Senior recognition: 15 four-year Mustangs gallop to the forefront

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Otay Ranch High School's boys varsity team captured the 2021 San Diego Section Division I championship race. Courtesy photo

This past season, the Otay Ranch High School track and field team included an impressive total of 15 four-year seniors: Elicia Arredondo, Alison Balitaan, Alyssa Balitaan, Ruben Baza, Leila Fuerte, Daniel Kim, Lauren Medina, Ethan Morales, Sam Nguyen, Austin Parise, Hayley Pires, Ryan Rodriguez, Ruben Trevino, Diego Vizcarra and Aydan Wohlford.

As a group during their four-year stretch, the Mustangs collected a varsity boys dual meet record of 31-2, varsity girls dual meet record of 26-7, junior varsity boys dual meet record of 31-1 and JV girls dual meet record of 27-5.

That adds up to a cumulative 115-15 dual meet record that few teams in the Metro Conference, much less the San Diego Section, could better.
Otay Ranch won a total of seven league championships — five on the boys side and two on the girls side, and one section championship.

The talented group left its legacy on the cross country course and track and field oval as these runners navigate into the next phase of their lives.

It was an exciting past just as it promises to be an exciting future.

Aydan Wohlford
A four-year varsity athlete in cross country, Wohlford will be attending Biola University.
He finished his high school career as a three-time cross country league champion, two-time track and field league champion and 2021 Division I San Diego Section cross country champion. He earned first-team all-league recognition three times and served as a team captain.

He is the course record-holder in the two-mile (10:22) and three-mile (15:27), was the No. 7 finisher at the CIF finals, first on the team.

He received the San Diego Section/Metropolitan Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year awards for fall sports. “Aydan was the stability this team needed, throughout the pandemic, his kindness and leadership kept our team going,” Otay Ranch coach Julian Valdez said.

 

Ruben Baza
A three-year varsity athlete in cross country and four years in track, Baza will be attending San Diego State University.

Baza departs Otay Ranch as a three-time cross country league champion, two-time league track champion and 2021 Division I CIF cross country champion. He earned recognition as a first team all-league runner once and twice as a second teamer.

His personal records included 4:35.71 in the 1,600 meters, 9:45.82 in the 3,200 meters and 16:25.0 in the 5K distance. He was the No. 16 finisher at the CIF finals, No. 5 on the team.

“Ruben is a legacy of the Otay Ranch distance family,” Valdez said. “However, his quiet leadership and steady and consistent growth allowed him to make a name for himself and create a product he could be proud of.”

 

Austin Parise
A three-year varsity athlete in cross country, two years in track, Parise will be attending San Diego State University.

He leaves the Mustangs as a two-time cross country league champion, track and field league champion and 2021 Division I cross country champion. He served as a team captain with personal record times to his credit of 2:07.6 in the 800 meters, 4:52.28 in the 1,600 meters and 17:47.4 in the 5K.

“Austin was our leader,” Valdez said. “He always knew when it was time to be serious or when laughs could be afforded. He played a critical role in the success of the program at the CIF finals, and was ready to compete at the drop of a hat. My third Parise runner, and like his older brothers, a leader.”

 

Diego Vizcarra
A three-year varsity athlete in cross country and three years in track, Vizcarra will be attending UC-Santa Cruz.

He leaves Otay Ranch as a two-time league cross country champion, track and field league champion and a member of the 2021 Division 1 CIF cross country championship team.

The first team all-league runner posted personal record times of 4:41.68 in the 1,600 meters, 9:57.34 in the 3,200 meters and16:29.8 in the 5K. He was the No. 12 finisher at the CIF finals, No. 3 on the team.

“Diego always fought,” Valdez said. “His sophomore year he suffered a stress fracture, and showed grit. He biked every day and consistently worked on staying in shape. He came back and finished third overall at JV Finals. He also helped us move to the front of the line at Disneyland for our team travel trip.”

 

Daniel Kim
A three-year varsity athlete in cross country and two years in track, Kim will be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point.

He ended his time as a Mustang as a two-time league cross country champion, track and field league champion and a member of the 2021 Division I CIF cross country championship team. A second team all-league selection, he served as a team captain.

His personal record times include 4:49.26 in the 1,600, 10:26.71 in the 3,200 and 16:45.7 in the 5K. He was part of seven competing on the team at the CIF finals.

“Daniel battled throughout the year, being the definition of balance,” Valdez said. “He consistently improved throughout the year and kept his teammates focused on the end-of-season goals.”

 

Ethan Morales
A one-year varsity athlete in cross country and track, Ethan Morales is still finalizing his university decision.

He was a varsity league champion in cross country and a member of the Mustangs’ 2021 Division I CIF championship team. His personal best times include 2:10.37 in the 800 meters, 4:49.54 in the 1,600 meters and 17:43.6 for 5K.

