The Eastlake and Otay Ranch high school swim teams appear on a collision course once again to decide this year’s Mesa League championship titles. The Metro Conference’s two juggernauts collide Thursday at the Southwestern College pool in a meet that should feature fast times and a marathon curtain call.
Start time is 5:30 p.m.
Both teams enter the meet with a bead on capturing at least a share, or outright possession, of this year's league titles in both boys and girls league competition.
Eastlake swept a Mesa League dual meet against Hilltop by scores of 124-52 (boys) and 130-52 (girls) on April 24 at Southwestern College while Otay Ranch sank league rival Bonita Vista by scores of 129-53 (boys) and 140-43 (girls) in a meet held at Loma Verde pool, also on April 24.
The Titans might be considered a slight favorite in the marquee meet.
Eastlake head coach Steve Wiggs would rather not pick a winner, however.
“This is my first year taking over for (longtime EHS coach) Bryan Monzon and I’m trying to maintain the tradition he has kept alive the past 10 years,” Wiggs said.
That tradition has been a winning one. This year should be no different.
“Our boys are strong,” Wiggs explained. “We have two seniors — John Randazzo and Jimmy Jeffery — who are pretty much leading the group. Other strong swimmers include sophomores Tristan Yam and Norbert Madero and junior Alex Lopez.”
Randazzo is the defending San Diego Section Division I champion in the 100-yard breaststroke and defending league champion in the 200 individual medley while Madero is the defending league champion in the 200 freestyle.
Eastlake swept all three relay events at last year’s league finals.
The Titan girls, though featuring a younger cast, may pack just as much punch.
“The girls may not be as experienced as some of the guys but they are more diverse — they can swim a ton of events,” Wiggs noted. “We have a group of freshmen who will be top swimmers in San Diego for the next four years.”
Those standout freshmen include Valerie Chin, Anjelicka Yngson, Kyra Mena, Stephanie Clifton and Maria Davila. Returning standout include junior Jana Miclat, senior Mia Lam and sophomore Paola Rivas, as well as Yngson’s older sister Melanie.
Rivas is the defending league champion in the 200 freestyle while Miclat is the defending league champion in the 100 backstroke.
The Titans captured first-place finishes in every swimming event in both genders in their dual meet sweep against Hilltop.
Double event individual winners for Eastlake included Madero (200 freestyle and 100 freestyle), Alex Lopez (100 butterfly and 500 freestyle) and Yam (50 freestyle and 100 backstroke) on the boys side and Miclat (100 freestyle and 100 backstroke) and Angelika Yngson (200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke) on the girls side.
Hilltop swept the one-meter diving competition, with defending league champion Veronica Guzman totaling 175.60 points (girls) and Josh Fischer scoring 147.55 points (boys).
Prior to sweeping Bonita Vista, Otay Ranch swept Chula Vista in a non-league dual meet on April 15 by scores of 136-27 (boys) and 141-25 (girls). The Mustangs went 1-2-3 in every girls event and 1-2-3 in every boys event but one (where Otay Ranch went 1-2-4).
CIF qualifiers so far this season for the Mustangs include Ryan Gagarin (200 IM, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke), Irbin Torrez (100 butterfly, 200 freestyle), Bryan Thai (100 backstroke), Isabel Park (200 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly, Michelle Park (200 freestyle, 200 IM, 500 freestyle, 100 breaststroke), Angie Tapia (50 freestyle), Emma Cornwell (50 freestyle), Fernanda Arambula (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle) and Julie Parsons (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke).
Isabel Park is the defending league champion in both the 200 IM and 500 freestyle while Arambula is the defending league champion in the 100 breaststroke.
Otay Ranch is also the defending league champion in both the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays while Eastlake is the defending league champion in the 200 medley relay.
“The Eastlake boys have more depth than us this year,” veteran Otay Ranch coach Ernie Medina said. “Otay boys have three individuals who could challenge them — Ryan Gagarin in the 200 IM and 100 breast, Irbin Torrez, our butterflyer, and Bryan Thai in the backstroke. They have CIF times and may give then a run, but Eastlake is very good this season.”
Medina said he expected the girls score to be close if his team can hit its best times this season.
Dual Meet Results: Eastlake vs. Hilltop
April 24 at Southwestern College
Boys event winners: Eastlake — Norbert Madero (1:58.08, 200 freestyle), Jimmy Jeffery (2:12.67, 200 individual medley), Tristan Yam (23.43, 50 freestyle), Alex Lopez (58.66, 100 butterfly), Norbert Madero (51.25, 100 freestyle), Alex Lopez (5:28.20, 500 freestyle), Tristan Yam (1:00.01, 100 backstroke), John Randazzo (1:04.05, 100 breaststroke). Hilltop — Josh Fischer (147.55, diving). Relays: Eastlake — 200 medley (1:46.72), 200 freestyle (1:41.05), 400 freestyle (3:47.87).
Girls event winners: Eastlake — Angelika Yngson (2:07.58, 200 freestyle), Melanie Yngson (2:31.94, 200 IM), Mia Lam (26.57, 50 freestyle), Kyra Mena (1:04.12, 100 butterfly), Jana Miclat (57.93, 100 freestyle), Paola Rivas (5:56.83, 500 freestyle), Jana Miclat (1:05.75, 100 backstroke), Angelika Yngson (1:14.33, 100 breaststroke). Hilltop — Veronica Guzman (175.60, diving). Relays: Eastlake — 200 medley (2:03.45), 200 freestyle (1:54.14), 400 freestyle (4:08.87).
Update: Titans sweep Mustangs
Eastlake defeats Otay Ranch by scores of 101-82 (girls) and 120-63 (boys).