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Otay Ranch , Hilltop swimmers get off to fast start in 2012 Phillip Brents | Fri, Mar 23 2012 04:36 PM

The Otay Ranch High School swim team has opened the season with a strong start in non-league dual meet competition.

In a tri-meet against El Capitan and Grossmont on March 16, four Mustangs notched CIF qualifying times: Mariela Rodriguez (2:06.80 in the 200 freestyle), Sarah Medina (25.50) in the 50 freestyle, Irbin Torres (58.90 in the butterfly) and Mathew Switzer (58.90 in the 100 backstroke).

The Otay Ranch boys team defeated El Capitan, 165-151, while swimming to a 165-all tie against Grossmont; the Mustangs girls team topped El Capitan, 208-143, while dropping a 243-208 decision to Grossmont.

Both Otay Ranch teams swept Mar Vista in another non-league match-up on March 19. The Mustang boys won 124-41 while the girls squad captured a 123-57 victory.

Rodriguez scored a CIF qualifying time in the 500 freestyle (5:40.34) while Medina notched a CIF mark in the butterfly (1:03.03) and Switzer duplicated his time in the backstroke.

Hilltop swept Mar Vista in a non-league dual meet on March 6, winning 92-78 (boys meet) and 92-87 (girls meet). It was the Lancer girls team’s first victory against the Mariners this century.

Hilltop has continued its early season success with ensuing victories against Olympian, High Tech High and Monte Vista for a 4-0 start.

Returning standouts on the girls team include Crystal Quezada, Paola Vizcarra, Talissa Silva, Chelsea Tomlinson and Veronica Guzman. Impact newcomers include Cheyenne Santiago and Carolyne Vazquez.

Top returners on the boys team include Javier Deleon, Tanner Franklin, Carlos Uribe, Chris Kenbeek and Rodrigo Perez. New talent arrives this year in freshman David Saiadian and transfer Nick Howard along with Julio Del Real, Elias Munoz and Wyatt Schmidt.

The Lancers are rebuilding their dive program this year, though the boys team continues to be led by Aaron Siaumau, who coach John Salts labels as “one of the strongest divers in the county.”

Also back on the diving board are Nick Norton (boys) and Guzman (girls).

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