LA runners head to nationals meet

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By Mike Cote

Its name is mud. Or if it isn’t, it should be.Mud, and plenty of it, will be what the contingent of Los Alamos runners will be seeing during Saturday’s Nike Team Nationals event. The event, bankrolled by Nike, Inc., will be held in Portland, Ore.The team, comprised of runners from the Los Alamos Hilltopper prep cross country squad, goes under the moniker of Los Alamos XC. Because the New Mexico prep season is over, the team won’t technically be running for Los Alamos High School.However, the distinction is mostly just a technicality.The team practiced Tuesday night through the slop and cold at North Mesa in preparation for Saturday’s race, which will be primarily a slop race.The course, while mostly flat, is expected to be muddy because of the prevalent rain that’s soaked the Portland area for most of this week, and is expected to continue through Friday.Additionally, the course will be littered with some artificial obstacles in some areas. Among those obstacles are small piles of dirt that come one right after another in one area, along with some strategically-placed hay bales that the runners must leap over.“All these little things are sort of conducive to our kids,” Los Alamos coach Rob Hipwood said of the course obstacles.

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