Titans top Lancers as swim season heads to possible early end


Eastlake’s Emily Lundgren doubled in winning the girls 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke in Tuesday’s meet. Photo by Phillip Brents

With the high school cross country season ending March 20, the high school swim and dive season is set to end April 24.

Whether there is a season-ending section championship meet is still up for debate, at least among swimmers, coaches and parents, after section commissioner Joe Heinz announced in a memo to principals and athletic directors on March 26 that the section had made the “difficult” decision to cancel the event.

“We have been holding out hope that the state’s guidance would be adjusted to accommodate larger-scaled competitions, yet based upon all the information available to us at this time, we do not see any adjustments being made that would enable us to host a section-wide championship event,” Heinz wrote in the memo. “We would like to thank our swim and dive student-athletes, coaches, conference presidents, schedulers and officials associations who worked with us in an extremely tight time span to adjust their schedules and seasons to provide this opportunity for student-athletes throughout our section.”

With San Diego County transitioning into the Orange Tier, there is hope among many that the section might reinstate the section finals. A recent meeting at the county level seemed to raise the slight possibility that such could happen.

In the meantime, the section’s April 24 end-of-season date will allow for league/conference championship meets.

Metro Conference coaches are hoping to put together such an event by the end of next week.

Eastlake High School head coach Steve Wiggs said it’s been difficult for his swimmers following the March 26 bombshell announcement.

“It’s been tough to keep the kids motivated, especially when the memo came out that CIF was canceled,” Wiggs said. “We have been working hard to make sure everyone is doing what they can to make the league finals happen. It’s been tough on the swimmers mentally knowing that the season could end sooner than expected. We just want to make it the best we can, especially for the seniors.”

Last year’s seniors didn’t get anything.

Eastlake’s Nate Bjornstad won the boys 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke in Tuesday’s meet against Hilltop. Photos by Phillip Brents

Eastlake and Hilltop put their undefeated Mesa League records on the line Tuesday at the Parkway pool. The host Lancers entered the high-profile dual meet with identical 4-0 gender records while the defending league champion Titans also were 4-0.

Eastlake enhanced its chances of finishing the season with a perfect slate after sweeping Hilltop by scores of 116-54 (girls) and 103-66 (boys) to improve to 5-0 in league competition.

Both teams were scheduled to conclude regular season competition on Thursday as Hilltop was slated to face Mar Vista and Eastlake was slated to face Bonita Vista at the Las Palmas pool in National City.

Cecilia Hagewood made her season debut for Eastlake a golden one on Tuesday with individual wins in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle (56.76) while swimming legs on the victorious 200 medley relay unit (2:00.39) and 400 freestyle relay team (3:51.72).

Eastlake’s Emily Lundgren gets a commanding start en route to winning the girls 100-yard backstroke. Photos by Phillip Brents

Hilltop’s Maggie Olin powers to a victory in the girls 100-yard butterfly. Photo by Phillip Brents

Emily Lundgren doubled in winning the 500 freestyle (5:15.29) and 100 backstroke (1:02.73) while Erin Gidley doubled in winning the 200 individual medley (2:27.85) and 100 breaststroke (1:18.31).

Lundgren and Gidley also were members of the winning medley and 4×100 freestyle relay teams to give them four event victories along with Hagewood.

Eastlake captured first-place finishes in eight of the 11 swimming events. Hilltop won three events — Vivien Nieto in the 200 freestyle (2:14.30), Maggie Olin in the 100 butterfly (1:10.03) and the 200 freestyle relay (1:57.92) with Makaylin MacIntyre, Monique Beaus, Mariagracia Zuniga and Nieto combining forces.

Eastlake captured first place finishes in seven of the 11 boys swimming events.

Nate Bjornstad and Zane Derrod both recorded individual doubles for the Titans.

Bjornstad timed 2:09.16 in the 200 IM and 1:01.11 in the 100 breaststroke.

Derrod timed 25-flat in the 50 freestyle and 54.39 in the 100 freestyle.

Eastlake’s Will Coziahr won the boys 500-yard freestyle by a margin of 35 seconds. Photo by Phillip Brents

Will Coziahr won the 500 freestyle in 5:16.57 over teammate Riley Anderson (5:51.09).

Eastlake also emerged victorious in the medley relay (1:55.83) and 4×100 freestyle relay (3:46.68).

Hilltop’s Nic Garces (2:00.11) captured a dramatic win over Coziahr (2:00.58) in the 200 freestyle. Garces came back to post a sizable win in the 100 butterfly in 58.19.

