Swimming and diving: LA girls win third straight meet

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By Mike Cote

The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls varsity swimming and diving team surprised itself a little bit by pulling out a win at the Griffin Invitational Saturday.

With an abbreviated lineup, with a good portion of the team competing in only one or two events, the Hilltopper girls still earned the top spot at the meet, held at the Genoveva Chavez Center in Santa Fe.

Los Alamos head coach Bev Leasure said it was kind of tough, not only because there were fewer entrants to work with Saturday but because the water temperature at the center was 82 degrees. Competition water temperature is usually much lower.

Beside that, Saturdays meet was the third in just a weeks time. Los Alamos took part at the two-day Farmington invitational last weekend, then at the Albuquerque Academy quadrangular Wednesday, but took first in all three events.

Were still tired, Leasure said. The kids did pretty well. I didnt actually expect to win.

Also on Saturday, Los Alamos boys finished sixth overall.

Natalia Moore had a big day for the Hilltopper girls, finishing third in the 50-yard freestyle, but more importantly earning a state qualifying time in the event. She finished her swim in 27.15.

Maria Musgrave, who finished directly behind Moore, picked up a time of 27.64, which puts her within reach of a qualifying time in the event.

Moore also swam a season-best time of 1:12.80 in the 100 breaststroke, taking first place in that event.

Kara Leasure and Sammi Kao finished one-two 100 butterfly, while Alisa Romero took fifth in the 200 individual medley.

The team of Musgrave, Vanessa Chavez, Lydia Wermer and Moore took second in the 400 freestyle relay and fourth in the 200 freestyle relay.

For the boys, Micah Putnam, Paco Venneri, Peter Song and Alex Baker turned in a season-best swim of 3:37.23 in the 400 freestyle relay. Individually, Baker took second in the 100 butterfly.

The boys were swimming particularly thin Saturday, missing two of their top swimmers, Dylan and Colton Lake, who were on family leave.

Leasure said some the boys are flirting with some state cut times and shes hopeful that they can pick up a few, especially in the sprint events, at Saturdays Los Alamos Open.

This week the Hilltoppers will start to taper off their regular workouts to prepare for Saturdays home meet be rested for the final push to pick up qualifying marks.

The Los Alamos Open will close out the regular season for Los Alamos.

Also on Saturday, the Hilltopper diver Lisa Ann Hendricks finished second in girls competition and Lauren Bucklin was fourth.