Boys track and field: Five qualify for state meet

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE — For the first meet of the season, things went pretty well, although there’s still plenty of room for improvement.At the season opener Saturday, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys track and field team put five qualifiers into the state Class AAAA meet in four events.Saturday’s meet, which was held at Milne Stadium included several teams from around Albuquerque and northern New Mexico. In its team competition, Los Alamos finished third among the seven teams competing in its pool.La Cueva won the team competition with 99 points. Albuquerque Academy, which is the early season favorite in Class AAAA, was second with 85, but the ‘Toppers were right behind with 84 team points.While the close finish is a good omen for the rest of the season, Hilltopper head coach Larry Baca said it’s a little early to celebrate, particularly because two of Academy’s top athletes, Curtis Beach and Ben Johnson, weren’t in the lineup as they usually would be.As expected, the Hilltoppers’ distance squad fared well Saturday.Kyle Pittman easily won his heat of the 1600 meters, an event that was dominated by Hilltoppers and Albuquerque Academy’s Chargers.Pittman had at least a share of the lead for most of the race.

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