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Picture perfect: Titans, Mustangs gear up for Mesa League swim finals Phillip Brents | Thu, Apr 28 2011 01:04 PM

The Mesa League swimming championship meet is scheduled May 14 at the Loma Verde pool — the diving finals will be held the previous day at the Parkway pool — and the scene appears set for another battle of aquatic juggernauts: the Eastlake Titans versus the Otay Ranch Mustangs.

Eastlake swept both the boys and girls team titles at last year’s championship meet after Otay Ranch claimed the regular season boys dual meet title. It appears the Mustangs are ready to challenge once again if the result of the teams’ April 14 Mesa League dual meet encounter is any indicator.

Eastlake scored a double sweep: 108-74 in the boys meet and 97-86 in the girls meet.

“We had an outstanding performance from our boys team,” EHS  coach Bryan Monzon said. “With a win over a Bonita and Mater Dei (upcoming meets), we will reclaim our title in the Mesa League. It was a much more competitive and exciting meet for the girls.  Overall it was another great meet between two competitive rivals.”

The top-flight match-up was chock full of CIF automatic and consideration times.

Both teams appear loaded for success in the postseason, spearheaded by genuine top individual talent that can compete head-to-head with elite swimmers from throughout the rest of the San Diego Section.

Eastlake posted seven automatic qualifying marks in the boys meet, led by Luca Casimiro in the 200-yard individual medley (1:59.32) and 100 butterfly (52.70) and Ian Muhlbach in the 100 freestyle (48.78) and 200 freestyle (1:50.84).

Jian Miclat posted an automatic entry mark of 22.43 in the 50 freestyle while Titan teams in the 200 medley relay (1:44.60) and 400 freestyle relay (3:29.00) also notched automatic qualifying times.

Also for Eastlake, Jimmy Jeffery swam to a CIF consideration time of 1:57.09 in the 200 freestyle while Eric Hum posted a consideration time of 2:15.07 in the 200 IM and John Randazzo touched with a consideration time of 1:08.87 in the 100 breaststroke.

The Titans also posted a consideration time of 1:37.25 in the 200 freestyle relay.

Otay Ranch collected six CIF automatic qualifying marks in the boys meet. Mike Kowalski, a contender to win both his specialty events — the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly — at this year’s section finals, touched with automatic clockings of 21.78 in the 50 freestyle and 48.43 in the 100 freestyle.

Juan Robles, another CIF title contender, posted automatic times of 56.42 in the 100 butterfly and 2:06.55 in the 200 IM.

Two Mustang relays also met the CIF automatic qualifying standard: 1:45.80 in the 200 medley relay and 1:35.68 in the 200 freestyle relay.

CIF consideration times were posted by Matt Switzer in the 200 freestyle (1:57.67) and 100 backstroke (1:02.51) while Otay Ranch also met the consideration standard in the 400 freestyle relay (3:53.00).

In a highlight match-up, Muhlbach and Kowalski swam in adjacent lanes in the 100 freestyle, with Kowalski pulling ahead in the last 25 yards for the spirited victory.

The girls half of the Eastlake-Otay Ranch dual was filled with no less star material.

Eastlake posted automatic qualifying times in the 200 medley relay (1:59.82) and 200 freestyle relay (1:45.31).  Justin Maher, winner of four gold medals at last year’s league finals, notched automatic qualifying times in the 50 freestyle (25.52) and 100 freestyle (54.76) while Simone Banks touched with an automatic qualifying time in the 200 IM (2:21.41) and a consideration time in the 100 breaststroke (1:13.31).

Consideration times also went to Melanie Yngson in the 100 butterfly (1:07.89), Aabra Ahmed in the 100 backstroke (1:07.81) and the Titan 400 freestyle relay unit (4:01.57).

Sarah Medina led Otay Ranch with a 2:21.36 automatic qualifying time in the 200 IM while the Mustangs also recorded automatic qualifying times in the 200 medley relay (2:02.82) and 200 freestyle relay (1:48.44).

CIF consideration times went to Sabrina Ogden in the 200 freestyle (2:08.60), Mariela Rodriguez in the 100 freestyle (58.87) and Laryssa Lucatero in the 100 backstroke (1:10.00). Otay Ranch also notched a CIF consideration time in the meet-ending 400 freestyle relay (4:03.00).

In the girls diving competition, Zully Maldonado continued to excel with 167 points.

The Mustangs were not finished, however. Otay Ranch engaged longtime East County aquatics power Grossmont in a high scoring non-league match-up on April 22.

The Mustangs edged the Foothillers 270-228 on the boys side and 386-224 on the girls side.

The Mustangs also swam past High Tech High by scores of 245-79 (boys) and 244-42 (girls).

Otay Ranch coach Ernie Medina noted this was the first time in four years that his team had managed to defeat Grossmont.

Robles (2:07.66 in the 200 IM and 57.07 in the 100 backstroke), Kowalski (21.98 in the 50 freestyle and 54.00 in the 100 butterfly) and Medina (26.00 in the 50 freestyle and 5:30.01 in the 500 freestyle) all came out of the meet with CIF automatic qualifying times while Ogden posted a consideration time in the 100 butterfly (1:05.36).

Otay Ranch improved to 7-1 overall with the victories.

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Hilltop and Chula Vista’s Mesa League dual meet earlier in the day on April 14 also was filled with its share of bonafide excitement, especially in races involving Hilltop’s Oscar Vizcarra and Chula Vista’s Lidia Espinoza and Bradley Bonney.

Espinoza is the defending league champion in the girls 200 IMe and captured the 200 fre3estyle as well as the 500 freestyle in the meet against the Lancers.

Vizcarra won the boys 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke while Bonney won the 50 freestyle and was second in the 100 butterfly.

Also for Hilltop, Tanner Franklin won the boys 500 freestyle while Lancer teammates Shane Garvin (169.50 points) and Aaron Siaumau (152.90) out-pointed Chula Vista’s Johnny Hewuse (143.40) in the boys diving competition.

CV’s Carlos Lizarraga also turned in some exciting swims,  out-touching Hilltop’s Javier DeLeon in the boys 100 backstroke while placing second to Hilltop’s Carlos Uribe to win in the 200 freestyle.

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