Carpinteria sweeps Santa Paula; captain Erin Otsuki named Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Carpinteria’s swim team is already in mid-season form, with both the boys and girls sweeping Santa Paula in every varsity event in last week’s meet, and senior standout Erin Otsuki being honored by the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table as Carpinteria’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The Warriors hosted the Santa Paula Cardinals at Carpinteria Community Pool, and it was all Carpinteria as the boys took the team competition 137-16 and the girls took the team victory 112-47. Several Warriors earned CIF postseason consideration times, and at least eight Carpinteria swimmers came away as double-winners in the meet.

On the boys’ side, junior Jackson Melton took wins in the 100 butterfly and breaststroke, earning CIF Division 3 postseason consideration times in both races.

Eli Sheaffer took two individual wins in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle events, while sophomore Jacob Otsuki was a double-winner with first-place finishes in the 100 and 200 freestyle races.

Junior Matthew Endow set a personal best with a CIF-consideration time in the 100 backstroke, and it was all Warriors in the short-distance sprint, with Asher Smith narrowly beating teammates Jacob Taff and Chase Glasgow.

The girls team had five double-winners in the meet, with several personal records, CIF-confederation performances and at least two automatic CIF-qualifying finishes.

Malaya Morente dominated the short-distance sprints with wins in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events; Lilli Nemetz took home two wins and set two new personal records in the 200 and 500 freestyle, both CIF-consideration times; and sophomore Guilia Piccoletti was a double-winner, with two CIF-consideration times in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke events.

But senior Erin Otsuki might have had the best week of all the Warriors. The star swimmer earned automatic CIF Division 3 qualifying times in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke races and was named by the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table as Carpinteria’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Otsuki received the award during this week’s press luncheon, where she was celebrated for her outstanding work both in the pool and in the classroom, with a 3.93 GPA.

Despite getting a late start to her high school sports career – she was homeschooled until last year and spent most of her life “100 percent invested in dance,” according to her father, Carpinteria head coach Jon Otsuki – the standout senior has become a force in the pool for both the water polo and swim teams.

Over the past two years, Otsuki has held down the defensive end of the pool as the goalie for Carpinteria girls water polo’s back-to-back league championships. After finishing her first-ever water polo season as a junior, she was named the team’s most improved player and team captain for her senior season.

She’s also the captain of the swim team, where last year she went undefeated in all her individual races, set an All-Time school record in the 200-medley relay, competed at the CIF swim finals and was named the team MVP.

“Just for her to be nominated was an honor,” coach Otsuki said about Erin’s achievement. “She has accomplished so much in nearly three years of competitive swimming.”

Carpinteria is undefeated this season and will host the Malibu Sharks for a dual meet this week.

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