LA gears up for tough test at Academy

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By Mike Cote

As the state swim meet inches closer and closer, some members of the Los Alamos Hilltopper swimming and diving team are feeling it.One of the biggest reminders of the title meet’s closeness is this weekend. Los Alamos will compete at the Albuquerque Academy Invitational this weekend, which is held at the Natatorium on the Academy campus, the site of the state title meet.“I’m feeling a little bit of pressure,” Hilltopper senior Kara Leasure said. “I’m going to go out, do my best, try my hardest, and if it pays off at the end, good.”The Hilltoppers, as usual, are on the short list of state title contenders. At this stage of the season, the girls appear to be better off than the boys — the girls have 26 state cut times compared to the boys’ 14 — but there’s still plenty of swimming left to do.Although the competition at Academy is usually pretty fierce, with some of the top teams in the state expected to show this weekend, this could be a good week for both Hilltopper teams to make state qualifying times.The tough competition is one factor, as it tends to push swimmers to perform their best, but another big factor may be the Natatorium’s pool itself.“It’s actually very different,” swimmer Vanessa Chavez said.

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