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The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls swimming and diving team will be represented in each event at this season’s state championship meet.
And Los Alamos is hoping a big contingent will lead to big results this weekend.
The Hilltoppers have at least one and, more often, two swimmers or more in each event, along with two qualifying divers for the meet, which starts Friday and continues through Saturday at Albuquerque Academy’s Natatorium.
Meanwhile, Los Alamos’ boys have qualifiers in all but two swimming events. The Hilltoppers also boast the No. 2 seed in the 500-yard freestyle with Michael Moore’s entry time just a little over a tenth of a second behind top-seeded Luis Felipe Conejo of Rio Rancho.
This will be the first contingent of Hilltopper athletes led to state by Stu Corliss. Corliss got the head coaching job at Los Alamos last summer, taking over for Rusty Bernstein.
At last season’s state meet, the Hilltopper girls finished sixth overall, earning 170.5 points, while the Hilltopper boys wee 10th with 96.5 points.
The winners in both team competitions last season was Eldorado. The Eagles were dominant on the girls side and nipped La Cueva for the boys title by just three points, one of the closest finishes in state meet history.
There is only one state championship meet in swimming, meaning all sizes of schools are competing for one title.
Looking at the seedings for Friday’s preliminary swims, Eldorado is No. 1 in six girls events, but just one boys event – Cibola has six top seeds on the boys side.
In the girls competition, Los Alamos is looking for big things this weekend from Sarah Lott.
Lott had an impressive regular season, breaking the school record in the 100-yard butterfly in January, a record that had stood for since 1986, and set a new District 1 record last week in the 100 freestyle.
She is among the top swimmers entered in this year’s 100 freestyle. She comes in with a time that’s less than a second off the top swim of the year in the event, which was posted by Eldorado’s Ellie Rivenbark.
The Hilltopper girls also have two entries this year’s diving competition, newcomer Annika Bronkhurst and Madeline Le Scourarnec, who is making her second state meet appearance.
For Los Alamos’ boys, veteran Connor Schultz is entered in both the 200 freestyle and the 100 backstroke and Sam Harris will do the backstroke and the 100 butterfly.