FHS and PV make strides at Academy Invite

Farmington boys place in the top 10

Jake Newby

FARMINGTON — In one of the largest swim meets in New Mexico high school history this weekend in Albuquerque, Farmington and Piedra Vista's head coaches walked away pleased with the progress of their respective teams.


A total of 48 schools competed in the 18th Annual Academy Invitational on Friday and Saturday. PV's girls finished 11th out of 25 schools and were just a half point behind 10th-place Santa Fe. The Panther boys took 14th out of 23 with 105 points.

Behind a great all-around day from Trenton Grossheim, Farmington's boys cracked the top 10 in the boys rankings, earning 147 points and 10th place. The Lady Scorpions were just 1.5 points out of 14th with 123.5.

FHS coach Nancy Pinckley said Grossheim excelled in every race he swam in.

"Grossheim did amazing in his splits in the medley and the butterfly," she said. "We also took him in the breaststroke to see if he'd qualify in that, and he got really close."

In the 100-yard medley, Grossheim placed fourth out of 30 participants. The boys 200-yard medley relay team of James Mrzlak, Jebadiah Pinckley, Tyler Duncan and Grossheim took eighth.

FHS had a strong showing despite being without sophomore Marshall Magnuson, who didn't make the trip to Albuquerque.

Raimi Clark picked up some valuable points for the Lady Scorps on Friday by placing fourth out of 14 in the girls diving event. Claire Madera landed in 10th.

After losing a dual meet to PV last week, Pinckley said her teams looked a lot better.

"We're all proud of all the swimmers, they did great," Pinckley said. "They took seconds off, that's the main thing. Whether it was 0.2 of a second or 0.001 of a second, I don't care, they really did take some notable seconds off."

Piedra Vista coach Kristi Lucero said seeing some top competition up close was a very valuable experience.

"Los Alamos, who is in our district, they're our biggest competition. They have some amazing athletes," Lucero said. "We really paid attention to a lot of their swims and talked about how we can compete with them at district."

Los Alamos' girls won the meet by 20 points.

The girls 400-yard freestyle relay team of Morgan Miller, Emilee Lucero, Kathleen Ketchum and Dominique Tso qualified for state on Saturday by snagging eighth out of 22 placing schools. Tso also qualified in the 200-yard individual medley.

Ben VanOtteson continues to prove he is one of PV's most reliable swimmers with another first place finish in boys diving. His score was over 15 points better than the second-place finisher.

Lucero said she thought the most valuable boys swimmer on her roster at the meet was freshman Skylar Hammond, who competed in the 100-yard and 50-yard freestyles.

"We moved him up a lane this week to put some pressure on him and see if he would perform, and he really did," Lucero said of Hammond. "He dropped three seconds in one race and five in another. I was incredibly impressed by him."

PV and Farmington will compete in Santa Fe on Friday at the Griffin Invite. The meet is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.