'Topper boys finish within eight points of AAAA power Academy Friday

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By Mike Cote

Just like it wanted to, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys varsity cross country team inched closer to the Albuquerque Academy Chargers.

The Hilltoppers are hoping to upset the Chargers at the upcoming state Class AAAA championship race, and are as close as they've been all season. The 'Toppers finished just eight points behind the Chargers, the top-ranked team in the southwest at Friday's Los Alamos Invitational.

At the Los Alamos Invitational, held at Los Alamos Golf Course, the Hilltoppers placed three runners into the top 10, equaling the Chargers. Through those first three runners, the Chargers had just a one-point advantage over the Hilltoppers.

Allen Pittman blazed the field, save one member, for Los Alamos, with his time of 16:12 on the rolling golf course. He was followed by Kyle Pittman in fourth place (16:23), who nearly outkicked third-place finisher Kevin Palmer of Eldorado.

At the front of Friday's race, once again, was the undefeated Ben Johnson of Academy. Johnson blazed out to the front less than an eighth of a mile into Friday's race and kept expanding his lead throughout. He finished the 3.1-mile course in 15:30.

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