mater Dei Catholic High School pool, starting at 5 p.m.
The South Bay League swim finals are scheduled Saturday, May 17, at the Mater Dei Catholic High School pool, starting at 9 a.m.