By David Rieder
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, February 21. THE New Mexico High School State Championships took place Friday, February 18 and Saturday, February 19 at the Albuquerque Academy Natatorium.
Three swimmers won two individual events each at the meet. Albuquerque’s Madison Bridges won the 200 IM (2:04.36) and later set a state record of 56.89 to win the 100 fly. Las Cruces’ Samantha Harding swept the 200 (1:52.07) and 500 free (5:02.24), while Albuquerque Academy’s Anika Apostalon pulled off the same feat in the 50 (23.66) and 100 free (51.37).
Volcano Vista’s Mariah Morrell finished first in the 100 back (59.00), while Piedra Vista’s Natasha Moffitt won the 100 breast (1:04.78). Las Cruces’ team of Harding, Vivian Links, Moranda Madero, and Lauren Salas took the 200 medley relay (1:50.32). Albuquerque Academy set a state record of 1:37.45 to win the 200 free relay, with Eileen Kawamoto, Michelle Howell, Gillian St. John, and Apostalon swimming the four legs. Lexi David joined Howell, St. John, and Apostalon to win the 400 free relay (3:34.04). Manzano’s Courtney Brooks finished first in one meter diving with 428.40 points.
Albuquerque Academy won the meet with 320.5 points, defeating second place La Cueva (265) and third place Eldorado (240).
St. Pius’ Jack Feely and Albuquerque Academy’s Stephen Klein each brought home two victories. Feely won the 200 (1:43.43) and 500 free (4:43.60), while Klein won the 200 IM (1:56.67) and 100 fly (51.51). The 200 medley team of Klein, Michael Phillips, Chase Burgett, and Adam Berling won in 1:39.70, while Christian Cho and Colin Martin joined Burgett and Klein to win the 200 free relay in 1:29.14. Meanwhile, Feely led St. Pius’ team of Billy Simmons, Tommy Simmons, and Gabriel Pleil-Pino to victory in the 400 free relay (3:14.98).
Pliel-Pino took an individual win in the 100 free, posting a time of 46.83. Farmington’s Landon Rogers won the 50 free (21.24), while Eldorado’s Ian Walker took the 100 back (53.44). Valley’s Dorian Walker finished first in the 100 breast (59.86), and Albuquerque Academy’s Kyle Lang posted 513.45 points to beat the field in one meter diving.
Albuquerque Academy finished first overall with 299 points, well ahead of Eldorado, which accumulated 259 points. St. Pius grabbed third (213).