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Girls track and field: Toppers hold off Tigers at LA Classic Friday

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By Mike Cote

With about a month left in the season, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls track and field team already has its sights set on the state Class 4A meet.
And with a good shot at claiming its third straight state title, the expectations are high.
Los Alamos had its first chance of the 2011 season to display its talents for the home crowd to see Friday afternoon. Los Alamos hosted four other teams at the Los Alamos Classic at Sullivan Field.
At that meet, the Hilltoppers held off a big charge from the Aztec Tigers. The Tigers, a Class 4A foe, picked up for wins on the day.
However, Los Alamos, spearheaded by stars Laura Wendelberger and Chase Ealey, as well as its very tough relay squads, won the team competition Friday with a score of 122 points. Aztec finished in second place with a healthy total of 104.5 points and Hope Christian, a Class 3A school from Albuquerque, was third with a very respectable total of 87.5 points.
While Los Alamos appears still to be the team to beat in 4A this season, Hilltopper head coach Paul Anderson said there is still a long way to go before his team can hoist a trophy.
“It’s hard to say,” Anderson said when asked how 4A is shaping up this season. “Aztec is a very good team. There are three other teams in the Four Corners that are really good, but I think we’ll be OK.”
For Los Alamos Friday, Ealey and Wendelberger won a combined five events.
Wendelberger, a sophomore, is having a fantastic 2011 season. In Friday’s meet, she won the high jump competition, nipping teammate Chelsea Chalacombe for the win, as well as the 100 hurdles.
Wendelberger, who is the reigning 4A high jump champ, didn’t impress herself with those two wins as much as her second place finish in another event.
“I got a (personal record) in the long jump, 2-1/2 inches further,” she said. “That was probably the best part for me.”
Ealey, meanwhile, powered her way to wins in the 100 meters, shot put and javelin. In the shot put, she outdistanced Aztec’s Angela Evans by eight feet and in the javelin, Ealey was almost 15 feet better than Thalia Quinn of Aztec.
Los Alamos also earned a big state-qualifying victory in the 800 meter relay. With the team from Aztec breathing down its neck the entire way, Los Alamos earned a 1:47.52 to clinch the win and the qualification mark.
Amy Neal, who helped the 800 relay team to the win, said everything seemed to click for the Hilltoppers in that race.
“It was my first 4-by-2, so I’m kind of excited,” Neal said. “When I saw we were behind, I had to speed us up. I like (200s). They’re the perfect race. They leave you winded but they don’t put you in pain.”
Aztec did best Los Alamos in two relays, the 1600 and the 1600 medley, but Los Alamos’ better depth proved to be the difference.

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Team scores
1. Los Alamos, 122; 2. Aztec, 104.5; 3. Hope Christian, 87.5; 4. Pojoaque, 19; 5. East Mountain, 17.

3200 meters
1. Caroline Kaufman, East Mountain, 12:13.25; 2. Elizabeth Brug, 12:48.18; 3. Amanda Mercer, 12:55.40; 4. Eliana Riciputi, 13:47.50.

400 relay
1. Los Alamos, 49.24; 2. Pojoaque, 50.18; 3. Hope, 50.24.

100 hurdles
1. Laura Wendelberger, 16.56; 2. Lindsay Benage, 16.87; 3. Anna Duval, Hope, 16.93; Chelsea Chalacombe, 18.72; Naomi DeLay, 19.90.

100 meters
1. Chase Ealey, 12.38; 2. Meghan Gerry, Aztec, 12.88; 3. Kearney Moss, Hope, 13.16.

1600 meters
1. Rachel Kresl, Aztec, 5:44.88; 2. Sarah Cordova, Hope, 5:49.28; 3. Jen Mooday, 5;54.66; 4. Mikayla Pulliam, 6:01.02; 6. Miranda Barraza, 6:55.12.

800 relay
1. Los Alamos, 1:47.52; 2. Aztec, 1:49.42; 3. Hope, 1:50.08.

400 meters
1. Jessica Kresl, Aztec, 1:00.41; 2. Erika Nelson, Hope, 1:00.78; 3. Amanda Bishop, East Mountain, 1:01.60; 6. Kayla Martinez, 1:08.15; Morgan Schake, 1:08.25; Megan Kelley, 1:10.54.

1600 medley relay
1. Aztec, 4:32.60; 2. Hope, 4:42.00; 3. Los Alamos, 4:52.31.

300 hurdles
1. Jenae Christiansen, Hope, 50.21; 2. Kelsey Hjalmarson, Aztec, 52.34; 3. Anna Duvall, Hope, 52.84; 4. Chelsea Chalacombe, 54.24; Naomi DeLay, 54.40.

800 meters
1. Erika Nelson, Hope, 2:33.31; 2. Caroline Kaufman, East Mountain, 2:35.21; 3. Emily Pittman, 2:35.84; 6. Amanda Mercer, 2:48.84.

200 meters
1. Meghan Gerry, Aztec, 27.11; 2. Erica Nelson, Hope, 27.81; 3. Tyra Gabehart, Aztec, 28.49; 4. Morgan Schake, 28.81; Kayla Martinez, 29.31.

1600 relay
1. Hope, 4:11.09; 2. Los Alamos, 4:12.02; 3. Aztec, 4:31.25.

Pole vault
1. Amy Neal, 8-0; 2. Morgan Schake, 7-0; 3. Toria Kovacs, Aztec, 6-6.

Triple jump

1. Aasha Marler, Hope, 36-2; 2. Kendra Mitchell, Aztec, 33-6 1/2; 3. Meaghan Gerry, Aztec, 33-5; Allison Rooney, 30-7; Jordan Ahlers, 29-5 3/4; Katelyn Leslie, 29-4 1/4.

Shot put

1. Chase Ealey, 38-7; 2. Angela Evans, Aztec, 30-7; 3. Shelby Keffeler, 30-2; Rachel Ehler, 24-7.

Javelin

1. Chase Ealey, 112-3; 2. Thalia Quinn, Aztec, 97-10; 3. Caitlyn Espinoza, Aztec, 89-3; 6. Shelby Keffeler, 79-3; Rachel Ehler, 69-3.

High jump

1. Laura Wendelberger, 5-0; 2. Chelsea Chalacombe, 5-0; 3. Kayli Farmer, 4-10; 4. Lindsay Benage, 4-10; Allison Rooney, 4-4.

Long jump

1. Amanda Babicke, Pojoaque, 17-1/2; 2. Laura Wendelberger, 16-9 1/2; 3. Kearney Moss, 16-7 3/4; Chelsea Chalacombe, 15-1/2; Lindsay Benage, 14-0.

Discus

1. Shelby Keffeler, 93-5; 2. Thalia Quinn, Aztec, 90-8; 3. Shiknolah Sales, Aztec, 86-8 1/2; Rachel Ehler, 63-3/4.