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  • Sports Briefs 3-26-15

    Pace race season near
    The 42nd season of the pace race series, conducted by the Atomic City Road Runners Club, will begin on April 7 at 6 p.m. at the Canyon Rim Trailhead parking lot across from the Co-operative Market on East Road (N.M. 502).
    The club will meet on Tuesdays at various locations throughout Los Alamos County through early October.
    For more information call 672-1639 or visit atomicrunners.com

    Hall of fame nominations sought
    The LAHS athletic department is accepting nominations for its 2015 hall of fame class.
    Nomination forms can be found on the LAHS athletic website or can be picked up in the athletic office.
    There are three categories for nominations: former athlete, former coach (head, assistant or volunteer from middle or high school), and a contributor to LAPS athletics. A contributor could include, but is not limited to an educator, manager, media, medical, official, trainer, volunteer, athletic director, assistant and volunteer coaches.
    The deadline to nominate people is June 1. The nominees will be notified by August 1.
    A committee has been selected that will review the nominations and select the second class.

  • High-flying gymnasts win at state meet

    Emily Smith became the first member of High Flyers Gymnastics to win an all-around state championship March 7 in Albuquerque. Smith finished first in the level 2 Junior Olympic meet, winning the vault and floor exercise to catapult her to the all-around title.
    Three other high flyers also won state championships in individual events. Megan Martinez and Valarie Valdez both placed first on level 2 balance beam in their age groups while Sofia Enriquez won the level 3 uneven bars title with a score of 9.45.
    There were 22 gymnasts from High Flyers who competed in the championship meet, which included both level 2 and Level 3 age group competitions.
    In level 2, Ashley Hammond took second place all-around. She finished second on the floor exercise with 9.025, had a third-place finish on balance beam and fourth-place finishes on both the vault and uneven bars.
    Despite fighting a stomach virus, Elizabeth Merrill competed and finished in fifth place all around.
    Other Level 2 all-around results included Anna Kirkland’s fourth-place finish. Megan Martinez placed fourth all-around and third on the bars with a 9.15. Kwan Jemu Lopez Moya placed fifth all around. Cammie Pressett finished sixth. Ashley Smith took fifth. Aubrianna Telchy placed fifth. Valarie Valdez took third on the bars and fourth all around.

  • Minor League Baseball announces new pace of game regulations

    Minor League Baseball recemtly announced rules and procedures aimed at improving the pace of play in games at the Triple-A and Double-A levels.

    The procedures, created in partnership with Major League Baseball, will monitor the time taken between innings and pitches, and will limit the amount of time allowed during pitching changes. Umpires will continue to enforce rules prohibiting batters from leaving the batter’s box between pitches.

    Timers have been installed at all Triple-A and Double-A parks in plain view of umpires, players and fans to monitor the pace of play and determine when violations occur. The month of April will serve as a grace period, with players receiving warnings for infractions. Beginning May 1, rules will be enforced as written. The regulations and penalties for non-compliance are listed below.

    INNING BREAKS

    -Inning breaks will be two minutes, 25 seconds in duration. The first batter of an inning is encouraged to be in the batter’s box and alert to the pitcher with 20 seconds left on the inning break timer. The pitcher must begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position at any point within the last 20 seconds of the 2:25 break.

  • ’Topper track teams rising to challenge

    The Los Alamos track teams competed with mostly bigger schools again Saturday at the Buddy Robertson Invite in Albuquerque.
    Both teams were up to the challenge.
    The Hilltopper boys finished fourth in the team race with 66 points, just 1 point behind Manzano and 2 points behind Volcano Vista.
    Cleveland (129) took first. Highland (63) finished fifth, followed by La Cueva (25), Valley (20), Del Norte (13) and Bosque (3).
    “The kids just performed well,” boys head coach Larry Baca said.
    The Hilltoppers girls, meanwhile, finished third out of the nine teams with 65 points.
    Cleveland (133) finished first, followed by La Cueva (86), Los Alamos, Volcano Vista (61), Highland (41), Valley (30), Del Norte (28), Manzano (5) and Bosque (2).
    “We’re holding our own against some powerhouses,” girls head coach Paul Anderson said. “It was just a good overall team effort.”
    Greg Ahlers set a new personal record to win the high jump with a state-qualifying height. He cleared 6 feet, 4 inches.
    Skyler McCall cleared 5-8 to take fourth.
    The team’s distance runners also came up big in the mile. Hayden Walker won the race in 4 minutes, 44.71 seconds. Conner Bailey finished second in 4:54.62 and John Rees took fourth in 4:56.74.

  • LA lacrosse optimistic after first two games

    The Los Alamos lacrosse team lost its first two games of the season on Saturday, but is feeling optimistic after its performances.
    “We only had 11 practices before our first game and they’d been playing two months so the ceiling is high,” coach James Miller said.
    The ’Toppers lost their first game 13-6 against the undefeated Sandia Matadors (5-0).
    The 6 goals Los Alamos scored, however, were as many as Sandia had given up in its four other games combined.
    “Our offense is humming,” Miller said.
    Charlie Christensen, Hudson Davenhall, Welsey Skidmore and Griffin Matuszak led Los Alamos’ attack over the weekend.
    The ’Toppers played the Rio Rancho Raptors (4-2) next, but lost the back-and-forth battle 16-14.
    “It was a dog fight,” Miller said.
    Most of the goals Los Alamos gave up were in its transition defense which also had some trouble clearing the ball. On set plays, however, the ’Toppers were able to do a good job shutting their opponents down.
    Trevor Matuszak also had some “awesome hits” and “tenacious ground ball work” against Rio Rancho, Miller said.
    “I was very proud of the effort we put forward,” Miller said. “We might be small, but we can run.”

