A Carpinteria relay team -- from left, Asher Smith, Justin Main, Jacob Otsuki and Jackson Melton -- set new school records in the 4x50 spring relay and the 4x100 relay Saturday at the CIF-SS D3 Finals meet at the Riverside Aquatic Center. Credit: Submitted photo

Carpinteria boys and girls swimmers showed their Warrior spirit at the CIF D3 Finals in Riverside Saturday, and came away with four new school records among other accomplishments.

The girls team finished 9th out of 65 school competing, and the boys finished 6th out of 53 schools.

Leading the girls team was senior Erin Otsuki, who finished 4th in the 100 backstroke (58.98) and 5th in the 100 free (54.02). 

She was also instrumental in the 5th place finish in the 200 medley relay, where she teamed up with Giulia Piccoletti, Taylor Classen and Lilli Nemetz for a new Warriors school record.  Otsuki clocked in with the fastest backstroke split of all 18 finalist relay teams. 

The same quartet finished 7th in the 4×100 freestyle relay, where the splits  were Otsuki 53.5, Piccoletti 59.7, Classen 1.00.2 and Nemetz, who touched in with a 56.2 for a team season-best 3.49.1

Carpinteria relay swimmers, from left, Erin Otsuki, Giulia Piccoletti, Lilli Nemetz and Taylor Classen, set a school record in the200 medley rely in Riverside, and finished seventh in the 4×100 freestyle relay with a season-best 3.49.1. Credit: Submitted photo

Unlike the girls, the boys collected the majority of their points from finishes outside the championship final heat. But they made the best of their situation, rebounding from Thursday’s Prelims to effectively swim faster and move up from their seedings.  

The 4×50 sprint relay finished 2nd, and was barely out-touched by the boys’ overall team champions, Costa Mesa, 1.29.12 to the Warriors’ 1.29.15. 

“That was the race of the day with the narrowest of margin, electrifying the standing room only spectator crowd,” Carpinteria coach Jon Otsuki said.

The 4×50 team of Justin Main (22.19), Jackson Melton (22.61), Asher Smith (22.56) and Jacob Otsuki (21.79) crushed their record they set on Thursday’s Prelims by over a second.  

Although the 3rd seeded 4×100 relay finished 4th on the final event of the meet, they managed to break the school record set last year at the CIF meet by 1.25 seconds.  

That team had the same cast of characters as the 4×50. Their splits were: Main (49.22) Melton (48.70) Smith (51.05) and Otsuki (48.76). 

“It was the first time in Warrior history where the boys were able to qualify all three relays into the Saturday finals,” coach Otsuki said. Relays score double points. 

The medley relay team of Asher Smith, Jacob Taff, Matthew Endow and Jacob Otsuki  placed 16th.  

Smith took care of business of his own — after chasing the 100 backstroke school record for two years, he finally put his name in the record books finishing at 57.32, moving up two positions to 13th for team points.

Melton won the consolation heat of the 200 IM with a 2.01.74 for a 10th place finish — which would have placed him 5th overall if he had swum in the final heat — and 100 breaststroke with 1.01.43 for a 13th place finish.  Main also had two individual consolation heat swims, finishing 11th overall in the 50 free (22.27) and 15th in the 100 free (49.25).

“The boys and girls 2023 swim season concluded on a beautiful day full of fast swims and a lot of Warrior spirit,” coach Otsuki said.

“It is the reason coaches coach — to reap the benefits of having a great group of kids who show respect for one another, display sportsmanship, try their hardest everyday, and walk away with smiles on their faces knowing they did the best they could.

“It’s great to be a Warrior!”

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Dennis Moran, Noozhawk Correspondent

Noozhawk correspondent Dennis Moran can be reached at sports@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.