“Throughout his high school career, Ethan continued to show growth in his confidence,” Valdez said. “He always came through when adversity struck, and was always there to push his teammates to be the best they could be.”

 

Leila Fuerte
A four-year varsity athlete in cross country and three years in track, Fuerte will be attending Cal Poly Pomona.

A track and field champion, first team all-league and two-times second team all-league performer, her personal records include 5:38.36 in the 1,600 meters and 11:50.26 in the 3,200 meters. She is the course record-holder in the two-mile (12:45) and three-mile (18:26) distances.

“Leila’s 3,200 race in our Eastlake dual meet kept the door open for the girls to win their first championship in nearly a decade,” Valdez said. “She knew there was pressure, and she executed. Leila is a champion.”

 

Lauren Medina
A three-year varsity athlete in cross country and three years in track, Medina will be attending UC-San Diego.

While at Otay Ranch, she won a league track and field championship while earning first team all-league recognition once and second team all-league recognition twice. She also served as a team captain.

Her personal record times include 2:39.08 in the 800 meters, 5:45.20 in the 1,600 meters and 12:27.93 in the 3,200 meters.

“Lauren was tough, tenacious, and someone I could rely on,” Valdez said. :She was afraid of no one or challenge. While at the same time one of the most caring and genuine athletes I have ever met.”

 

Elicia Arredondo
A four-year varsity athlete in cross country and four years in track Arredondo will be attending Monterrey Peninsula College.

A track and field champion, she earned accolades as a first team all-league performer and twice as a second team all-league performer. She also served as a team captain.

Her top times include 800 – 2:28.86 in the 800 meters, 5:38.37 in the 1,600 meters and 12:36.01 in the 3,200 meters.

“Elicia has been the spark plug of the team these past four years, from her first race to her last,” Valdez said. “She was a vocal and confident leader. She always had a positive disposition and made my job fun.”

 

Alyssa Balitaan
A two-year varsity athlete in cross country and two years in track, Balitaan will be attending UC-San Diego.

A track and field champion and team captain, her top times included 1:06.26 in the 400 dash and 2:31.56 in the 800 run.

“Transitioning from sprints as a freshman, Alyssa worked extremely hard throughout her career to become an accomplished middle-distance runner and cross country athlete,” Valdez said.

 

Alison Balitaan
A one-year varsity athlete in both cross country and track and field, Balitaan will be attending UC-San Diego.

A track and field champion, she served as a team captain. Top times include 1:12.52 in the 400 dash and 2:39.11 in the 800 run.

“Alison built a name for herself this track season winning two thirds of her races outright,” Valdez said. “She always left it all on the course and track and was an example for her teammates on what it meant to challenge oneself.”

 

Next Step Beyond

Aydan Wohlford: Biola University
Ruben Baza: SDSU
Diego Vizcarra: UC-Santa Cruz
Daniel Kim: U.S. Military Academy at West Point
Leila Fuerte: Cal Poly Pomona
Austin Parise: SDSU
Elicia Arredondo: Monterrey Peninsula College
Lauren Medina: UC-San Diego
Alyssa Balitaan: UC-San Diego
Alison Balitaan: UC-San Diego

 

 

METRO CONFERENCE SPRING SPORTS HONOR ROLL

Boys Lacrosse

Mesa League
First Team
Samuel Archer (Eastlake) 12
Nathaniel Trinidad (Eastlake) 12
Donovan Perry (Eastlake) 12
Jacob Pablo (Otay Ranch) 11
Joshua Vincente (Mater Dei Catholic) 11
Joshua Loredo (Hilltop) 12
Ulises Lopez (Hilltop) 12
Cacen Ada-Tannehill (Bonita Vista) 10
Leonardo Zepeda (Bonita Vista) 12
Bryce Wegner (Mar Vista) 11
Andrew Leibold (Olympian) 12

Second Team
Aaden Jocson (Eastlake) 9
Han Duong (Eastlake) 12
Robert Lizarraga (Mar Vista) 10
Francisco Cardenas-Beltran (Mater Dei Catholic) 11
David Figueroa (Hilltop) 12
Damien Nunes (Bonita Vista) 9
Adryen Locke (Bonita Vista) 11
Dante Herrero (Bonita Vista) 11
Christopher Beltran (Otay Ranch) 11
Tyler Duke (Olympian) 12
Ethan Mallon (Olympian) 10

Player of the Year
Samuel Archer (Eastlake)

Championship Team
Eastlake High School

 

