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It is a common position to be in for the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls cross country team, but not so much for the Hilltopper boys.
Going into the 2012 season, the Hilltopper teams are both solid favorites in Class 4A. Rarely is a team other than the Albuquerque Academy Charger boys the favorite.
But after losing just one senior off a team that demolished all comers at the 2011 state meet, including the vaunted Chargers, the Hilltoppers are doubtlessly the team to beat.
“We’re trying not to think about it,” said returning runner Orion Staples. “Obviously, Academy’s still a major threat. Again, we’ve got to run the hardest. It’ll be good if we can beat them.”
The Hilltopper boys will be paced by senior Sean Reardon, who had a monster track season. His spring culminated in an upset victory over Del Norte’s Jackson Thomas in the 1,600 meters and a runner-up finish behind Jackson in the 3,200.
Reardon posted his best finish ever in last weekend’s preseason dual against La Cueva, a notable 5A program.
Los Alamos has been a regular participant at the University of New Mexico Invitational, where the teams will open their season Friday.
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