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One good turn might deserve another, but Jennifer Mooday was not the beneficiary of that good turn Saturday. Quite the opposite.
Mooday, a senior on the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls cross country team, was pointed in the wrong direction on one of the many loops during the first race of Saturday’s Los Lunas Invitational. Mooday, who had a sizeable lead at the time, lost out on that lead.
The bum steer may have cost Mooday an individual win at the race, hosted by the Class 4A Los Lunas Tigers, but the Hilltoppers as a team were hardly worse off for it.
Both the Hilltopper boys and girls picked up big victories at the meet. The Hilltopper girls finished with 20 points, far outdistancing runner up Santa Fe Indian School. The Hilltopper boys, meanwhile, just missed a perfect scoring, picking up 16 team points, paced by Sean Reardon’s individual victory and Nick Hill’s second place finish, less than a second behind.
Los Alamos’ boys started off the race a little too conservatively, said coaches Rob and Kathy Hipwood, but recovered well in the latter stages of the race.
Reardon and Hill were shoulder-to-shoulder through the bulk of the race, while Colin Hemez and Zak Kennison both finished within six seconds of the front-runners.
Saturday’s race was the first in two weeks since the teams’ big finish at the Desert Twilight Classic, held in Tempe, Ariz. Los Alamos’ boys took top honors in the sweepstakes race at the Desert Twilight Classic, one of the biggest competitions in the southwest.
For Los Alamos’ girls, Mooday wound up in second place overall despite being pointed in the wrong direction. She was followed by five of her teammates who made it into the top 10 individually.
The Hipwoods said they were impressed with the girls’ overall effort — they pointed out that the top 10 runners, including the junior varsity race Saturday, finished within 33 seconds of each other.
Here are Los Alamos’ results from the Los Lunas Invitational:
1. Los Alamos, 20; 2. Santa Fe Indian School, 102; 3. Los Lunas, 115; 4. Estancia, 147; 5. Valencia, 149; 6. Grants, 149; 7. Gallup, 157; 8. Sandia Prep, 162; 9. Jemez Valley, 210; 10. Belen, 234; 11. Socorro, 284.
2. Jennifer Mooday, 20:30; 3. Teresa Sandoval, 20:35; 4. Amanda Mercer, 20:38; 5. Jordan Parker, 20:42; 6. Mikayla Pulliam, 20:46; 9. Miranda Barraza, 20:58; 13. Janali Gustafson, 21:51.
1. Los Alamos, 16; 2. Belen, 67; 3. Gallup, 109; 4. Sandia Prep, 155; 5. Grants, 158; 6. Santa Fe Indian School, 172; 7. West Las Vegas, 202; 8. Socorro, 208; 9. Valencia, 210; 10. Los Lunas, 225; 11. Estancia, 28; 12. Jemez Valley, 332; 13. Gateway Christian, 378.,
1. Sean Reardon, 16:58; 2. Nick Hill, 16:58; 3. Colin Hemez, 17:02; 4. Zak Kennison, 17:04; 6. Orion Staples, 17:09; 8. Mike Walker, 17:19; 14. Gus Saeger, 17:47.