Swimming and Diving: LA girls finish 2nd at state

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE — Los Alamos’ swimmers entered the Albuquerque Academy Natatorium carrying a 4-foot diameter smiley face.Following the New Mexico state championship meet, one could scarcely find a Hilltopper not wearing that same grin.The Hilltopper girls took second place at the state title meet Saturday, picking up 248.5 points behind only La Cueva’s big 312 points. The ‘Topper girls, meanwhile, deadlocked with Farmington for seventh place Saturday, earning 136 points. As expected, Academy cruised to a lopsided win with 406 points, nearly double the total of Sandia Prep in second place.Senior Kara Leasure wrapped up her prep career with a state in the 200-yard individual medley and state runner-up slot in the 500-yard freestyle.Leasure came back from a nearly three-second deficit — an eternity in swimming — at the halfway point, but overtook Rio Rancho’s Alex Fenton to claim the individual title. The senior turned in a time of 2:15.15.The spread was so big even Leasure thought Leasure wouldn’t be able to get back into the race.“My first thought that came to mind when I was transitioning from backstroke to breaststroke was ‘there’s no way I’m going to catch her.’ She was at least a body length ahead of me.”After the butterfly leg, Fenton held a quarter-second lead over Leasure.

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