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The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys track and field team, due to weather, has been limited in how much work its throwers are able to do in preparation for meets.
But Hilltopper head coach Larry Baca thinks he could have a solid unit going down the stretch, as evidenced at Friday’s Albuquerque Public Schools Invitational.
Los Alamos finished third at Friday’s meet, earning 65.5 points. Rio Rancho won the team competition and Los Alamos’ biggest rival, Albuquerque Academy, finished a very respectable second.
Along the way, the Hilltoppers won three events, including a pair by hurdler Charles Rappe and a victory by Kyle Pittman in the 1,600 meters.
One of the big finishes of the meet by the Hilltoppers, however, was Oliver Funsten’s third-place finish in the discus, which qualified him for the Class AAAA state championship meet.
Funsten, who joined the team two weeks ago following the conclusion of hockey season, threw 131 feet, 4 inches to pick up his state meet invitation.
“He was pretty consistent in the discus, which is nice,” Hilltopper head coach Larry Baca said. “His first throw was 125 (feet), then he threw 131 from there.”
Baca said he has high hopes this season for Funsten, Nate Robbins, who should challenge for several school sophomore throwing records by the end of the season, and Austin Wolstein, last season’s Class AAAA runner-up in the discus, who is scheduled to join the team soon now that basketball season has ended.
Rappe, meanwhile, has not finished worse than second in three 110 hurdle events that he’s competed in this season and has yet to be defeated in the 300 hurdles in three outings.
Los Alamos’ other best finish Friday came in the 1600 relay, where Rappe, Pittman, Daniel Rodriguez and Tom Day placed second.
The Hilltoppers limped into this weekend’s meet, missing several athletes to injury or sickness.
“When you don’t have a lot of depth, it’s a big problem,” Baca said.
Here are Los Alamos’ results from Friday’s Albuquerque Public Schools Invitational:
1. Rio Rancho, 109; 2. Albuquerque Academy, 101; 3. Los Alamos, 65.5; 4. Eldorado, 65; 5. Sandia, 59; 6. Grants, 23; 7. West Mesa, 20.5; 8. Rio Grande, 9; 9. Capital, 1; 10. Valencia, no score.
4. Oliver Funsten, 42-3; Nate Robbins, 38-5; Brad Lungstrom, 36-4 1/2.
3. Oliver Funsten, 131-4.
2. Kory Balog, 152-4; 4. David Brock, 143-9; Spencer Schoonover, 137-1.
3. Tom Day, 11-9; Ryan Erickson, 8-9.
6. (tie) Mike Sanchez, 5-6.
Dan Christensen, 17-4; Christopher Owens 16-8.
3. Dan Christensen, 38-8 1/2; Christopher Owens 34-1/2.
Ryan Erickson, 11.81; Daniel Rodriguez, 11.84.
Ryan Erickson, 24.49; Christopher Owens, 26.53.
1. Charles Rappe, 15.91; 6. Tom Day, 17.59.
1. Charles Rappe, 41.77; 6. Tom Day, 46.34.
6. Christopher Owens, 59.10.
1. Kyle Pittman, 4:30.08; Zach Breshears, 4:53.10; Daniel Roybal, 4:53.73.
5. Tim Wermer, 10:26.52; Josh Bowman, 10:52.80; Adam Lang, 11:06.94.
5. Los Alamos (Cody Vaughn, Alper Unal, David Brock, Mike Sanchez), 46.90.
4. Los Alamos (Cody Vaughn, Ryan Erickson, Alper Unal, Mike Sanchez), 1:39.27.
1600 medley relay
5. Los Alamos (Cody Vaughn, Mike Sanchez, Zach Breshears, Daniel Roybal), 4:02.18.
2. Los Alamos (Charles Rappe, Daniel Rodriguez, Tom Day, Kyle Pittman), 3:36.29.