Los Alamos High School swimmers, clockwise from top left, Orion Henderson, Duncan Henderson, Ming Lo and Matias Rougier broke the state record for 400 free relay, a very rare feat. Photo by Stu Corliss
The Los Alamos Hilltoppers Swimming and Diving Team won the boys state meet team title for the third straight year. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos High School senior co-captain Andy Corliss placed 4th in both the 100 fly (52.65) and 100 breast (59.92). He achieved a rare accomplishment in his Topper career: scoring in the same event (100 breast) for five years in a row. Photo by Stu Corliss
BY STU CORLISS
Los Alamos High School
The Los Alamos Hilltoppers boys swimming and diving team rolled to their 3rd consecutive New Mexico state team title at Albuquerque Academy’s Barney Natatorium Wednesday, Feb. 16.
The Toppers beat runner-up Eldorado 338 to 237, followed by Academy (227), Farmington (153), and Santa Fe (142). Twenty-four teams scored.
Despite a couple of technical disqualifications, the Toppers’ margin of victory – 101 points – was the highest for the boys competition since 2009.
The New Mexico state swimming meet is conducted without classification, meaning all high schools of any size, public or private, compete against each other in the same championship meet.
In a record-bashing binge, the Los Alamos team broke six school records and a state high school record (rare).
In addition, there were four High School All-America qualifications.
Senior Orion Henderson led the Toppers with two individual wins in the 200 individual medley (1:48.97) and 500 free (4:34.23), and got two victorious relays off to a quick start. His 200 IM time was one of the fastest ever achieved at high altitude, so not surprisingly it broke his own school record.
Both of Henderson’s individual swims qualified for High School All-America, as did his lead off split on the 400 freestyle relay.
That split (45.70) broke the 100 free school record of 46.22 set by Mike Upham in 1978. Upham, a Los Alamos High School Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, was recruited by legendary swim coach Eddie Reese to compete for Auburn University.
Senior co-captain Andy Corliss placed 4th in both the 100 fly (52.65) and 100 breast (59.92). He achieved a rare accomplishment in his Topper career: scoring in the same event (100 breast) for five years in a row.
Diving coach Carl Cady placed two divers in the top echelon: seniors Bryden Stidham and Kyle Hatler were 3rd and 5th respectively.
Junior Ming Lo, kicking underwater for most of the race, was second by an eyelash in the 50 free (21.97) and later added second place points in the 100 fly (51.23).
Freshman Duncan Henderson lowered his own school record in the 100 back (51.66) in placing second, breaking his 52.05 clocking in Lubbock last month. Earlier in the meet, he placed 4th in the 200 free (1:47.36).
Sophomore Hayden Sutton posted a personal best in the 100 back (57.09), good for seventh.
Sophomore Nikolai Nelson put valuable points on the board in the 500 free (5:12.92)
Team captain Caleb Kerstiens closed out his Topper career by scoring in the 200 free (1:54.49).
The Toppers’ 400 free relay quartet of Orion Henderson, Duncan Henderson, Ming Lo, and Matias Rougier broke the New Mexico state high school record of 3:09.39 set by Eldorado in 2018. Their new record of 3:09.26 qualified them for All-America consideration.
For the past two seasons, Hilltopper swimmers were the only swimmers in the state of either gender to qualify for the coveted High School All-America designation.
All three Topper relays broke team records en route to victory:
200 medley relay: 1:35.34 (Duncan Henderson 24.03, Andy Corliss 26.36, Ming Lo 22.93, Wayne Williams 22.02; old record, 1:35.56 2021 – Ming Lo, Max Corliss, Konstantin Nelson, Andy Corliss)
200 free relay: 1:27.28 (Orion Henderson 21.39, Wayne Williams 22.27, Andy Corliss 21.76, Matias Rougier 21.86; old record 1:28.01 2021 Tavin Brogan, Wayne Williams, Ming Lo, Orion Henderson)
400 free relay: 3:09.26 (Orion Henderson 45.70, Duncan Henderson 48.59, Ming Lo 47.36, Matias Rougier 47.61; old record 3:09.74 2021 Orion Henderson, Andy Corliss, Konstantin Nelson, Max Corliss)
Everybody on the 14-athlete state team roster received an NMAA state champion medal: Andy Corliss, Kyle Hatler, Duncan Henderson, Orion Henderson, Avery Johnson, Caleb Kerstiens, Jace Kerstiens, Ming Lo, Nikolai Nelson, Matias Rougier, Takeshi Shiina, Brayden Stidham, Hayden Sutton, and Wayne Williams.
