Boys cross country: LA finishes 2nd to Chargers

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE — The first meet of the season for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys cross country team confirmed two things most people suspected.

Number one, Los Alamos is pretty good. Number two, so is Albuquerque Academy.

The Hilltoppers finished second behind Academy’s Chargers at Saturday’s University of New Mexico Invitational, run at UNM’s North Golf Course.

The Hilltoppers finished with 83 team points, behind the Chargers’ 52 points. Those two teams were the only ones to break triple-digits at the race, which attracted some of the best prep squads in the state.

It was as good a start to the 2008 season as Los Alamos was hoping for.

“We feel good,” runner Andrew Vierra said after the race. “We were excited. We were expecting quite a bit. Kyle (Pittman) and Gareth (Gilna) ran phenomenal races, and our pack was good.”

Pittman and Gilna went out like gangbusters from the get-go, sprinting to the front of the big crush in the first 300 meters, hanging with Eldorado’s Bryce Palmer, one of the top runners in Class AAAAA.

Pittman would finish fourth, running a sub 16-minute race.

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