´Topper girls shooting for record 15th championship

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By Mike Cote

In girls sports in New Mexico, some programs have shown over the years to be completely dominant.
Kirtland Central, for example, is one of the premier basketball programs not just in the state, but in the nation, winning 18 state titles. Before that in that same sport, Eldorado was the cream of the state’s crop. Also in the Four Corners area, Piedra Vista is quickly establishing itself as the elite softball program in the state.
Saturday, Los Alamos can take its place as the pre-eminent power in the history of girls cross country in New Mexico.
The Hilltoppers are on the verge of winning their 15th state championship in program history. They can clinch the top spot all to themselves – they are currently tied with Gallup for the most titles by one school – with a victory at the Class AAAA meet.
And they’re the favorites heading in.
Los Alamos, which earned an upset victory over Albuquerque Academy last season to claim half of the coveted title, has no magic bullet. Outside of the great Kristen Hemphill, who won three consecutive state titles and led the team to three straight state titles, it hasn’t had the star power some other programs have boasted.
Its key to victory, in fact, is pretty simple.

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