Diving: Hendricks, Bucklin qualify for state Friday

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By Mike Cote

The more lead time, the better.

A pair of Los Alamos Hilltopper divers qualified for the state championship meet in their first solo competition of the season Friday. Lisa Ann Hendricks and Lauren Bucklin both picked up qualifying scores at the Los Alamos Diving Open, held at the Larry R.

Walkup Aquatic Center.

Hendricks finished with a final score of 179.70, placing her fourth among the finalists Friday, while Bucklin finished right behind her in fifth place. Bucklin collected a total score of 154.55.

Hilltopper diving coach Keith Greene said he was impressed not only with his two qualifiers but with his team as a whole.

Los Alamos has 15 divers this season. In the 2007-08 season, there were three.

“They’re well ahead of schedule,” Greene said. “They get the nerves out in this meet and they did really well. I’m excited for them.”

By getting their state qualifying out of the way early, Hendricks, a senior, and Bucklin, a junior, can focus their energies on improvement.

Both Hendricks and Bucklin came up with big scores toward the end of the six-dive competition.

Bucklin scored a pair of 5s and a 5-1/2 with her forward somersault twist, her next-to-last dive, while Hendricks got 5-1/2s all around with her backward 1-1/2 somersault twist on her finale.

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