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Both the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls cross country teams tried their luck at the Nike Cross Southwest Regionals last weekend in Arizona.
The Hilltoppers, running as the Los Alamos Cross Country Club, finished in 13th place in the girls championship race out of 25 squads, picking up 340 team points, and in 22nd place on the boys side with a score of 537 out of 31 competing teams.
Because the New Mexico high school season has concluded, the Hilltopper teams, and other state teams, are barred from competing for their schools.
Teams from New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Nevada competed at the race, which was held at the Toka Sticks Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz.
It was the second time this season the Hilltoppers had run at Toka Sticks. They also competed there for the Desert Twilight Meet in early October during the prep season.
The Nike Cross Regionals are a qualifier for Nike’s national race, which is scheduled for next month at the Nike corporation’s headquarters.
Individually, Los Alamos’ boys were paced by Colin Hemez. Hemez, who won the Class 4A individual state title earlier this month at Rio Rancho, came in 32nd in the boys championship race.
Hemez finished with a time of 16 minutes, 16 seconds, about 45 seconds off the pace set by top individual finisher Zachry Jacklin of American Fork, Utah.
American Fork was the top boys team, as well, with its score of 111 points. Fort Collins, Colo., was the top team in the girls championship race with 73 points.
For Los Alamos’ girls, Nica Vasquez was the first finisher, coming in at 19:29, placing her 51st overall, two spots ahead of teammate Sophia Galvez.
Los Alamos’ arch-rivals, Albuquerque Academy, had a solid showing in the boys race. Running as ABQ XC, Academy’s team took seventh place. Academy was paced by Kevin Wyss’ 21st place finish.
Here are the individual finishes for Los Alamos runners at the Nike Cross Southwest Regional:
51. Nica Vasquez, 19:29; 53. Sophia Galvez, 19:30; 61. Maddy Foley, 19:38; 85. Mikayla Pulliam, 20:03; 90. Amanda Mercer, 20:10; 107. Katy Stockton, 20:23; 110. Talia Dreicer, 20:29.
32. Colin Hemez, 16:16; 67. Mike Walker, 16:36; 108. Cameron Staples, 16:53; 161. John Rees, 17:24; 169. Forrest White, 17:28; 182. Connor Bailey, 17:42; 187 Hayden Walker, 17:50.