Swimmers place high at Farmington meet; Santa Fe on tap

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Even though many of the times of the Los Lunas and Valencia high school swimmers are far from state-qualifying marks, improvements and high finishes might give them confidence.

That’s what the Tiger and Jaguar swimmers got Saturday at the Panther-Scorpion Invite. The swimmers had a number of strong performances at the Farmington-area meet, and hope to carry confidence from the trip into Saturday’s 9 a.m. Griffin Invite in Santa Fe.

News-Bulletin file photo: Adelene Armenta of Valencia High won the girls 100 butterfly at the Panther-Scorpion Invitational in Farmington on Saturday. The Los Lunas and Valencia teams are set to compete in the Griffin Invite in Santa Fe this Saturday.

At Farmington, the Los Lunas boys placed second, while the Valencia boys scored three points and placed 11th. The Lady Tigers were sixth, while the Valencia girls were ninth, ahead of Miyamura and Gallup.

Sandia Prep placed first among both girls and boys teams.

One of the stars of the meet, for the Los Lunas boys, was Jonathan Gamez. He placed third in both the 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly.

He also helped the 400 freestyle relay team place third, along with Orion Zuni, Phillip Hammon and Andre Saiz.

Tommy Browning placed second in the 200 individual medley and fifth in the 100 freestyle.

Corey Shannon was second in the butterfly and fourth in the 100 backstroke, and Dante Risso placed second in the 50 freestyle.

Gerardo Gutierrez became the first Valencia boy to score points at a meet this season, placing 14th in the 200 freestyle.

The Valencia girls’ highlight was probably the first-place effort of Adelene Armenta in the 100 butterfly. She also placed third in the 200 freestyle.

The Lady Jaguars were able to field a relay team for the first time in months. Armenta was joined by Jensen Hatch, Isabel Baca and Shay Gardner on the 200 medley team that placed eighth.

Los Lunas High senior Marissa Candelaria is the county’s only state qualifier, and she re-qualified Saturday in the 100 backstroke, placing fourth.

Candelaria helped her sister, Miranda, along with MaKenzie Smith and Shannae Williams, place fourth in the medley. The elder Candelaria was also fourth in the 100 freestyle.

Smith placed second in the butterfly and third in the individual medley, and Faron Gomez was fourth in the 500 freestyle.

The Los Lunas girls’ 400 freestyle relay team of Smith, Williams, Gomez and Marissa Candelaria placed fourth.

The LLHS and Valencia teams compete in the Cibola Invite on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the West Mesa Aquatic Center. That will be the last chance for state qualifying.


-- Email the author at jbrooks@news-bulletin.com.