Hilltop sophomore leads the way in Lancers’ 29-30 win over Eastlake


From left, Hilltop's Miguel Tisnado, Jimmy Byland and Antonio Quintana. Photo by Phillip Brents

The Hilltop High School cross country team, in particular sophomore Jimmy Byland, continues to excel through the 2019 season.

The Lancers, led by Byland’s first-place individual finish, defeated the Eastlake Titans in a Mesa League dual meet Oct. 4 at Eastlake Community Park to further send tremors throughout South County high school running circles.

Thanks to a 1-2-3 finish by Byland and teammates Antonio Quintana and Miguel Tisnado, Hilltop edged Eastlake by a score of 29-30 to win the boys varsity race.

“I just wanted to stay in front and make sure that no one passed me,” said Byland, who recorded the top time in the 5K race of 16:48.01. “It was amazing. We were really happy about it.”

Quintana, a senior, finished second in 16:52.33, followed by Tisnado, sophomore,  in third place in 16:53.55.

The three Lancers finished well ahead of Eastlake’s top scorer, junior Edgar Salazar, who finished fourth among individuals in 17:22.17.

The Titans grouped seven runners together in a 38-second spread. Eastlake’s five scorers finished within a 19-second spread but were outpaced by the three Hilltop front-runners.

Senior Saul Luna was the second scorer for the Titans in fifth place in 17:28.52, followed by junior Michael Patron in sixth place in 17:39.33, junior Justin Hoban in seventh place in 17:40.11, sophomore Anthony Martinez in eighth place in 17:41.11, junior Erick Rueda Toriz in ninth place in 17:47,76 and senior Gregory Martinez in 18:00.04.

Hilltop sophomore Noah Rosenberg finished 11th among the 17 individual runners in 18:01.91.

Byland has consistently been a front-runner since the start of the season. He recently finished second in his division at the prestigious Sundevil Invitational at San Diego’s Morley Field.

The Metro Conference finals are scheduled Nov. 15 at Rohr Park. Byland should leave his mark on the meet, though he remains somewhat modest about his goals.

“I just want to stay with the top runners, finish in the top five, maybe break 16:00,” he said.

Eastlake won the girls varsity race by a score of 15-50 and the boys junior varsity race by a 15-50 score.

Senior Patricia Miessner won the 2.3-mile girls varsity race in 15:01.59 to lead a pack of seven consecutive Lady Titans across the finish line.

Freshman Amanda Challburg finished second with a time of 15:18.43, followed by sophomores Melissa Mekitarian and Lake Merrifield in 15:40.08 and 15:45.33, respectively. Freshman Cameron Cruz finished fifth in 15:48.13.

Three sophomores rounded out Eastlake’s top seven: Natalie Borba (sixth, 15:48.80), Savannah Kipp (seventh, 16:01.56) and Nicole Byland (eighth, 16:10.57).

Hilltop sophomore Ana Zamitz finished ninth in 16:24.67 while freshman Ariana Lieras was 19th in 16:25.70.

Eastlake junior Cesar Segovia won the boys JV race in 18:21.85 while Eastlake freshman Tamara Cornejo won the girls JV race in 17:41.82.

Eastlake will host Bonita Vista in a key Mesa League dual meet on Friday, Oct. 11, and duel Otay Ranch on Oct. 18, also at Eastlake Community Park.

Hilltop continues its league dual meet season this Friday, Oct. 11, at Otay Ranch and will match up against Mater Dei Catholic on Oct. 18 at Rohr Park.

The 72nd annual Mt. SAC Invitational is scheduled Oct. 25-26.


