Swimming and diving: LA girls take quad

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By Mike Cote

In the midst of one of its toughest stretches of the season, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls swimming team pulled off a big win Wednesday.

Los Alamos earned 113.5 points to knock off the homestanding Albuquerque Academy Chargers at the Natatorium. Academy finished second in Wednesdays quad with 102 points.

Hilltopper senior Kara Leasure picked up two first-place finishes, in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle events to lead the Toppers to the win.

Los Alamos and Academy spar with each other more years than they dont for the state championship, and any win Los Alamos can grab over its top competitor is always a welcome one.

On the boys side, the Hilltoppers took fourth in the quad meet, picking up 30 points. Academys boys earned 143 points to win Wednesdays competition.

Los Alamos took a small contingent of boys with them to Wednedays meet, and was without two of its top swimmers, Dylan Lake and Colton Lake, who were out for personal reasons.

Alexander Baker had the best finish of the day for Los Alamos boys. Baker took second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 59.25. Uly Melchor of Cibola won the event in 57.60.

The Los Alamos boys 200 relay team also picked up a second-place finish Wednesday. The team of Micah Putnam, Paco Venneri, Baker and Chris Ventura swam a 1:42.74, nearly three seconds better than the third-place Academy B squad. Academy A won the event.

For the Hilltopper girls, Leasure easily outdistanced Academys Michelle Howell in the 500 freestyle, beating her by more than 26 seconds. In the 200 freestyle, Leasure held off her closest rival, teammate Sammi Kao, by .62 seconds. No other swimmer finished within four and a half seconds of either swimmer.

Also on Wednesday, Lydia Wermer took top honors in the 200 individual medley, winning in a time of 2:20.97, while Alisa Romero finished the 100 backstroke in 1:05.96, taking that event by nearly a second over Sandias Andrea Byers.

In Wendesdays diving competition, Lisa Ann Hendricks and Lauren Bucklin finished second and third.