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The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys track and field team was hoping for a better showing, but with several athletes out for Saturday’s meet, Los Alamos head coach Rob Hipwood wasn’t altogether displeased.
Los Alamos finished with seven team points at Saturday’s Albuquerque Public Schools Invitational. Los Alamos scored points in four events.
“Although not the team result we would’ve liked, considering it was the end of Spring Break and we weren’t at full strength, it wasn’t a bad day by any means,” Hipwood said.
The Hilltoppers were well off the pace of the leaders in the team competition. La Cueva, one of the top Class 5A programs in the state, earned a solid victory over second-place Cleveland, earning 75.5 team points.
Los Alamos’ top finishes at the meet, which included 22 teams, were fifth-place efforts by Kyle Stephens in the 100 meters and high jump and Mike Sanchez in the long jump. The 1600 relay team of Nico Mendez, Zach Breshears, Paul Hemez and Andy Thoma placed sixth.
Thoma, who is having a strong season for the Hilltoppers so far, finished the 400 meter competition with a 50.30, placing him seventh on the school’s all-time list in that event. Thoma, who also qualified for the state Class 4A meet in the 200 Saturday, ran his top 400 time in the preliminaries, but was pulled from the finals so he could anchor the 1600 relay.
Hipwood said both Stephens and Sanchez also came up big Saturday, with Stephens nearing the state qualifying mark in the high jump and Sanchez earning a 20-foot, 4-inch mark in the long jump despite just taking the event up less than two weeks ago.