  • Battling for the ball
  • LA baseball team goes 1-2 at tough Piedra Vista tourney

    The Los Alamos baseball team took on the defending state champs, Piedra Vista, for a second time this season on Saturday. For the second time Piedra Vista was able to beat the ’Toppers by a 3-2 score, but it needed extra innings to get the win.
    “It was a good ball game,” Los Alamos manager Mike Gill said.
    The Panthers led 2-0 after five innings, but Los Alamos fought back.
    Connor Mang started the top of the sixth inning with a single. Jared Mang hit a single and moved Connor to third base. Lane Saunders then got an RBI with a ground out.
    Los Alamos tied the game in the seventh. Jarrett Genero singled. Zealand Waltersheid laid down a sacrifice bunt to put Genero in scoring position. Then Jake Rutten hit a single into right field to bring Genero home.
    Piedra Vista had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh, but Los Alamos’ defense came through and made a play at the plate. With a runner on second, Piedra Vista hit a single into center field. Jared Mang fielded the ball and threw home. Trevor Pacheco did a good job blocking home, Gill said, and tagged the runner out to send the game into extra innings.
    In the bottom of the ninth, however, two Los Alamos errors and an intentional walk loaded the bases. Piedra Vista then plated the winning run with a sacrifice fly.

  • Altmann sends it in Alaska

    With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Garrett Altmann didn’t hold anything back, Monday, in Haines, Alaska.
    After three attempts, the conditions finally allowed the Freeride World Tour’s competitors to take on The Venue in Alaska. The tour had been there for nine days, but the wait paid off with sunny skies and fresh snow.
    Altmann started the day in 15th place and needed to move into the top-12 to advance to the tour’s finale in Verbier, Switzerland.
    On the top section Altmann launched off a cliff and was in the air long enough to do a couple of tricks — crossing his skis and then doing what the judges called a “donkey kick.”
    On the bottom section Altmann went big again, tossing a front flip off of a blind rollover. He was unable to land the rick, however, and ended up doing a couple of cartwheels before regaining control.
    Altmann fell once more in a tight spine section and ended up kicking both skis off while tumbling down in his slough.
    The two falls kept him from moving up in the tour’s rankings and qualifying for Verbier, but the good news for Altmann is he’ll get another chance.

  • LA baseball and tennis teams fall

    Baseball

    The Los Alamos baseball team was unable to give Fruita-Monument (Colo.) its first loss of the season Friday in the semifinals of Piedra Vista tournament. The ’Toppers fell to the Wildcats, 7-3.
    Fruita (7-0) hit five doubles in the game to take down Los Alamos (6-4).

    Tennis

    The Los Alamos girls tennis team lost a close match against La Cueva Friday, 5-4.
    The ’Toppers got wins at No. 1, 2 and 3 singles.
    Sidra Hsieh-Ratliff beat Janelle Lee 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1.
    Laura Whicker took down Riley Cook, 7-5, 6-1 at No. 2.
    At No. 3 singles, Lauryn Anaya won against Corrine Vaughan 7-6, 1-6 and 0-0 (1-0).
    La Cueva, however, won at No. 4, 5 and 6 singles and then took two of the three doubles matches to win the contest.
    Lauren Fugate and Astrid Hengartner both lost hard-fought matches in the three sets.
    Whicker and Katya Skurikhin won at No. 2 doubles for Los Alamos, 6-3, 7-5 against Vaughan and Alex Mosey.
    The dual loss was the Hilltopper girls first of the season.
    Los Alamos’ boys tennis team also lost to La Cueva, 9-0.
    No. 2 singles player George Margevicious was the only Hilltopper to boy to win a set against La Cueva, but lost his match 7-5, 1-6 and 0-0 (10-6) to Joe Cooper.

  • Altmann, world tour on hold in Alaska

    The Freeride World Tour (FWT) stop in Haines, Alaska, has turned into a balancing act of patience and alertness.
    The big mountain competition originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
    All of the competitors hopped in a helicopter for a 30-minute ride to a staging area. Then they jumped in another helicopter for a 10-minute ride to the peak where the competition will take place on, aptly named The Venue.
    Then clouds rolled in and the event was postponed because of the flat light.
    On Thursday the forecast looked promising, so once again the competitors made their way to the start. After waiting on the top of The Venue for four hours, however, the visibility showed no sign of improving so the event was postponed again.
    On Friday the forecast looked good and the competitors were optimistic they’d finally be able to compete.
    The helicopter rides up to The Venue were once again in vain.
    With a new storm in Alaska’s forecast, the event’s organizers are now shooting for a Sunday or Monday start.
    It was originally scheduled to take place before March 22. That date has been pushed back, keeping the ambitious Alaska dream alive.