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'Toppers will be at home for 2nd meet of season Saturday

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There are plenty of familiar faces around the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls swimming teams this season, although one of the new faces is the one at the top.
Head coach Stu Corliss takes over the reins of the program this year and is prepping the team for its second meet of the season Saturday.
Los Alamos will make its one-and-only home appearance of the season Saturday.
Teams from Taos, Desert Academy, St. Michael’s and St. Pius X, among others, are expected for the Los Alamos Invitational.
The transition from Rusty Bernstein, who took over the swim program in 2009, to Corliss, has taken some adjusting to and getting some of the teams’ newcomers up to speed has been a challenge during the preseason.
“At the beginning it was kind of a big mess,” said senior Maria Venneri. “The returners know what’s happening…It’s really on the shoulders of the older swimmers to get things going.”
Los Alamos will be banking on some of its top returners to get back to form this season, as well as a key newcomer to the program.
On the girls side, Los Alamos will feature Sarah Lott, a returning sophomore, who had an impressive freshman season in 2012-13. Lott finished third in the 200 freestyle and fourth in the 500 freestyle, along with helping the 200 freestyle relay team to a fourth-place finish immediately after finishing her 500 freestyle race.
Lott helped Los Alamos’ girls to a sixth-place finish in team standings at the state championship meet.
In team competition, last year Eldorado ran away with girls title and nipped La Cueva for the boys title.
But the girls returning group has experience under its belt, something that helped it considerably in the first meet of the season at Albuquerque Academy last month.
The Hilltopper girls finished second at the Peter B. Barney Relays, the traditional opening-day meet for Los Alamos and several other top programs in the state.
Additionally, Los Alamos’ girls picked up two state meet qualification times — the starting leg of each relay could qualify as individuals — with Lott and Sydney Schoonover, another top returner for Los Alamos’ girls, earning cut times, as well as Hilltopper boys swimmer Alex Jaegers.
Los Alamos’ boys were 10th at last year’s state title meet, a mark they feel confident they can improve upon.
Among those returners are seniors Trey Pereyra and Connor Schultz, who both competed in the 500 freestyle last season, as well as Jaegers, who was in last year’s 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke state competitions.
Returning to the Hilltopper lineup this year after taking two years to focus on club-level competition, is junior Michael Moore.
Moore, who will actually be at a regional meet in Texas this weekend, said the prep season is more about competing for the team than is club swimming.
“This year, we’ve really come together as a team,” he said. “We’ve left that club stuff where it needs to be. That’s definitely going to be one of our strengths this year.”
Moore, another distance swimmer, feels he has a shot at eclipsing the state 500 freestyle record of 4:31.89, set in 2006 by Highland’s Douwe Yntema.
Corliss said the two teams with both have around 30 swimmers available for any given meet, numbers he was encouraged to see for his first season.
Both teams are nearly a decade removed from their last state team championships. Los Alamos’ girls last won in 2004 and the boys were the top team in 2005.
But the teams’ performance last month was very encouraging for everyone around the program.
“It was really great because we got 6 or 7 state qualifying times,” Venneri said. “That was nice to see. Everybody’s pumped up, really ready to race. Everybody’s cheering for each other and they’re very involved.”

2013-14 Roster 

 

Head Coach

 

Stu Corliss (1st year)

 

Girls

 

Ashlynn Bennett, senior

Ali Berl, senior

Justine Yang, senior

Maria Venneri, senior

Tracee Abeita, senior

Safiya Bahar, senior

Claire Spach, junior

Marlie Maestas, junior

Vicki Lee, junior

Tina Krkljus, junior

Michelle Penderson, junior

Annika Bronkhurst, junior

Madeline Le Scouarnec, jr.

Elena Plaga, junior

Isabelle Runde, soph.

Elizabeth Lockhart, soph.

Sarah Lott, soph.

Sydney Schoonover, soph.

Katlyn Skeen, soph.

Caemlyn Tripp, fr.

Alexandra Tepley, fr.

Jessica Moore, fr.

Kaitlin Bennett, fr.

Niamh Short, fr.

Jesse Liechty, fr.

Carmen Bouquin, 8th

Kimberly McKinley, 8th

Radhika Iyer, 8th

Onnolee Englert-Erickson, 8th

Kathryn McClenahan, 8th

 

Boys

 

Trey Pereyra, senior

Connor Schultz, senior

Chris Rohlev, junior

Max Reidys, junior

Michael Englert-Erickson, jr.

Nick Torres, junior

Sven Jandura, junior

Sam Harris, junior

Nick Grerenfield, junior

Michael Moore, junior

Jovan Zhang, soph.

Ben Reidys, soph.

Alex Tarantello, fr.

Mark Torres, fr.

Justin Lemke, fr.

Jake Hollis, fr.

Will Carter, fr.

Zephram Tripp, fr.

Sincere Baha, fr.

Alex Jaegers, fr.

Aneesh Pawar, fr.

Neil Wilkerson, 8th

 

2013-14 Schedule

Nov. 16: at Barney Relays

Dec. 7: Los Alamos Invite

Dec. 21: at APS Invite

Jan. 11: at APS Invite

Jan. 18: at Academy Invite

Feb. 8: at APS Invite

Feb. 15: District 1 Championship Meet