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ALBUQUERQUE – As it has for the past several seasons, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys track and field team was looking for a big showing from its distance squad at state.
And as it has for the past several seasons, the Hilltoppers got it and its two top distance stars didn’t disappoint.
Senior Sean Reardon successfully defended his 1,600 state championship and finished second in the 800, while senior Nick Hill gutted out a tight 3200 meter race to claim the state title in that event.
Los Alamos again finished strong in the final standings at the Class 4A meet, held Friday and Saturday at the University of New Mexico Track and Field Complex.
The Hilltoppers finished with 41 points in the 4A meet, their second straight fourth-place finish.
Winning the title was Piedra Vista with an impressive total of 76 points, 20 points better than runner-up Farmington.
Senior Daniel Dunning closed out his career with a pair of top-six finishes Saturday amid very stiff competition.
In the triple jump, he earned sixth place in a competition that saw Academy’s Kale Brown demolish the Class 4A state record by six inches to win that title.
Later Saturday, Dunning took fifth in the 110 hurdles, again amid some of Class 4A’s top overall athletes and fighting a sore quad that he tweaked during the triple.
“It was the last race of my high school career,” said Dunning, who has only been running hurdles for two seasons. “I decided to go for it and I had a good (personal record).”
Reardon started out with a big win Friday in the 1600 meters. Reardon, the defending 4A champ in the event, stayed with Christopher Graham of St. Pius and Nick Hill throughout the first lap, then about 100 meters into the second lap started to take off.
Graham and Reardon were nearly step-for-step through the next lap, then at the 900-meter mark Reardon took off and opened up a 4-second lead by the end of lap three. He would pull away from the pack with no trouble the rest of the way to finish in 4:17.58.
“I’m so happy with that. That’s a huge (personal record) for me,” he said.
“I had nothing else left for that mile. I left it all out there.”
Los Alamos’ Colin Hemez, emerging from the tight pack which trailed Reardon, finished third behind Moriarty’s Austin Anaya, who also broke away from the rest of the field in the latter part of the race.
Reardon finished second in the 800 behind St. Pius’ Steven Duran but held off top-seeded Tyler Valdez of Belen.
In the 3,200, Hill and Zachary Grand of Santa Fe broke away from the pack after about 1-1/2 laps. Grand led Hill until early in lap six, but Hill said at that point he saw an opening and took off.
Hill ultimately won by a comfortable margin and Grand faded, but Hill kicked in the final 120 meters like the race was still on the line.
“I was still worried,” Hill said.
“Anything could have happened. I wanted to end the race as strong as I could.”
Friday, Los Alamos senior Brady Stokes took fourth in the javelin with his throw of 137-2 and Seth Drop, who came on strong late in the season in the pole vault, cleared 12-0 to take fourth in that contest.