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Prep swimming and diving: LA girls place 4th at state meet, boys 8th

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By Jose Corral

The Los Alamos girls swimming team finished in fourth place at the state championships Saturday at the Albuquerque Academy Natatorium.

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After having some success in the preliminaries Friday, the Hilltoppers scored 205 team points in the finals and were led by the 200-yard medley relay team of Sara Shiina, Jillian Bennett, Jessica Moore and Kaitlin Bennett, which finished second and .15 seconds ahead of Albuquerque Academy.

Elizabeth Lockhart placed third in the 1-meter dive, while Sara Shiina gave Los Alamos a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly. Kaitlin Bennett was only one second behind the winning pace in the 50-yard freestyle, finishing in third behind La Cueva's Natalie Jones and Acdemy's Sara Vianco.

The 200-yard freestyle relay team placed fifth, while the 400-yard freestyle relay completed the meet and placed sixth.

Moore had an eighth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle.

The Hilltoppers finished 19 points behind third-place Eldorado.

As expected, Academy and La Cueva ran away with the top-two spots in the team standings. But it was the Chargers who outpaced the Bears 368-317 to win their first state title since 2012.

The Los Alamos boys swimming struggled to get swimmers in the finals.

The Hilltoppers got two relay teams and one swimmer to championship heats on Saturday.

Kaan Unal placed fourth in the 100-yard freestyle to Los Alamos' it best finish of the day. The 200-yard medley relay team of Alex Jaegers, Jake Hollis, Dylan Ma and Unal placed eighth, while the 400-yard freestyle relay team finished in sixth.

Los Alamos' 102 team points was enough for eighth place. Academy dominated and scored 325.5 team points to win its third straight state championship.