Boys cross country: LA grabs first win of 2008

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By Mike Cote

SANTA FE — Cross country fans know it’s not unusual to see Los Alamos’ top two runners at the head of a prep race.

The order of finish for them Saturday, however, was a little different than what most are used to seeing.

Kyle Pittman of Los Alamos ran a blazing-fast 15 minutes, 19 seconds at Saturday’s Santa Fe Indian School meet, earning the meet’s individual title and coasting to a 13-second victory over teammate Gareth Gilna.

Meanwhile, the Hilltopper team prevailed among competition that was tougher than one might expect at first glance. Kevin Hemphill had a strong seventh-place finish as Los Alamos picked up 45 team points, 18 points better than second-place Navajo Pine.

It was the first win of the season for the Hilltoppers, who had finished second behind Albuquerque Academy in each of their other three races.

The Hilltoppers ran Saturday without many of their regulars, including Nat Gustafson, Andrew Vierra, Austin Jacobson and Andrew Vierra.

But even heavy absences — mostly due Saturday’s SAT and a band competition — weren’t enough to slow down the Hilltoppers, the deepest team in New Mexico.

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