Boys cross country: Toppers take second at Academy Invite

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE — In the third and arguably the most important of its toughest races of the regular season, the Los Alamos Hilltoppers put together another big showing.

At Friday’s Albuquerque Academy Invitational, Los Alamos placed five runners in the top 30, finishing with 80 team points.

For the third time in as many races, the Hilltoppers took second overall at their meet, and for the third time in as many races, they finished second to Academy’s Chargers.

It’s hardly unusual for Los Alamos to finish behind Academy early in the season, but Friday’s outing was encouraging.

Going into Friday’s meet, the top goal of the team was “mainly for our pack to catch up to Academy,” said Hilltopper Gareth Gilna. “There was a much closer gap.”

The Chargers, who along with the Hilltoppers have dominated Class AAAA the entire decade with little interference from anyone else, also had a big day at their home meet. They finished with just 50 points, taking the 8-9-10 spots individually.

The two teams aren’t scheduled to meet again until the Los Alamos Invitational, the final regular season race for both squads, which is set for Oct. 24.

Along with earning the third second-place team finish Friday, Gilna also earned his third individual second-place finish.

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