Post-season competition has arrived for Metro Conference aquanauts. The conference diving championship meet is scheduled Friday at the Parkway pool; the conference swimming finals are scheduled Saturday at Loma Verde pool.
Here's a snapshot look at what to expect:
Doors to the Parkway facility open at noon on Friday, with warm-ups slated to begin at 1 p.m. and competition tentatively set to start at 2:15 p.m. Between 20 and 30 divers are expected to participate this year. Last year, the field was large, with 28 divers (14 boys and 14 girls) competing.
Favorites include Hilltop's Leo Diaz de Leon in the boys field and Mar Vista's Michelle McDonald in the girls field.
Diaz de Leon is a two-time Mesa League/South Bay League Diver of the Year and is once again near the top of the local leaderboard. He is chased by teammates Shane Garvin and Aaron Siaumau as well as by Chula Vista's Johnny Hewuse and Otay Ranch's Carlo Fiorillo.
Diaz de Leon won last year's finals competition with 141 points while Garvin was third with 126.75 points. Garvin has improved significantly this season and has been working on polishing his form over the second half of the season - with much success.
The two Lancers obviously drive one another on the board.
McDonald won last year's South Bay League competition with 181.7 points. Mesa League Diver of the Year Ashley Jasmund of Hilltop has since graduated, leaving a quartet of returning Lancers expected to challenge for this year's league title: Ashley Johnson, Marissa Ringwald, Ashley Relph and Briana Reef.
Ringwald actually won last year's Mesa League finals with a 142.65 point total ahead of Reef (137 points).
Hilltop coach John Salts said all seven of his varsity divers have accumulated CIF qualifying points so far this season.
The CIF consideration mark is 145 points; the CIF automatic qualifying mark is 180 points.
CV's Hewuse put his hat in the ring as a dark horse candidate to win this year's league title should co-favorites Diaz de Leon and Garvin falter after recording a season-best 153 points in a dual meet against Eastlake April 29 at Southwestern College.
The Hilltop tandem has already eclipsed the 160-point barrier this season and is looking to improve on that.
Otay Ranch counters with its own dynamic duo in the girls field. Mustang divers Zuli Maldonado (147.5 points) and Vanessa Joeckel (147.2 points) have both posted CIF consideration marks.
Fiorillo (143.0 points) leads a contingent of three Otay Ranch male divers. Teammates include Johnathan Mercado (125.25 points) and Abrahn Mercado (125.35 points).
Mike Kowalski of Mesa League boys dual meet champion Otay Ranch is seeded first in 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly for Saturday's finals. The Mesa League meet starts at 9 a.m., followed by the South Bay League meet at 1 p.m. Both are time changes.
Otay Ranch made it official as 2010 Mesa League boys dual champions after defeating Bonita Vista on April 29. The Mustangs won 10 of the 12 events.
Otay Ranch secured a second-place finish in the girls field after defeating the Barons, also on April 29. The Mustangs won 10 of the 12 events.
2009 Mesa League Parade of Champions
Boys Top Individuals
200 medley relay: Otay Ranch 1:43.03
200 freestyle: Victor Robles (Otay Ranch) 1:44.06
200 individual medley: Juan Robles (Otay Ranch) 2:05.75
50 freestyle: Mike Kowalski (Otay Ranch) 22.29
Diving: Leo Diaz de Leon (Hilltop)
100 butterfly: Mike Kowalski (Otay Ranch) 55.43
100 freestyle: Victor Robles (Otay Ranch) 47.52
500 freestyle: Jason Demoss (Eastlake0 5:05.52
200 freestyle: Otay Ranch 1:33.57
100 freestyle: Chris Schmuckal (Eastlake) 57.05
100 breaststroke: Jason Demoss (Eastlake) 1:04.65
400 freestyle relay: Eastlake 3:33.85
Girls Top Individuals
200 medley relay: Eastlake 1:57.84
200 freestyle: Andrea Voigt (Eastlake) 1:56.74
200 individual medley: Gisella Duarez (Mater Dei) 2:20.06
50 freestyle: Jacquie Kimmel (Eastlake) 24.15
Diving: Marissa Ringwald (Hilltop)
100 butterfly: 1. Monique Beltran (Bonita Vista) 1:02.60
100 freestyle: Andrea Voigt (Eastlake) 54.77
500 freestyle: Mariela Rodriguez (Otay Ranch) 5:35.97
200 freestyle relay: Eastlake 1:42.51
100 backstroke: Jacquie Kimmel (Eastlake) 59.66
100 breaststroke: Rebecca Pollock (Eastlake) 1:11.08
400 freestyle relay: Eastlake 3:44.32