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The Albuquerque Academy Charger boys have been the cream of the Class 4A cross country crop for most of this century.
But the last two years have been dominated by the Los Alamos Hilltoppers.
To keep that title, however, will be a challenge in 2013.
The new-look Hilltoppers will make their debut Saturday at the University of New Mexico Invitational, a meet that regularly attracts 30 or more prep teams and can be daunting for young runners.
This season, the Hilltoppers will have plenty of those young runners starting for them.
Gone from last year’s team are its top three finishers at state, including 2012 individual Class 4A champ Nick Hill. Hill led Los Alamos to a crushing victory over the Chargers in the team competition.
Los Alamos scored just 22 team points, among the lowest totals ever recorded at the state meet, placing five of its seven runners in the top eight overall.
This season, however, Academy has lots of talent and experience returning, while for Los Alamos, several runners with little or no varsity experience will be called up to the big squad and will be tested right off the bat.
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