Mesa League Dual Results

Boys Varsity Division

Oct. 4: Otay Ranch 15, Olympian 49
Note: Otay Ranch places top six runners: Colby Parise (17:01.74), Andre Sison (17:05.59), Grant Bice (17:13.51), Ruben Baza Carrillo (17:26.89), Johan Gijon (17:29.16), Dominic Garcia (17:36.40)

Boys JV: Otay Ranch 18, Olympian 44

Oct. 4: Bonita Vista 15, Mater Dei Catholic 50
Top 10 runners: 1. Noah Nafarrete (BV) 17:23; 2. Alberto Rosas (BV) 17:47; 3. Enrique Aranda (BV) 17:53; 4. Pierce Manson (BV) 17:59; 5. Abraham Zepeda (BV) 18:45; 6. Maxwell Anderson (BV) 19:00; 7. Omar Flores (BV) 19:10; 8. William Dunphy (MDC) 19:14; 9. Hector Gastelum (MDC) 19:34; 10. Daniel Barragan (MDC) 19:38

Boys JV: Bonita Vista 15, Mater Dei Catholic 48

Oct. 11: Otay Ranch 28, Hilltop 31
Top 10 runners: 1. Miguel Tisnado (H) 16:48.04; 2. Grant Bice (OR) 16:48.48; 3. Antonio Quintana (H) 16:51.04; 4. Jimmy Byland (H) 16:54.84; 5. Dominic Garcia (OR) 16:56.66; 6. Aydan Wohlford (OR) 17:07.54; 7. Colby Paraise (OR) 17:21.16; 8. Ruben Baza Carrillo (OR) 17:22.34; 9. Andre Sison (OR) 17:25.68; 10. Johan Gijon (OR) 17:28.88

Notable: Hilltop place three of the top four runners but host Otay Ranch followed with the next nine place-finishers to edge the Lancers on the scoreboard.

Boys JV: Otay Ranch 15, Hilltop 50

Oct. 11: Eastlake 28, Bonita Vista 28
Top 10 runners: 1. Edgar Salazar (EL) 17:03.67; 2. Noah Nagarrete (BV) 17:10.00; 3. Enrique Aranda (BV) 17:18.36; 4. Justin Hoban (EL) 17:21.89; 5. Abraham Zepeda (BV) 17:24.16; 6. Saul Luna (EL) 17:24.80; 7. Tony Campos (BV) 17:26.53; 8. Michael Patron (EL) 17:27.43; 9. Anthony Martinez (EL) 17:28.19; 10. Erick Rueda Toriz (EL) 17:44.58

Boys JV: Eastlake 21, Bonita Vista 40

Oct. 18: Hilltop 15, Mater Dei Catholic 40
Top 10 runners: 1. Miguel Tisnado (H) 16:33; 2. Jimmy Byland (H) 16:36; 3. Antonio Quintana (H) 17:24; 4. Noah Rosenberg (H) 17:52; 5. Eddie Castandeda (H) 18:05; 6. David Schodowski (MDC) 18:28; 7. William Dunphy (MDC) 18:56; 8. Dereck Diep (MDC) 19:29; 9. Leon McClain (H) 19:30; 10. Hector Gastelum (MDC) 19:31

Boys JV: Hilltop 22, Mater Dei Catholic 37

Oct. 18: Otay Ranch 17, Eastlake 46
Top 10 runners: 1. Colby Paraise (OR) 16:23.01; 2. Grant Bice (OR) 16:37.42; 3. Dominic Garcia (OR) 16:39.09; 4. Edgar Salazar (EL) 16:42.86; 5. Aydan Wohlford (OR) 16:47.47; 6. Ruben Baza Carrillo (OR) 16:47.94; 7. Andre Sison (OR) 16:57.63; 8. Johan Gijon (OR) 17:00.21; 9. Michael Patron (EL) 17:00.59; 10. Anthony Martinez (EL) 17:01.33