Nikos Kapetanios (1:11.26) recorded a win over teammate Jason Esquivel (1:16.78) in the 100 backstroke.

The Hilltop unit of Nic Garces, Kapetanios, Raul Rico and Aidan Garces combined to win the 4×50 freestyle relay in 1:43.21.

Hilltop’s Nikos Kapetanios uses a strong start to win the boys 100-yard backstroke. Photo by Phillip Brents
Hilltop’s Nic Garces appears to fly through the water like a butterfly in winning the boys 100-yard butterfly stroke in Tuesday’s meet against Eastlake. Photo by Phillip Brents

Despite coming out on the short end of the score, the Lancers proved a highly competitive opponent, with several swims during the day hotly contested.

“We are happy to be back,” Hilltop head coach Ernie Medina explained. “With COVID and so many restrictions, it has been difficult to get back to normal Hilltop Aquatics but we have been able to stay competitive and stay healthy.

“The objective this year is to stay healthy every meet. We’ve accomplished that.”


The Hilltop girls finished regular season competition with a 5-1 league record after slipping past Mar Vista, 120-57, on Thursday.

The Lady Lancers rocked the dual meet victory with eight first-place finishes, including diving.

Freshman Maggie Olin scored individual doubles in the 200 IM (2:42) and 100 butterfly (1:10) while team captain Vivien Nieto doubled in winning the 200 freestyle (2:18) and 500 freestyle (6:05).

M.G. Zuniga won the 50 freestyle in :28 while Hannah Zimmerman won the 100 backstroke in 1:18.

Hilltop also claimed victories in the 200 medley relay (2:19) and 200 freestyle relay (1:57).

Anne Dickson doubled in the 100 freestyle (1:01) and 100 breaststroke (1:28) for Mar Vista.

Mar Vista won the boys dual 100-78 to drop the Lancers to 4-2 on the season.

T.C. Spaulding and Ethan Hastings both recorded individual doubles while Bradford Dickson, Luke Wilson and Jake Osthimer all won one individual event.

Spaulding doubled in the 200 IM (2:08) and 100 butterfly (56.2) while Hastings doubled in the 100 freestyle (52.84) and 100 breaststroke (1:11).

Dickson timed 24.10 in the 50 freestyle while Osthimer timed 1:03 in the backstroke. Wilson timed 5:31 in the 500 freestyle.

Hilltop’s Nic Garces won the 200 freestyle in 2:01 while placing second in the 100 butterfly (57.89).

Wilson placed second in the 200 freestyle (2:02) while teammate Fletcher Field finished runner-up in the 100 freestyle (54.06).

Hilltop’s Nikos Kapetanios placed second in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke (1:09) while twin brother Petros finished second in the 100 breaststroke (1:17). Hilltop’s Evan Rodriguez placed runner-up in the 500 freestyle (6:02) while teammate Raul Rico was second in the 50 freestyle (25.08)

The Mariners won all three relays — 200 medley (1:51), 4×50 freestyle (1:42) and 4×100 freestyle (3:40).

In diving competition on Wednesday at the Las Palmas pool, Olympian’s Diego Mungia recorded the high score in the boys competition at 223.25 points, followed by Hilltop’s Dominic Metzig at 144.6 and points Southwest’s Gael Colmenero at 138.7 points.

San Ysidro’s Eva Reyes, a returning state place-finisher, mastered the girls card with 309.7 points, followed by Hilltop’s Bella Metzig at 159.8 points and Dani Ramirez at 126.95 points.


League Championship Meet Format:
Las Palmas pool, National City


Mesa League Swimming Championship – April 14, 2021

Session 1:

Hilltop; Mar Vista; Olympian

Warm up: 2:30 pm Start: 3:00 pm End: 5:00 pm
Session 2:

Bonita; Eastlake; Mater Dei; Otay

Warm up: 5:10 pm Start: 5:40 pm End: 8:20 pm


South Bay League Swimming Championship – April 15, 2021

Session 1:

Chula Vista; San Ysidro; Montgomery

Warm up: 2:30 pm Start: 3:00 pm End: 5:00 pm
Session 2:

Castle Park; Southwest; Sweetwater

Warm up: 5:10 pm Start: 5:40 pm End: 7:40 pm


A more detailed time line will be available once all entries are submitted


Diving Championship – April 13, 2021

Session 1:

All divers

Warm up: 8:00 pm Start: 8:30 pm End: 9:15 pm


Titans top Lancers as swim season heads to possible early end