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Swimming and diving: LA girls win big at home Saturday

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By Mike Cote

During the holidays, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls swim teams had a little bit of time off.

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That time off, however, was completely by happenstance. The pool was closed for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Despite being without a competitive meet for three weeks and despite a grueling workout scheduled in between, both teams had productive showings at Saturday’s Los Alamos Invitational.

The Hilltopper boys swimming and diving finished second behind Sandia in Saturday’s meet, held at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center, while the Hilltopper girls won their event. Los Alamos’ girls finished with 544 total points, more than 100 better than Sandia. The Sandia boys scored 502 points to Los Alamos’ 456.

Los Alamos’ teams had not been in a meet since the Valley Invitational Dec. 19. Between that meet and Saturday, however, they stayed plenty busy.

“Physically, some of us are kind of wearing down after Christmas week, which we’ve dubbed ‘Hell Week,’” said Hilltopper senior Alex Baker. “It reaches a point where it starts to take a toll, so you need to get used to it.”

Typically during Los Alamos High School’s winter break, the swim teams amp up their yardage during most afternoon workouts, taking advantage of the time in between competitions to get conditioning work in.

While a lot gets accomplished, it’s not a lot of fun for the competitors. The volume of work showed in most of Los Alamos’ meet times Saturday, the majority of which were slower than usual.

Nevertheless, Los Alamos’ girls still won 10 of their 11 events Saturday, including all three relays, to earn their sizeable victory.

Jennifer Barich-Mooday, Natalia Moore and Maggie Schappell were all dual winners for the Hilltopper girls Saturday.

Barich-Mooday continued a solid start to her freshman year, scoring big victories in both the 200-yard freestyle (2:04.10) and 100-yard backstroke (1:06.60). Barich-Mooday won the 200 freestyle by almost 10 seconds over her nearest competition, that being teammate Alex Hamada.

Moore doubled-up taking both the 200 individual medley (2:22.43) and the 500 freestyle (5:50.61), scoring easy victories in both those events as well.

Schappell, meanwhile, took both the 50 and 100 freestyle victories. Her time in the 50 freestyle (26.49) qualified her for the state championship meet by .3 seconds, while her 100 freestyle time (57.69) beat the state cut time by a full second.

On the boys side, Baker one of the top returning seniors in the state, picked up a pair of wins, one in the 200 freestyle (1:54.96) and one in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.47).

The Hilltopper boys also won the 200 freestyle relay, which Baker led off, topping Highland’s team by nearly six seconds.

In the diving competition, Los Alamos’ Josh Wilcox, who only joined the team Monday, took a solid victory over Griffon Harper of Highland. Wilcox scored a 94.40 to pick up a win in his first outing.

In girls diving, Erin Dinehart punched her ticket to the state meet. Dinehart scored a 95.85 Saturday, finishing second behind Highland’s Annika Newell. Los Alamos’ Anna Pasi was third in the event and Judy Lee finished fourth.

Girls

Team scores

1. Los Alamos, 544; 2. Sandia, 441; 3. St. Pius X, 346; 4. Highland, 147; 5. Hope Christian, 112; 6. Del Norte, 102.

200 medley relay

1. Los Alamos A (Natalia Moore, Ashlynn Bennett, Yuliya Matlashova, Maria Musgrave), 2:03.90; 7. Los Alamos B (Kerry Song, Molly Finn, Sierra Veenis, Mirri Naud), 2:25:35.

200 freestyle

1. Jennifer Barich-Mooday, 2:04.10; 2. Alex Hamada, 2:13.55; 4. Monica Clodius, 2:17.74; 10. Sara Thurgood, 3:08.07.

200 individual medley

1. Natalia Moore, 2:22.43; 2. Ashlynn Bennett, 2:31.19; 3. Maria Musgrave, 2:31.58; 7. Sierra Veenis, 3:25.46.

50 freestyle

1. Maggie Schappell, 26.49; 2. Kerry Song, 27.51; 4. Molly Finn, 28.80.

1 meter diving

2. Erin Dinehart, 95.85; 3. Anna Pasi, 81.05; 4. Judy Lee, 75.55.

100 butterfly

1. Yuliya Matlashova, 1:09.11.

100 freestyle

1. Maggie Schappell, 57.69; 4. Molly Finn, 1:04.01; 14. Sara Thurgood, 1:21.96.

500 freestyle

1. Natalia Moore, 5:50.61; 2. Maria Musgrave, 6:00.36; 3. Alex Hamada, 6:11.12.

200 freestyle relay

1. Los Alamos A (Maria Musgrave, Ashlynn Bennett, Maggie Schappell, Molly Finn), 1:48.91; 8. Los Alamos B (Monica Clodius, Sierra Veenis, Mirri Naud, Sara Thurgood), 2:14.99.

100 backstroke

1. Jennifer Barich-Mooday, 1:06.60.

100 breaststroke

2. Ashlynn Bennett, 1:17.63; 10. Mirri Naud, 1:43.28.

400 freestyle relay

1. Los Alamos (Alex Hamada, Maggie Schappell, Jennifer Barich-Mooday, Natalia Moore), 3:55.92.

Boys

Team scores

1. Sandia, 502; 2. Los Alamos, 456; 3. Highland, 381; 4. St. Pius X, 379; 5. Del Norte, 165; 6. Hope Christian, 77.

200 medley relay

4. Los Alamos A (Chris Calhoun, Horace Zhang, Alex Baker, Min Chung), 1:56.66; 8. Los Alamos B (Eamonn Wilson, Connor Schultz, Rohun Iyer, Calvin McKinley), 2:25.02.

200 freestyle

2. Alex Baker, 1:54.96; 4. Andy Zhao, 2:07.52; 9. Horace Zhang, 2:13.40; 14. Calvin McKinley, 3:34.02.

200 individual medley

3. Chris Calhoun, 2:20.98; 7. Min Chung, 2:54.38.

50 freestyle

2. Misha Skurikhin, 23.59; 20. Eamonn Wilson, 27.71; 27. Rohun Iyer, 30.90.

1 meter diving

1. Josh Wilcox, 94.40.

100 butterfly

7. Richard Jia, 1:17.32; 9. Connor Schultz, 1:21.94.

100 freestyle

1. Misha Skurikhin, 52.44; 2. Yuta Suzuki, 53.83; 14. Min Chung, 1:08.80.

500 freestyle

7. Horace Zhang, 6:14.95; 9. Rohun Iyer, 7:26.43.

200 freestyle relay

1. Los Alamos A (Alex Baker, Andy Zhao, Yuta Suzuki, Misha Skurikhin), 1:36.67; 7. Los Alamos B (Lorenzo Venneri, Richard Jia, Min Chung, Connor Schultz), 1:57.82.

100 backstroke

2. Chris Calhoun, 1:03.22; 7. Eamonn Wilson, 1:14.44; 10 Richard Jia, 1:21.09.

100 breaststroke

1. Alex Baker, 1:07.47; 2. Andy Zhao, 1:09.82; 7. Yuta Suzuki, 1:14.21; 11. Connor Schultz, 1:33.37.

400 freestyle relay

2. Los Alamos A (Horace Zhang, Chris Calhoun, Yuta Suzuki, Misha Skurikhin), 3:35.55; 7. Los Alamos B (Rohun Iyer, Calvin McKinley, Eamonn Wilson, Andy Zhao), 4:40.51.