Boys JV: Otay Ranch 22, Eastlake 37


Girls Varsity Division

Oct. 4: Otay Ranch 25, Olympian 31
Top 10 runners: 1. KcKenzie Kelly (Otay Ranch) 15:52.30, 2. Autumn Filson (Otay Ranch) 15:54.53, 3. Rosanna Javier (Olympian) 16:18.01, 4. Virginia Javier (Olympian) 16:57.21. 5. Lauren Medina (Otay Ranch) 17:06.04, 6. Victoria Ames (Olympian) 17:14.72, 7. Hailey Watson (Olympian) 17:21.79, 8. Cristina Carrillo (Otay Ranch) 17:37.00, 9. Salma Franke (Otay Ranch) 17:59.80), 10. Sara Williams (Otay Ranch) 18:06.33

Girls JV: Otay Ranch 22, Olympian 34

Oct. 4: Bonita Vista 19, Mater Dei Catholic 42
Top 10 runners: 1. Lauren Salt (BV) 16:47; 2. Sequoia Kriss (BV) 16:51; 3. Christine Carey (MDC) 17:11; 4. Andrea Garcia (BV) 17:38; 5. Savanna Sierra (BV) 17:32; 6. Amalia Koch (MDC) 18:35; 7. Diandra Jara (BV) 19:00; 8. Rei Fulinara (BV) 19:04; 9. Maritza Cuevas (BV) 19:07; 10. Mary Margaret Chiappe (MDC) 20:44

Oct. 11: Otay Ranch 18, Hilltop 43
Top 10 runners: 1. Autumn Filson (OR) 16:19.64; 2. KcKenzie Kelly (OR) 16:21.50; 3. Nicole Byland (H) 17:04.40; 4. Salma Franke (OR) 17:14.74; 5. Elicia Arredondo (OR) 17:26.30; 6. Lauren Medina (OR) 17:27.08; 7. Ariana Lieras (H) 17:37.09; 8. Ysamine Balvaneda (OR) 17:50.68; 9. Cristina Varrilloo (OR) 17:53.96; 10. Sara Williams (OR) 17:55.74

Oct. 18: Hilltop 22, Mater Dei Catholic 39
Top 10 runners: 1. Christine Carey (MDC) 17:37; 2. Ariana Lieras (H) 17:43; 3. Nicole Byland (H) 17:52; 4. Ana Zamitz (H) 18:07; 5. Amalia Koch (MDC) 18:18; 6. Tamara Cornejo (H) 19:09; 7. Valeria Ceballos (H) 19:27; 8. Paola Suarez (H) 19:43; 9. Elenee Partida (H) 20:15; 10. Amara Rodriguez (MDC) 20:43

Oct. 11: Eastlake 15, Bonita Vista 47
Top 10 runners: 1. Amanda Challburg (EL) 14:47.82; 2. Patricia Miessner (EL) 15:25.31; 3. Melissa Mekitarian (EL) 15:32.17; 4. Lake Merrifield (EL) 15:33.63; 5. Natalie Borba (EL) 15:47.56; 6. Savannah Kipp (EL) 15:47.95; 7. Andrea Garcia (BV) 15:51.52; 8. Sequoia Kriss (BV) 15:53.51; 9. Maritza Cuevas (BV) 16:34.87; 10. Katherine Robinson (EL) 16:58.09

Girls JV: Eastlake 15, Bonita Vista 50

Oct. 18: Eastlake 20, Otay Ranch 41
Top 10 runners: 1. McKenzie Kelly (OR) 14:17.11; 2. Amanda Challburg (EL) 14:36.01; 3. Lake Merrifield (EL) 15:02.67; 4. Melissa Mekitarian (EL) 15:07.59; 5. Patricia Miessner (EL) 15:08.03; 6. Savannah Kipp (EL) 15:22.73; 7. Autumn Filson (OR) 15:23.21; 8. Vanessa Wimbish (EL) 15:33.68; 9. Natalie Borba (EL) 15:37.39; 10. Cameron Cruz (EL) 15:40.39

Girls JV: Eastlake 25, Otay Ranch 30



Hilltop improved to 4-1 in league play following Friday’s key 3-0 win over visiting Otay Ranch. Photo by Phillip Brents

Metro girls field hockey banner chase remains up for grabs

The Metro Conference girls field hockey season has taken a few twists and turns over the past week, resulting in four teams with just one loss as the opening round of league play heads toward completion.