Girls Lacrosse

Mesa League
First Team
Eden Hobson (Eastlake) 10
Emma Plsencia (Eastlake) 12
Abigail Schmitz (Eastlake) 12
Madeyln Getty (Eastlake) 10
Grace Beatty (Olympian) 11
Isabella Managabanag (Olympian) 12
Kai Lawson (Olympian) 12
Alex Scott (Bonita Vista) 12
Grace Benitez (Bonita Vista) 12
Alexis Torres (Hilltop) 12
Vienna Waters (Hilltop) 12
Caroline Kettlehake (Otay Ranch) 12

Second Team
Natalie Joy Garcia (Eastlake) 11
Aliya Almirol (Eastlake) 11
Kristen Hlko (Eastlake) 11
Valerie Victoria (Olympian) 12
Mikayla McKenzie (Olympian) 10
Jada Alyssa Lustina (Olympian) 11
Julieta Chavez (Bonita Vista) 12
Emma Kerr (Bonita Vista) 12
Marissa Gamboa (Hilltop) 12
Yoleni Macias (Hilltop) 12
Clyda Tablatin (Otay Ranch) 12
Camryn Anderson (Otay Ranch) 12

Player of the Year
Eden Hobson (Eastlake)

Championship Team
Eastlake High School

 

South Bay League
First Team
Janesa Orta (Mater Dei Catholic) 11
Isabella Stevens (Mater Dei Catholic) 11
Isabella Sevilla (Mater Dei Catholic) 12
Miriam Vazquez (Mater Dei Catholic) 11
Melissa Marentes (Mar Vista) 12
Sydne Pacheco (Mar Vista) 10
Emily Rodriguez (Mar Vista) 12
Izabela Soderberg (San Ysidro) 10
Genesis Cota Luna (San Ysidro) 11
Erika Rubio (Castle Park) 12
Princess Tacia (Castle Park) 10
Violet Uribe (Montgomery) 10

Second Team
Kaylee Muckerman (Mater Dei Catholic) 11
Frankie Haley (Mater Dei Catholic) 9
Leila Navarro (Mar Vista) 11
Karissa Bojorquez (Mar Vista) 9
Vanessa Fonseca (San Ysidro) 12
Alexa Lopez (San Ysidro) 12
Natalee Ortiz (Castle Park) 12
Victoria Trujillo (Castle Park) 9
Elena Castellanos (Montgomery) 11
Paola Camacho (Montgomery) 10
Mia Casillas (Southwest) 10
Jennifer Baxa (Southwest) 11

Player of the Year
Isabela Soderberg (San Ysidro)

Championship Team
Mater Dei Catholic High School

 

Boys Volleyball

South Bay League
First Team
Ethan Hastings (Mar Vista) 12
Hunter Thomas (Mar Vista) 12
Nathan Ramos (Mr Vista) 11
Aaron Montiel (Hilltop) 12
Rafael Torres (Hilltop) 11
Roman Manigbas (Sweetwater) 11
Jimmy Gomez (Montgomery) 12
Julian Cruz (Montgomery) 11
Tito Trejo (San Ysidro) 12
Nick Ortega (Southwest) 12

Second Team
Gabe Anaya (Mar Vista) 11
Mauricio Barquin (Mar Vista) 11
Enrique Bañuelos (Hilltop) 11
Jesse Espinoza (Sweetwater) 11
Nick Jenkins (Sweetwater) 12
Mike Moore (Montgomery) 10
Ian Garcia (Mater Dei Catholic) 10
Aaron Wood (Mater Dei Catholic) 9
Angel DeLeon (Southwest) 10
Carlos Lacara (San Ysidro) 12

Player of the Year
Ethan Hastings (Mar Vista)

Championship Team
Mar Vista High School

 

Baseball

Metro-Pacific League
First Team
Jesse Morales (San Ysidro) 12
Ryland Humphrey (Castle Park) 12
Rafael Navarro (San Ysidro) 12
Andres Johnson (San Ysidro) 11
Arman Robles (San Ysidro) 9
Isaak Tovar (Sweetwater) 10
Emilio Hernandez (Castle Park) 12
Guillermo Romero (Chula Vista) 10
Alberto Iribe (Sweetwater) 12
Aaron Gallarso (Sweetwater) 12

Second Team
Rodrigo Gomez (Castle Park) 12
Eddy Montoya (San Ysidro) 10
Bryan Ortiz (San Ysidro) 12
Ruben Meza (Chula Vista) 11
Jose Reynoso (San Ysirdo) 12
Jacob Barajas (Chula Vista) 12
Jose Crespo (Castle Park) 12
Oswaldo Iribe (Chula Vista) 11
Axel Reyes (San Ysidro) 9
John Svehla (Sweetwater) 12

Player of the Year
Ryland Humphrey (Castle Park)

Pitcher of the Year
Jesse Morales (San Ysidro)

Championship Team
San Ysidro High School

 

 

Senior recognition: 15 four-year Mustangs gallop to the forefront