ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, February 28. ELDORADO High School swept the team titles at the New Mexico State Swimming Championships Feb. 22-23. The meet was hosted by Albuquerque Academy. Four state records were reset during the two days of competition.
The last time a Golden Eagles team captured a state swimming title was 1975–and that wasn't an outright win; that year's team tied with Highland. They had won championships on their own in 1973 and 1974. Eldorado scored 324 points for the victory, followed by Albuquerque Academy (260), Las Cruces (200), Sandia (197) and La Cueva (189).
Albuquerque Academy senior Anika Apostalon put an exclamation point to her high school career by lowering state records she posted last year. Apostolon, who will be heading to San Diego State in the fall, lowered the mark in the 100 free from 50.66 to 49.41 and in the 100 back from 54.24 to 53.78. She ended with two titles in the 100 free and three in the 100 back.
She also led Academy to the victorious 200 medley and 200 free relays. Apostalon led off senior Eileen Kawamoto, sophomore Gillian St. John and senior Selena Mufty to a 1:48.29 first-place finish; senior Christina Fox came on board with Apostalon, Kawamoto and St. John for their 1:38.66 win.
La Cueva junior Nika Fox also took down the state record she set last year of 1:51.10 in the 200 free to 1:49.73. She claimed a second title with her 4:56.21 in the 500 free.
Eldorado finished the girls portion of the meet with their winning 3:36.36 in the 400 free relay with the squad of sophomore Tyler Wickesberg, freshman Sydney Hanks, senior Jordan Wray and freshman Ellie Rivenbark. Junior Kyra Mohns edged out Sandia senior Hannah Veseth in the 100 breast, 1:08.53-1:08.58, and Albuquerque High senior Felicia Zamora was 8-hundredths back of Veseth in 1:08.66. Eldorado sophomore Lauren Martinez was the top diver, scoring 450.00 points.
Olivia Morrell, a senior at Volcano Vista, stopped the clock at 23.63 in the 50 free, earning the title by 1-hundredth over Albuquerque High sophomore Cassaundra Pino. She did get to celebrate a first-place triumph when she touched first in the 100 fly in 57.62. St. Pius junior Lauren Atkins' 2:04.13 led the field in the 200 IM.
Eldorado defended its title from last year, but it wasn't easy. The top three teams were separated by 13 points. The Golden Eagles scored 265 points to La Cueva's 262 and Rio Rancho's 252. The host Albuquerque Academy placed fourth (204.5), followed by Hobbs (181.5).
It took until the last event of the competition–the 400 free relay–for a boys record to be erased. La Cueva's team of juniors Stephen Klein and Luke Freimanis, with seniors Zach Weeks and Kristopher Tillery, covered the distance in 3:09.89. The Bears took down the 3:12.44 that Albuquerque Academy turned in at the 2009 championships.
La Cueva also was helped by double event champions Tillery in the 200 free (1:41.99) and 100 back (51.01), and Klein in the 200 IM (1:53.49) and the 100 free (47.06).
The Hobbs quartet of seniors Daniel Cornejo and Tyler Drake, plus sophomores Joshua Espinoza and Cory Dean came within 4-hundredths of setting a state mark in the 200 medley relay, finishing in 1:36.45.
Eldorado's title was earned via their depth. The Golden Eagles 200 free relay of seniors Ian Roberson, Jonah Hanks and Tomas Babuska, with junior Angus Gullick swimming second, finished first with their 1:27.61. Roberson's 21.56 gave Eldorado its only individual victory in the 50 free victory.
By just 13-hundredths, Cibola junior Edgar Melchor outtouched Nick Balmer, a senior at Riordan (59.15-59.28). Other swimming event victories were claimed by Albuquerque Academy freshman Anthony Kim in the 100 fly (50.85), Riordan sophomore Luis Conejo in the 500 free (4:51.70). Levi Smith, a Cleveland senior, put together 436.30 points to emerge first in the diving competition.