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Girls track and field: LA opens season at APS Saturday

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By Mike Cote

Filling out the event lineup shouldn’t be a problem for the Los Alamos girls track and field team this season.With 66 roster spots filled already and perhaps a couple more athletes on the way, Los Alamos should have just about everything covered.“We sort of know how many are coming out after basketball,” Los Alamos head coach Paul Anderson said. “It lets us do some things, and it lets the kids do some things. We’ll get to try things out.”Los Alamos opens its regular season Saturday at the Albuquerque Public Schools Invitational. The meet will be held at Wilson Stadium.For this first meet, Los Alamos is worried mostly about assessment and benchmarking rather than making a huge impression on the rest of the state.“It’s nice to see where you’re at with the first meet,” Hilltopper sprinter and long jumper Emi Weeks said during Wednesday’s workout, just before the snow came.With the weather being mostly cooperative during the early part of the training schedule, Los Alamos has been able to get both its running and field event work in. So far, the team has been happy with what it’s seen, particularly out of the baton squads.“Definitely the relays (have been good,)” Weeks said. “The 4-by-100 has four really fast girls. There are a lot of fast sprinters, and we’ve got a strong distance team.”Saturday’s meet could be a good yardstick for things to come. Several solid teams are at the meet, including Class AAAAA Highland and La Cueva, and Class AAAA nemesis Albuquerque Academy.The Hilltoppers will strive to get back into form following their third place finish at the 2007 state meet, coming in behind Academy and St. Pius.Weeks is among the top finishers returning from the 2007 squad. As a freshman, Weeks finished fourth at state in the 100 meters and ran the anchor leg in the second place 400 relay along with returners Amanda Trujillo, Ali Blum and Jessica Stokes. That same group, of which only Ali Blum graduated, also finished fourth in the 800 relay.Stokes, a junior, also took third in both the 100 and 300 hurdles.The Los Alamos distance squad is more years than not one of the most celebrated in the state, and this year appears to be no exception.Sophomore Holly Walker, who emerged during the fall cross country season as one of the top distance runners in the state, will anchor a formidable group. Walker was third in the 3200 meters last year, finishing immediately ahead of teammate Margaret Wood, who is also back.Additionally, Anderson said the coaches from Los Alamos Middle School are high on this year’s freshman class, and he said he’s very interested to see how they perform as the season progresses.Following Saturday’s opener, Los Alamos will return to APS meets on March 15 and March 20.While Los Alamos is concerned primarily with getting ready for the end of the season, Anderson said he would like to see how his athletes perform at the third APS meet.“That’ll be a good jumping-off point to our post-spring break season,” he said.The District 2AAAA meet, which will be held at Sullivan Field, is scheduled for May 9-10. The state meet follows a week later.Los Alamos has won every district meet since joining 2AAAA in 2000.