2022 NMAA Boys State Swimming/Diving Championships
May 16, Albuquerque, NM (top three plus Los Alamos finishers)
200 medley relay: Los Alamos 1:35.34 (Duncan Henderson 24.03, Andy Corliss 26.36, Ming Lo 22.93, Wayne Williams 22.02) (LAHS school record, old 1:35.56 2021), Eldorado 1:36.96, Academy 1:39.18
200 free: Jamin Harlan CIBL 1:41.94, Nolan Arnholdt ELDO 1:42.47, Aneirin Hanan LCHS 1:45.48; also: 4) Duncan Henderson LAHS 1:47.36, 16) Caleb Kerstiens LAHS 1:54.49, Nikolai Nelson LAHS 1:54.48d
200 individual medley: Orion Henderson LAHS 1:48.97 (automatic HS All-America) (LAHS school record, old 1:50.51 O Henderson 2022), Cole Bettis ELDO 1:56.15, Krishna Clarke ELDO 1:57.71; also: 19) Takeshi Shiina LAHS 2:14.21
50: Daschel Bonners Turner SNFE 21.94, Ming Lo LAHS 21.97, Alessio Lucero ALAM 21.99; also: 10) Matias Rougier LAHS 22.64, 13) Wayne Williams LAHS 23.04
1m dive: Mosiah Seavey FARM 531.75, Gabriel Palomino HOBB 473.05, Brayden Stidham LAHS 468.80; also: 5) Kyle Hatler LAHS 445.70
100 fly: Ethan Manske STMI 51.06, Ming Lo LAHS 51.23, Sahil Bhakta 51.93; also: 4) Andy Corliss LAHS 52.65
100 free: Nolan Arnholt ELDO 46.51, Gage Sheldahl ELDO 48.20, Philip McLaughlin CLEV 48.38; also: 5) Matias Rougier LAHS 48.60, Hayden Sutton LAHS 49.82d
500: Orion Henderson LAHS 4:34.23 (HS All-America consideration), Aneirin Hanan LCHS 4:46.51, Thomas Palla CLOV 4:59.43; also: 12) Nikolai Nelson LAHS 5:12.92
200 free relay: Los Alamos 1:27.28 (Orion Henderson 21.39, Wayne Williams 22.27, Andy Corliss 21.76, Matias Rougier 21.86) (LAHS school record, old 1:28.01 2021), Santa Fe 1:29.94, Academy 1:31.86
100 back: Ethan Manske STMI 50.75, Duncan Henderson LAHS 51.66 (LAHS school record, old 52.02 D Henderson 2022), Jamin Harlan CIBL 51.81; also: 7) Hayden Sutton LAHS 57.09
100 breast: Leo Kim STPI 59.00, Cole Bettis 59.50, David Fu 59.85; also: 4) Andy Corliss LAHS 59.92, 9) Wayne Williams LAHS 1:04.53
400 free relay: Los Alamos 3:09.26 (Orion Henderson 45.70, Duncan Henderson 48.59, Ming Lo 47.36, Matias Rougier 47.61) (New Mexico state high school record) (LAHS school record, old 3:09.74 2021) (O Henderson leadoff split breaks LAHS school record, old 46.22 Mike Upham 1978) (HS All-America consideration for relay and for O Henderson 100 free leadoff leg), Eldorado 3:09.83, Farmington 3:21.84
Team scores: Los Alamos 338, Eldorado 237, Albuquerque Academy 227, Farmington 153, Santa Fe 142, La Cueva 141.5, Cleveland 116, Sandia 104, Clovis 99, Cibola 94.5, St Pius X 90, Rio Rancho 72, Las Cruces 71, Albuquerque 67, St Michael’s 54, Hobbs 53, Hope Christian 51, NMMI 43, Cottonwood Classical 43, Alamogordo 28, Taos 22, Volcano Vista 19, Santa Fe Prep 11, Belen 2.