Cross country: Boys finish 2nd behind Academy in Colorado

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By Mike Cote

In the state of New Mexico or outside of it, one thing seems to be certain: Los Alamos and Albuquerque Academy are among the best around in boys cross country.

As they did a week earlier at the heavily-attended University of New Mexico Invitational, Academy and Los Alamos went 1-2 at the Liberty Bell Invitational. That meet was held at Littleton, Colo., Friday.

Los Alamos’ boys finished with 114 team points, second only to Academy’s 72. Both finished well ahead of third-place Regis’ (Colo.) 169 points.

Also Friday, the Hilltopper girls finished fifth at the meet, one of the largest in Colorado and one which attracts several top teams from that state and Wyoming. Los Alamos’ girls picked up 210 points, which put them nine points ahead of the Academy girls, who finished eighth in team competition.

The girls team contest was won by Fort Collins, Colo., which collected only 38 points.

“In the back of my mind, I thought if we got top five, that would be great,” Hilltopper co-head coach Kathy Hipwood said. “To finish that way, we’re extremely pleased. They were really going for it. They’re running with a lot of heart and getting everything they can out of themselves.”

Gareth Gilna put on another top-notch performance. Gilna finished second in the boys competition, running the flat 3.12-mile course in just 15 minutes, 8 seconds.

Friday’s finish was the second-straight second-place finish for Gilna, who was also the runner-up at UNM.

Teammate Kyle Pittman crossed in 15:28, good enough for fifth-place overall.

“Gareth and Kyle ran great,” Hipwood said. “Gareth’s performance ranks him right up there with the best in the nation.”

In all, five Hilltopper boys placed in the top 40, with Austin Jacobson (34th), Nat Gustafson (35th) and Andrew Vierra (38th) completing the course within six seconds of one another.

Gustafson went into the race with a stomach bug, but was able to maintain stride with the rest of the Hilltopper pack.

“The pack’s working hard,” Hipwood said. “I think they want to keep improving, and we ended up a very solid second.”

On the girls side, Holly Walker was a strong 11th individually, posting a time of 18:46. Megan Reader was the second finisher for the Hilltopper squad, taking 39th place with a time of 19:50.

Everyone of the Hilltopper girls earned a personal-best time Friday.

Here are Los Alamos’ results from Friday’s Liberty Bell Invitational:


Team scores

1. Fort Collins, Colo., 38; 2. Cherry Creek, Colo., 162; 3. Boulder, Colo., 183; 4. Cheyenne Mountain, Colo., 208; 5. Los Alamos 210; 6. Arapahoe, Colo., 217;  (tie) Palmer, Colo.,  217; 8. Albuquerque Academy, 219; 9. Cheyenne Central, Wyo., 243; 10. Rocky Mountain, Colo., 246; 11. Smoky Hill, Colo., 272; 12. Grandview, Colo., 280; 13. Regis, Colo., 298; 14. Fairview, Colo., 315; 15. Chaparral, Colo., 339; 16. Douglas County, Colo., 371; 17. St. Michael’s, 380;  18. Ponderosa, Colo., 476; 19. Rock Springs, Wyo., 500; 20. Eaglecrest, Colo., 541; 21. Overland, Colo., 681.

Individual results

11. Holly Walker, 18:46; 39. Megan Reader, 19:50; 50. Ariana Rowberry, 20:08; 51. Hannah Little, 20:10; 59. Victoria Honnell, 20:20; 70. Victoria Trujillo, 20:40; 108. Elizabeth Brug, 21:36.


Team scores

1. Albuquerque Academy, 72; 2. Los Alamos, 114; 3. Regis, Colo., 169; 4. Fairview, Colo., 190; 5. Fort Collins, Colo., 205; 6. Palmer, Colo., 217; 7. Cherry Creek, Colo., 222; 8. Boulder, Colo., 224; 9. Chaparral, Colo., 242; 10. St. Michael’s 276; 11. Cheyenne Mountain, Colo., 309; 12. Rock Springs, Wyo., 330; 13. Rocky Mountain, Colo., 336; 14. Arapahoe, Colo., 339; 15. Eaglecrest, Colo., 349; 16. Smoky Hill, Colo., 371; 17. Overland, Colo., 392; 18. Cheyenne Central, Wyo., 408; 19. Douglas County, Colo., 432; 20. Grandview, Colo., 555; 21. Ponderosa, Colo., 570.

Individual results

2. Gareth Gilna, 15:08; 5. Kyle Pittman, 15:28; 34. Austin Jacobson, 16:34; 35. Nat Gustafson, 16:36; 38. Andrew Vierra, 16:40; 43. Kevin Hemphill, 16:44; 51. Ben Havemann, 16:55.