Eastlake was undefeated until Otay Ranch captured a 2-1 double overtime decision on Oct. 9.

Bonita Vista was undefeated until dropping a 1-0 decision to Hilltop on Oct. 9.

Otay Ranch was undefeated until dropping a 3-0 decision at Hilltop on Friday (Oct. 11).

Hilltop lost, 1-0, at Eastlake on Sept. 17.

However, not all the teams have played the same number of games to date, so the leaderboard – for now, at least – is determined by winning percentage.

Eastlake (8-7-2 overall) is 5-1 in league play following wins over Olympian (5-0 on Sept. 18 and 6-0 on Friday), Castle Park (7-1 on Sept. 25), Chula Vista (8-0 on Oct. 9) and Hilltop.

Hilltop (6-6-1 overall) is 4-1 in league play following wins over Olympian (6-0 on Sept. 16), Chula Vista (5-0 on Sept. 27), Castle Park (4-0 on Oct. 4) and Otay Ranch.

Otay Ranch (7-6-1 overall) is 4-1 in league play following wins over Olympian (2-1 on Oct. 2), Chula Vista (7-0 on Oct. 4), Castle Park (4-0 on Oct. 9) and Eastlake.

Bonita Vista (7-5 overall) is 3-1 in league play following wins over Chula Vista (7-0 on Sept. 18 and 8-0 on Friday) and Castle Park (7-0 on Sept. 20).

League play continues through Nov. 1.

Seven teams are playing in one league this season.

Play remained spirited down to the final whistle in Friday’s game between Hilltop and Otay Ranch. Photo by Phillip Brents

“The schedule changed when we had a team drop out,” Hilltop coach Janine Dare explained. “Now everyone is playing in one big South Bay league compared to two leagues (as last year). We play everyone this year.”

Friday’s win was admittedly a big one for Hilltop’s championship fortunes as the team readies to open the second round of league play. Hilltop hosts Eastlake on Oct. 21 and play at Otay Ranch on Oct. 22.

“The pressure’s on,” Dare said. “The girls play better when the pressure is on, with what’s at stake. The girls play as a unit and support each other.”

Hilltop certainly received a lot of support in Friday’s win over previously league-unbeaten Otay Ranch. Karisma Contreras, Diana Gutierrez and Kassandra Loredo all scored goals while Arianna Bergado recorded two assists.

Neither team scored in the second half as the hosts successfully defended their 3-0 halftime lead.

“The girls played with confidence, played as a team,” Dare said. “They put a lot of pressure on the other team. They knew what to do to play their tempo.”

Contreras scored the game-winner on Wednesday against Bonita Vista.

Otay Ranch coach Ashley Keeline, a Hilltop graduate, called the win over defending league champion Eastlake “huge.”

The teams finished regulation play tied 1-1 and were tied 2-2 in the ensuing shootout phase. Kylee Rivera then notched the sudden-victory goal for host Otay Ranch in the tiebreaker.

Sabrina Oostburg scored Otay Ranch’s regulation goal.

“The last two years they’ve beaten us at least by five goals or more,” Keeline said in reference to the win over neighborhood rival Eastlake.

Keeline called Friday’s loss a “wake-up call” for her team.

“We have to win the mental battles, keep up the intensity with composure,” she said of the path ahead of her team as the league schedule winds down.

There are unquestionably some very big games ahead for all four teams in this year’s championship banner chase.

Otay Ranch plays at Eastlake on Oct. 16 before hosting Hilltop on Oct. 22.

Hilltop plays at Bonita Vista on Nov. 1 to end regular season play.

“It’s going to come down to the wire,” Dare predicted.

“It’s still anyone’s to win,” Keeline noted in agreemengt. “The championship will go to the team that wants it the most.”


Photos by Phillip Brents