Santa Fe Prep swimmers are in finals

February 24, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE — The swimmers may have beaten the snow on the opening day of the State Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday, but there’s more work to be done when Saturday’s finals commence at the Albuquerque Academy Natatorium.

Among the local standouts in Friday’s preliminaries were Santa Fe Prep freshmen Sophia Gossum and Emma Kelley. Gossum has reached the finals in two individual events and will be part of a Blue Griffins relay team that qualified for the finals in the 200-yard freestyle. Kelley has also reached the finals in two individual events.

Gossum was third in the 50 freestyle prelims Friday, touching the wall in 24.70 seconds while qualifying fifth in the 100 free in a time of 53.90. She also swam the anchor leg on the 200 free relay team that finished seventh.

The top eight swimmers and relay teams in all preliminary events advanced to Saturday’s finals.

Kelley was fourth in the 200 freestyle, touching the wall in just under two minutes. She was also part of the marathon 500 freestyle that took her 5:18.34 to complete. Santa Fe High sophomore Sophia Snyder was just behind her with a qualifying time of 5:21.24 for seventh place.

Santa Fe Prep sends one girls relay team to the finals while Los Alamos sends two. The Lady Hilltoppers got a solid set of performances from senior Jillian Bennett. In addition to helping the 200 and 400 free relay teams advance, she was third in the breaststroke and eighth in the 50 freestyle.

Taos freshman Grace Goler also advanced to the finals in the 50 free, just edging Bennett.

The Los Alamos boys had a big day with freshman Orion Henderson. He was second in the individual medley in a time of 1:57.34, then was fourth in the 500 freestyle. That race requires 10 trips across the pool and his final lap was his second fastest. The only other qualifier to do that was the race winner, Jack Hoagland of La Cueva and he shaved nearly 6.5 seconds off the time between his ninth lap and his 10th.

Hilltoppers teammate Maximilian Corliss was seventh in the 200 individual medley and was fourth in the 100 breaststroke. Both he and Henderson were part of the qualifying team in the 400 free relay.

Santa Fe Prep’s Jordan Kinlaw advanced to Saturday’s finals in the 50 free by the narrowest of margins. The Blue Griffins senior edged Los Lunas swimmer Jaiten Whitson by 3/100th of a second for the final spot.

Ian Jaegers of Los Alamos had a similar close call, but his was against a teammate. He made up more than two-tenths of a second on Hilltopper Nick Berndt in the final lap to touch the wall in 49.53 in the 100 freestyle prelims. Berndt touched in 49.60.

Jaegers will also swim in the 100 backstroke finals. He qualified sixth in a time of 53.81.