Girls cross country: LA finishes seventh without No. 2 runner

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE — Trying to topple one of the top squads in the state at home is tall enough of an order at full strength.

Doing it short-handed, however, makes the job even doubly-complicated.

The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls cross country team found that out first-hand Friday at the Albuquerque Academy Invitational.

Prior to the race, Los Alamos found out it would be without the team’s No. 2 runner Megan Reader. Reader, who had been duking it out with an Achilles tendon problem all season, had a flare-up with it. The Hilltoppers, not wanting to risk further injury, kept her out of Friday’s meet.

Without Reader, a tough assignment ended up being too tough for the Hilltoppers. They finished seventh in the 14-team field at Friday’s meet.

The homestanding Academy Chargers, behind a huge win from junior Clara Milne, won Friday’s meet going away. Julia Foster and Megan Dunlap both cracked the top-10 individually as the Chargers won the team competition by 23 points over second-place La Cueva.

Los Alamos, which garnered 145 points, was paced by Holly Walker’s 19 minute, 50 second effort. She is believed to be just the third Hilltopper to break 20 minutes at Academy.

Behind her, Ariana Rowberry and Hannah Little put on spirited efforts in Reader’s absence, taking 21st and 26th places.

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