The state swimming championships were held at Albuquerque Academy last weekend, and athletes from Los Lunas and Belen represented their schools in the finals.
The two day event began on Friday morning with diving competitions before the preliminary heats of the swimming events followed that afternoon.
The swimming portion kicked off with the girls and boys 200 yard medley relays.
Both the Belen and Los Lunas boys competed in the preliminaries, and Los Lunas came in 15th with a time of 1:51.45 to snag one of the final two spots that qualified for the final.
Belen, on the other hand, was left on the outside looking in with a 17th place finish and a time of 1:52.81, only 33 one hundredths of a second behind Santa Fe, which took the final spot with a time of 1:52.48.
The next event that either school competed in was the girls 50 yard freestyle, where Haven Casillas of Belen finished 14th with a time of 26 seconds and qualified for the final.
Casillas also competed in the 100 yard freestyle, but failed to qualify for Saturday’s final with a 24th place finish. Her time was 58.55, more than a second slower than the final qualifier, who posted a time of 57.10.
The Belen girls relay team took part in the 200 yard freestyle relay as well as the 400 yard iteration and qualified in both.
The team was made up of Casillas, Iris Silva, Gabriella Sanchez and Layton Nazerae.
In the 200, they took 16th with a time of 1:50.16. The 400 was their strongest showing, putting up a time of 4:06.12 which was good for a 14th place finish.
For the Tigers, Samuel Casaus was the only swimmer to qualify individually, swimming in the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard butterfly.
He qualified for the final in both events, finishing seventh in the 50 yard free with a time of 22.47 and eighth in the butterfly with a time of 54.40, putting him in the top half for both events.
He also swam on the Tigers relay team, which in addition to the 200 medley swam in the 200 and 400 yard freestyle relays.
Joining Casaus were Joshua Jones, Butch Bottini and Robbie Zanotti.
In the 200, the team qualified with a time of 1:37.41, good for 13th place.
However, things didn’t go as well in the 400 and they missed qualification with an 18th place finish and a time of 3:59.91, 17 seconds behind the 17th place team from Manzano.
In Saturday’s finals, the Tigers came in 14th place in the 200 yard medley with a time of 1:51.91 to kick off the day.
Casaus put forth strong showings in both of his individual events, finishing in seventh in both the freestyle and the butterfly.
In the freestyle, he recorded a time of 22.56 seconds, which tied him for seventh with Nathan Conley of Academy.
In the butterfly, he finished with a time of 54.12.
14th place would also be the final place for the Tigers relay in the 200 yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 1:38.12. Academy won the event with a time of 1:26.42.
As for Casillas, she finished in 12th place in the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 26.02, just off her pace from Friday’s prelims.
In the girls 200 yard relay, Belen came in 14th with a time of 1:49.75, roughly 10 seconds behind the first place Academy team.
They would also finish 14th in the 400 free relay with a time of 4:06.08.
The Eagles would finish in 24th place as a team with a score of 17, while the BHS boys didn’t score.
The Los Lunas boys finished in 15th overall with a score of 36.
Albuquerque Academy claimed the girls’ title with ease, and Los Alamos brought home the boys crown.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Haven Casillas finished in 112th place in the 50 yard freestyle instead of 12th place. The story has been updated.