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Swimming and diving: LA teams top La Cueva to win

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls swimming and diving teams won both ends of Saturday’s quadrangular meet in Albuquerque.

The Hilltopper girls held off a big challenge from the La Cueva Bears Saturday at the Valley Quadrangular, winning by just two points, while the Hilltopper boys earned a solid victory over second-place La Cueva at the meet.

Friday, the Hilltopper girls diving team swept the top four spots in competition at Sandia High School.

Los Alamos’ girls scored 115 points at the event, just enough to hold off La Cueva, which finished as the state team runner-up last season. Los Alamos’ boys grabbed 111 points to La Cueva’s 83.

Valley and Highland also competed at the meet, finishing third and fourth in both the boys and girls competitions.

Hilltopper Alex Baker had another big day in helping the boys squad to a victory Saturday, picking up wins in two individual events and having a hand in both the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay victories.

Baker grabbed wins in both 200 individual medley (2:07.26) and in the 500 freestyle (5:17.56).

In all, the Hilltopper boys won seven events at the meet.

Los Alamos’ girls picked up five victories Saturday. Jennifer Barich-Mooday was a dual winner at Valley, earning wins in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly.

Barich-Mooday had a 2:18.34 in the 200 IM, topping teammate Victoria Maqueda, who finished second, by nearly 7 seconds. In the 100 butterfly, she finished with a time of 1:02.72. Barich-Mooday also swam a leg for the victorious 200 freestyle relay team.

Maqueda took first in the 500 freestyle (5:54.31), while Yulia Matlashova won the 100 backstroke (1:05.48), topping Los Alamos’ Natalia Moore (1:08.91), who finished second in that event.

Other top finishers for Los Alamos’ boys included Andy Zhao in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.41) and Yuta Suzuki in the 100 freestyle (52.81). Both those times just narrowly missed the state championship qualifying standards.

For the Hilltopper divers, Erin Dinehart won big at the event, which included the same four teams as did Saturday’s swimming competition. Dinehart finished with a score of 157.45, easily topping the rest of the field.

Immediately behind Dinehart was Kelsey Neal (127.55), followed by Amy Neal in third place (111.05) and Emily TenCate in fourth (110.50).