Lady Panthers open swim season with a win
Trenton Grossheim qualifies for state in the 50-yard freestyle, guides Farmington boys to a second-place finish in Carlsbad
FARMINGTON — Former Piedra Vista girls swim team captain Dominique Tso has moved on to compete at the college level, but the Lady Panthers proved on Saturday they're still a very dangerous team.
Coach Kristi Lucero's Lady Panthers won the Carlsbad Invitational with 141 points, edging second-place Alamogordo by 10. Farmington's girls were sixth out of six schools with 18 points.
"We had some strong girls coming up last year who were good point scorers for us," Lucero said. "So this is where we expected to be. Last year, we got second at this meet, so to come in and get the win was pretty exciting."
It took PV only one meet to qualify its 200-yard medley relay team for the state tournament. That team, made up of Morgan Miller, Sheala Moffitt, Emilee Lucero and Kathleen Ketchum, won with a final time of 2 minutes and 1.41 seconds.
Lucero expects the four girls from the medley team to perform at a high level all season.
"Sheala and Kathleen are both seniors this year, so Morgan and Emilee will be the future of that girls team, for sure," Lucero said.
PV's Eliana Christensen outperformed three competitors — including Farmington's Claire Madrea — to win the girls diving event.
FHS finished in last, mostly because only three Lady Scorpions made it out to Carlsbad. A few girls were representing Farmington in other sports over the weekend.
Farmington did have a nice showing in the boys competitions, racking up a second-place point total of 76, 16 points better than host Carlsbad.
The Scorps were led by Trenton Grossheim, who won the 500-yard freestyle and 50-yard freestyle events. He qualified for state in the latter.
Lucero, who now also coaches Farmington with the help of assistant Todd Adams, said she's intrigued by the potential of the FHS boys.
"I'm looking forward to what the boys have to offer," Lucero said. "They stepped it up from where they were last year. They didn't go to Carlsbad last year, so it was exciting for them to be able to swim at this meet as well."
With Ben VanOtteson in Rio Rancho running for the PV cross-country club, the Panthers were a little shorthanded in Carlsbad. Still, they did well in corralling fourth place out of six schools, especially considering only four swimmers raced.
"We really only lost one boy from last year. We have a small boys team, and right now, we have a few younger boys that we weren't ready to take to this meet," Lucero said. "So the four we brought were the ones that were ready, and they had a great meet as well."
PV and Farmington will swim in the 35th annual Barney Relays on Saturday at Albuquerque Academy High School.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.