Kirk, Ortiz earn sports media honor

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By The Staff

Few athletes managed to grab the attention of fans during the 2012-13 academic year like Erin Kirk. She certainly grabbed the attention of the media.
Erin Kirk was named the female Athlete of the Year by the Los Alamos Sports Association. She was awarded a plaque and a T-shirt to commemorate her pick as the top athlete at Los Alamos High School during her senior year.
LASA is an informal group made up of members of the Los Alamos sports media, which includes KRSN AM 1490’s sports announcers Gene Mortensen, Rick Picard, Mike Katko, station co-owner David Sutton and John McHale and Mike Maez-Cote of the Los Alamos Monitor.
LASA plans to make the Athlete of the Year award an annual event to recognize LAHS’ top senior sports performers.
Kirk was recognized at a ceremony Monday at De Colores restaurant.
The male Athlete of the Year selection for the 2012-13 season was Arnoldo Oritz, although Ortiz didn’t attend Monday’s ceremony.
Ortiz was the only four-sport athlete at Los Alamos last year. He was the top rusher on the Hilltopper football team in the fall, a third-place finisher at the state tournament in wrestling and a starter for the hockey team in the winter, and competed in track and field during the spring.
For the Hilltopper football team, Oritz rushed for 1,087 yards (a 7.25-yard average), despite seeing limited carries late in the season. In the wrestling state championship at 170 pounds, Ortiz bounced back from a semifinal round loss to defeat two straight opponents to pick up a third-place medal.
Kirk, meanwhile, was a three-sport star. She was picked as a first team All-District outside hitter for volleyball during her senior year, All-District first team as a first baseman in softball and was named to the North All-Star basketball team by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association.
With the Hilltopper girls basketball team, Kirk was the top scorer for the season, averaging 10.3 points per game and was second in rebounding with 5.1 boards per game in 29 appearances.
Kirk was also selected for the 2012-13 Clendenen Award, the highest honor given by LAHS to a graduating student-athlete.
Like her older brother, men’s basketball player Alex Kirk, Erin will attend the University of New Mexico. She said she hasn’t decided if she will attempt to walk-on for any UNM sports, although she did say she might consider trying out for the Lobo softball team.