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Sandoval leads ’Topper girls to big win at UNM

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Cross country: LA boys come within 3 points of Academy

By The Staff

Teresa Sandoval took top honors in the season-opening cross country race at Albuquerque Saturday morning.
Sandoval, a junior on the Los Alamos Hilltopper squad, nipped Volcano Vista’s Elisa Woody by less than two seconds at the finish line to win the University of New Mexico Invitational Saturday. The UNM meet, which combines a high school and collegiate race, was run at the UNM North Golf Course.
The first-place finish by Sandoval paced the Hilltopper girls, who won the team title at UNM for the second straight year. The Hilltoppers finished with 63 points, 20 points below the final tally of Class 5A Eldorado, the only other team in the girls field to score under 148 points.
The victory by Los Alamos’ girls immediately cements the team as the one to beat in Class 4A. St. Pius X and Albuquerque Academy, Los Alamos’ traditional foes, and Belen, the only other 4A girls team in the past 11 years besides Los Alamos and Academy to win a state title, were all well back in the final team standings.
Sandoval’s victory also puts her on the short list of contenders for an individual state title. Sandoval finished 10 seconds ahead of the next-closest 4A finisher at the race, teammate Jennifer Mooday, and 14 seconds ahead of Belen’s Arena Lewis.
Mooday and Sandoval went out with the front runners early in the race — faster than coaches Rob and Kathy Hipwood would’ve like, in fact — and at the two-mile mark, Sandoval started to take control.
On the boys side Saturday, the Hilltoppers also had a big showing, placing third in the final team standings.
Los Alamos picked up 126 team points, putting it just three points behind arch-rival Academy. Academy finished as the runner-up in UNM’s team competition with 123 points.
Rio Rancho’s Cleveland High School took top honors Saturday. The Storm was the only team to get under triple-digits scoring, finishing with 88 points. The Storm’s effort was led by Luis Martinez, the race’s individual champion.
Unlike the girls race, in which five Class 4A competitors placed in the top 10, only one 4A boy made the top 10 Saturday, Academy’s Jordan Farrell.
Pacing the Hilltoppers was Nick Hill, who finished just out of the top 10, taking the 11th spot with his time of 16:32. Hill was also the top finisher for Los Alamos a week earlier at its preseason scrimmage against La Cueva.
The Hilltopper boys are in a transition phase this season with just two returners off of last season’s state runner-up team, Alexander Romero and Sean Reardon, but already appear to be within striking distance of Academy’s Chargers, which have won all but two Class 4A titles since 2000 – Los Alamos won the other two, upsetting the Chargers on both occasions.
Zak Kennison, who got off to a slow start in the first mile of the race, picked it up in the second mile and finished 27th overall, fourth among the Hilltopper finishers. Kennison’s finish in the latter two-thirds of the race was one of the big reasons the Hilltoppers were able to stay close with the Chargers.

Here are the results from Saturday’s University of New Mexico Invitational. Runners are from Los Alamos unless otherwise noted.

Girls

Team scores
1. Los Alamos, 63; 2. Eldorado, 83; 3. Cleveland, 148; 4. St. Pius X, 174; 5. Albuquerque Academy, 185; 6. La Cueva, 222; 7. Rio Rancho, 226; 8. Sandia, 248; 9. Belen, 289; 10. Volcano Vista, 313; 11. El Dorado (Texas), 322; 12. Bosque, 363; 13. Albuquerque, 387; 14. Wingate, 418; 15. El Paso Americas (Texas), 423; (tie) Miyamura, 423; 17. St. Michael’s, 430; 18. Las Vegas Robertson, 444; 19. Moriarty, 466; 20. Santa Fe Indian School, 520; 21. Manzano, 534; 22. Taos, 543; 23. Greeley West (Colo.), 546; 24. Jemez Valley, 603; 25. Santa Fe Prep, 621; 26. Piedra Vista, 685; 27. Pojoaque, 770.

Individual results
1. Teresa Sandoval, 19:24; 2. Elisa Woody, Volcano Vista, 19:26; 3. Malia Gonzales, Cleveland, 19:29; 4. Jennifer Mooday, 19:34; 5. Arena Lewis, Belen, 19:38; 6. Marissa Nathe, St. Pius, 19:39; 7. Coley Norcross, Eldorado, 19:48; 8. Jacqueline Katzman, Bosque, 19:51; 9. Daressa Manuelito, Sandia, 19:56; 10. Crissey Amberg, Eldorado, 20:03;

12. Jordan Parker, 20:14; 19. Elizabeth Turner, 20:29; 27. Mikayla Pulliam, 20:41; 40. Emily Pittman, 21:07; 42. Eliana Riciputi, 21:16.

Boys

Team scores
1. Cleveland, 88; 2. Albuquerque Academy, 123; 3. Los Alamos, 126; 4. La Cueva, 162; 5. Sandia, 174; 6. Rio Rancho, 214; 7. Eldorado, 279; 8. Volcano Vista, 312; 9. Manzano, 322; 10. Belen, 331; 11. Greeley West (Colo.), 335; 12. Pojoaque, 364; 13. El Dorado (Texas), 385; 14. Moriarty, 410; 15. St. Michael’s, 420; 16. Piedra Vista, 431; (tie) Santa Fe Indian School, 431; 18. Hope Christian, 454; 19. Miyamura, 493; 20. Highland, 518; 21. El Paso Americas (Texas), 607; 22. Albuquerque, 640; 23. Santa Fe Prep, 644; 24. East Mountain, 654; 25. West Mesa, 657; 26. St. Pius X, 665; 27. Atrisco Heritage, 675; 28. Sandia Prep, 699; 29. Wingate, 716; 30. Las Vegas Robertson, 742; 31. Taos, 797; 32. Valley, 853; 33. Jemez Valley, 880; 34. Bosque, 1031; 35. Dulce, 1115.

Individual results
1. Luis Martinez, Cleveland, 15:41; 2. Jesus Estrada, Atrisco Heritage, 16:07; 3. Hunter Firebaugh, La Cueva, 16:13; 4. Evert Finger, Greeley West, 16:16; 5. Zac Castillo, Volcano Vista, 16:18; 6. Ryan Betty, Rio Rancho, 16:22; 7. Joe Manuelito, Sandia, 16:25; 8. Andres Gonzales, St. Michael’s, 16:27; 9. Matt Smith, Cleveland, 16:30; 10. Jordan Farrell, Academy, 16:31;

11. Nick Hill, 16:32; 12. Sean Reardon, 16:33; 20. Alexander Romero, 16:50; 27. Zak Kennison, 16:56; 56. Daniel Romero, 17:28; 64. Orion Staples, 17:36; 127. Marcus Gutierrez, 18:31.