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Swimming and diving: Girls win big at Farmington meet

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By Mike Cote

The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls swimming team earned its most lopsided victory of the season Saturday, blasting the competition at the Farmington Invitational.With 34 swimmers taking part in the event, the Hilltoppers dismantled the field, earning a nearly triple-digit victory. The ‘Topper girls finished with 182 team points, while their next-closest competition, Durango, Colo., finished with 84.Los Alamos got some big swims Saturday, with Kara Leasure winning a pair of events and Vanessa Chavez taking first in the 100-yard freestyle, among other top finishes.Los Alamos’ boys, meanwhile, took third in team competition Saturday. They finished with 97 points, behind Sandia Prep’s 138 points and St. Michael’s 106.“The kids swam well,” Los Alamos head coach Bev Leasure said. “There were a lot of best times.”Lydia Wermer in the 100 backstroke, Alexandra Hamada and Chavez in the 200 individual medley and Lauren Castro in the 100 breaststroke all earned state qualifying marks Saturday, as did Colton Lake in the 100 butterfly.Leasure said Chavez’s IM was all the more impressive because she was swimming in lane 1 of a slow heat and was competing mostly against herself.Chavez also won the 100 freestyle with her first sub-60 second time of 59.77.Dylan Lake turned in a career-best time in the 200 freestyle for the boys, 1:58.78, finishing fourth in the event.A trio of Hilltopper boys, led by Colton Lake’s 23.50, took three of the top six places. Micah Putnam was third overall and Alexander Baker was sixth.In diving, Lisa Ann Hendricks won the girls competition. Lauren Bucklin, returning from back trouble that kept her sidelined last week, was fourth overall.The meet Saturday was the first of three events inside of a week for Los Alamos. It will be at Academy Wednesday.