Hilltoppers have talent, depth on their 2007 squad

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By Mike Cote

There isn’t much of a hidden agenda around the Los Alamos Hilltopper swimming and diving team’s early season practices.High yardage and intensity for the purpose of building stamina is what it’s all about.Members of the boys and girls team for Los Alamos may not like it now, but ’Topper head coach Bev Leasure knows they’ll need all the stamina they can get as they shoot for state titles.Los Alamos started practice Nov. 5 and has been hitting the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center pool hard from the get-go in preparation for its season opener Saturday. The teams will take part in the Peter Barney Relays at Albuquerque Academy’s Natatorium.Leasure has plenty of reason to be optimistic, as more than a few of her swimmers are already at or near state qualifying times in several events. And the earlier those swimmers knock those out, the happier she’ll be.Plus, the numbers coming out this season are good, and will get even better as fall sports participants filter in.“Right now we’ve got a lot of depth,” she said. “We have more guys swimming right now than we’ve had in the last couple of years.”In 2006, the Hilltopper girls finished fourth place at the state meet, and the Hilltopper boys were eighth overall.Leasure, however, thinks both her teams are going to improve on those finishes in 2007.

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