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Swimming: LA girls win at quad Saturday

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper swimming teams put together a good showing heading into winter vacation.

Saturday, the Hilltopper girls took first place at the Albuquerque Winter Break meet, hosted by West Mesa High School, while the Hilltopper boys finished second.

Los Alamos’ boys finished with 150 points, placing them just behind Albuquerque, which had 167 points. Los Alamos’ girls, meanwhile, finished with 168 points to pick up their second win in three events this season.

Hilltopper co-head coach Rusty Bernstein said he was impressed with the performances from both teams, especially with the stress the holiday season brings.

“The kids were a little tired, especially on the mental side from their finals,” Bernstein said, noting that it probably didn’t help them much that they had to leave at 5:30 Saturday morning.

Los Alamos will now have 12 days before it hosts a quadrangular meet. Many swimmers will be on travel during that time.

Individually, Los Alamos picked up 13 new state qualifying marks Saturday. While a few made the cut in familiar events, about half of Los Alamos’ contingent were in off-events.

A pair of swimmers, Grace Liu and Misha Skurikhin, made their first career state qualifying marks at the meet.

Liu, a sophomore, picked up her career-best time of 26.92 in the 50-yard freestyle to make her first state cut time. Although Bernstein said Liu is an excellent natural athlete, even he was a little surprised with Liu’s outing.

“We figured Grace would probably qualify sometime by the end of the season,” he said. “It’s maybe a little surprising she did it this early. She hasn’t been in the water as much as everyone else. She was in cross country until the regionals (in November) and she hasn’t swam in over a year.”

For the Hilltopper boys, Skurikhin, a sophomore, picked up his first state time in the 100 freestyle. His time of 51.52 was more than a second under the necessary 52.59 and was good enough to win the event overall.

Also for the boys, Colton Lake turned in a personal-best performance in the 100 breaststroke, shaving more than three seconds off his previous best time with a 1:05.78. Lake also had a career-best time in the 50 freestyle, going 22.74.

In all, Los Alamos won 11 events Saturday. Lake, Micah Putnam and Sammi Kao won two events, with Kao taking the 200 individual medley and the 500 freestyle and Putnam winning the 200 IM and 100 backstroke.

Alex Baker won the 100 butterfly for the boys, while Dylan Lake won the 500 freestyle. For the girls, Natalia Moore was the winner in the 100 breaststroke. The girls 400 freestyle B relay team of Liu, Kao, Taylor Montoya and Maria Musgrave upset the Los Alamos A team to win that event.

Here are the individual results from Saturday’s Albuquerque Winter Break quad:

Girls

200 medley relay

3. Los Alamos A (Taylor Montoya, Lauren Castro, Sammi Kao, Chelsea McLean) 2:07:73; 5. Los Alamos B (Maggie Schappell, Molly Finn, Elizabeth Brug, Grace Liu), 2:10.19.

200 freestyle

3. Alexandra Hamada, 2:14:13; 4. Maria Musgrave, 2:14:67; 11. Molly Finn, 2:33.39.

200 individual medley

1. Sammi Kao, 2:24.62; 2. Natalia Moore, 2:25:18; 4. Lauren Castro, 2:28.35; 9. Christina Dey, 2:47.93.

50 freestyle

4. Grace Liu, 26:92; 6. Chelsea McLean, 27.22; 7. Maggie Schappell, 27.34.

100 butterfly

1. Monica Clodius, 1:08.31; 3. Jennifer Barich-Mooday, 1:09.64; 8. Maria Musgrave, 1:12.58; Elizabeth Brug, 1:29.87.

100 freestyle

3. Chelsea McLean, 59.43; 4. Alexandra Hamada, 59.44; 6. Maggie Schappell, 1:00.01; 8. Taylor Montoya, 1:01.16.

500 freestyle

1. Sammi Kao, 5:44.07.

200 freestyle relay

2. Los Alamos B (Jennifer Barich-Mooday, Chelsea McLean, Maria Musgrave, Maggie Schappell), 1:50.50; 4. Los Alamos A (Natalia Moore, Alexandra Hamada, Molly Finn, Monica Clodius), 1:53.79.

100 backstroke

3. Lauren Castro, 1:09.47; 7. Grace Liu, 1:15.53; 8. Taylor Montoya, 1:16.85; 9. Christina Dey, 1:21.00.

100 breaststroke

1. Natalia Moore, 1:12.36; 5. Jennifer Barich-Mooday, 1:21.46; 7. Molly Finn, 1:22.60; 9. Monica Clodius, 1:28.47.

400 freestyle relay

1. Los Alamos B (Grace Liu, Sammi Kao, Taylor Montoya, Maria Musgrave) 4:08.45; 5. Los Alamos A (Elizabeth Brug, Lauren Castro, Christina Dey, Alexandra Hamada), 4:23.13.

Boys

200 medley relay

2. Los Alamos A (Micha Putnam, Chris Calhoun, Colton Lake, Misha Skurikhin), 1:53.19; 3. Los Alamos B (Alex Baker, Dylan Lake, Andy Zhao, Horace Zhang), 1:54.67.

200 freestyle

2. Dylan Lake, 2:02.80; 6. Andy Zhao,  2:06.11; 12. Rohun Iyer, 2:45.42.

200 individual medley

1. Micah Putnam, 2:09.53; 2. Alex Baker, 2:10.67; 8. Horace Zhang, 2:36.08.

50 freestyle

1. Colton Lake, 22.74.

100 butterfly

1. Alex Baker, 56.64; 4. Andy Zhao, 1:09.54.

100 freestyle

1. Misha Skurikhin, 51.52; 7. Chris Calhoun, 58.09; 10. Horace Zhang, 1:00.85; 13. Rohun Iyer, 1:12.62.

500 freestyle

1. Dylan Lake, 5:21.64.

200 freestyle relay

2. Los Alamos (Colton Lake, Horace Zhang, Andy Zhao, Alex Baker), 1:36.42.

100 backstroke

1. Micah Putnam, 1:00.46; 2. Chris Calhoun, 1:05.61; 4. Misha Skurikhin, 1:07.53.

100 breaststroke

1. Colton Lake, 1:05.78.

400 freestyle relay

2. Los Alamos (Dylan Lake, Micah Putnam, Chris Calhoun, Misha Skurikhin, 3:36.56.