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  • LA hopes to keep rolling at 4A state championships

    To say the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team will be going into the state Class 4A tournament with a wave of momentum may be something of an understatement.
    The Hilltoppers pulled off a huge upset last weekend at the District 2-4A championship tournament and have a full contingent heading into the state tournament, which gets going Friday morning at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.
    Los Alamos upended the Capital Jaguars for the district team title. Los Alamos needed a huge showing from its underclassmen and got just that as it nipped the Jaguars by six points to grab its third consecutive 2-4A crown.
    “We needed every single one of our wins,” said Los Alamos head coach Bob Geyer, who has steered the team to each one of those district titles. “One match goes the other way, we don’t win it.”
    Geyer said it was the most exciting tournament he’d ever been a part of in nine years of being a head coach and an assistant around the Hilltopper program.
    The Hilltoppers have 14 entries into the 4A tournament, including four district champs. Dominick Montoya, one of the younger wrestlers Los Alamos needed to come through last weekend, more than came through, upsetting Gilbert Mancha of Capital in the final of that weight class to earn the first district title of his career.

  • LA drops season finale to Jags

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team had chances to pull of a second victory over the Capital Jaguars in as many chances Wednesday night, but couldn’t close the deal in regulation.
    Now, the Hilltoppers must sit back and wait to find out where they will play next.
    Los Alamos battled all the way back from a 12-point deficit in the third quarter to tie the score early in the fourth quarter.
    Los Alamos held a couple of late leads over the Jaguars, but the Jaguars forced overtime.
    In overtime, the Jaguars outscored the Hilltoppers by five points to grab a 54-49 win at Edward Ortiz Gymnasium.
    The game was the season finale for Los Alamos, which will have to go the longest, toughest route possible to have any chance of sneaking into the postseason.
    Los Alamos will be on the road for the duration of the upcoming District 2-4A tournament. It will play Monday, although where it will play won’t be known until the other four teams in the district wrap up their seasons Saturday night.
    The race for the 2-4A regular season crown got quite a bit more complicated Wednesday. The Santa Fe Demons, who were right on the heels of the Española Valley Sundevils heading into this week’s play, dropped a 77-65 decision at Bernalillo.

  • Hilltoppers' State Championship Meet Entries

    Here are Los Alamos’ entries for the state swimming and diving championship meet. Top seeds in each event are in parentheses.

    Girls

    200 medley relay
    Los Alamos, 1:55.09
    (Eldorado 1:47.18)

    200 freestyle
    Sarah Lott, 2:02.81; Justine Yang, 2:11.53
    (Cassaundra Pino, Albuquerque, 1:53.90)

    200 IM
    Isabelle Runde, 2:21.44
    (Olivia Heflin, Eldorado, 2:09.98)

    50 freestyle
    Kaitlin Bennett, 25.99; Jessica Moore, 26.31; Sydney Schoonover, 26.41
    (Ellie Rivenbark, Eldorado, 24.38)

    1 meter diving
    Annika Bronkhurst, Madeline Le Scouarnec

    100 butterfly
    Maria Venneri, 1:03.16; Ashlynn Bennett, 1:04.94
    (Cassaundra Pino, Albuquerque, 55.85)

    100 freestyle
    Sarah Lott, 53.72; Kaitlin Bennett, 57.34; Sydney Schoonover, 58.27
    (Ellie Rivenbark, Eldorado, 52.68)

    500 freestyle
    Justin Yang, 5:49.35; Tina Krkljus, 6:12.72
    (Nika Fellows, La Cueva, 5:05.14)

    200 freestyle relay
    Los Alamos, 1:44.95
    (Eldorado, 1:40.52)

    100 backstroke
    Maria Venneri, 1:02.50; Isabelle Runde, 1:03.92
    (Tyler Wickesberg, Eldorado, 57.12)

  • 'Toppers have big teams entered in state championship

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls swimming and diving team will be represented in each event at this season’s state championship meet.
    And Los Alamos is hoping a big contingent will lead to big results this weekend.
    The Hilltoppers have at least one and, more often, two swimmers or more in each event, along with two qualifying divers for the meet, which starts Friday and continues through Saturday at Albuquerque Academy’s Natatorium.
    Meanwhile, Los Alamos’ boys have qualifiers in all but two swimming events. The Hilltoppers also boast the No. 2 seed in the 500-yard freestyle with Michael Moore’s entry time just a little over a tenth of a second behind top-seeded Luis Felipe Conejo of Rio Rancho.
    This will be the first contingent of Hilltopper athletes led to state by Stu Corliss. Corliss got the head coaching job at Los Alamos last summer, taking over for Rusty Bernstein.
    At last season’s state meet, the Hilltopper girls finished sixth overall, earning 170.5 points, while the Hilltopper boys wee 10th with 96.5 points.
    The winners in both team competitions last season was Eldorado. The Eagles were dominant on the girls side and nipped La Cueva for the boys title by just three points, one of the closest finishes in state meet history.

  • Gonzales, Iramk-Bent win local K of C free throw contest

    A pair of state free throw champions from 2013 are still alive to defend their titles following this year’s local Knights of Columbus free throw competition.
    Alicia Gonzales and Eli Iramk-Bent were both top finishers in their age divisions at the free throw competition, which was Jan. 26. The local contest was held at Griffith Gymnasium.
    In all, four boys and four girls earned local titles in the contest. All the winners at the local event advance to the district contest, which will be later this month.
    Gonzales won the girls 12-year-old division, while Iramk-Bent was the boys 11-year-old winner. Gonzales is actually a two-time state champion in the K of C event.
    This year, Gonzales and Iramk-Bent had the top two scores among all of the participants in locals.
    Other K of C contest winners included the following:

    10-year-old boys
    Charles Steinkamp

    10-year-old girls
    Isabella Robertson

    12-year-old boys
    Antonio Gonzales

    13-year-old boys
    Uriah Sanchez

    13-year-old girls
    Michaela Robertson

    14-year-old girls
    Michaela Vigil-Lujan

  • 'Toppers close out district with win

    Despite playing a team that hadn’t won a game all season, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team didn’t have the luxury of taking any chances Tuesday.
    Los Alamos wanted to jump on the Capital early and often in that District 2-4A contest, and it did. Los Alamos outscored Capital 15-6 in one quarter of play, then held the Jaguars to just one point through more than six minutes of the third quarter to win going away, 75-40, at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Tuesday’s game was the finale of the 2-4A regular season for the Hilltoppers, who had lost three straight district contests heading in, including a disappointing 2-point loss at Bernalillo Feb. 7.
    Getting back moving in the right direction at this point in the season was big.
    “It was super-important, especially since it was against Capital and it was our last home game in district, especially for all of us seniors, being here for four years,” Los Alamos forward Kristen Paulson said. “It’s been pretty special.”
    It was also senior night for the Hilltoppers and the team mixed up its starting lineup to make sure all its seniors got into the game early.
    Except for a few hiccups at the get-go, Los Alamos’ lineup settled in nicely and spread the scoring around to six different seniors in the first quarter.

  • LA closes its season tonight vs. Capital

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team will finish off its regular season schedule tonight when it faces Capital.
    Los Alamos will travel to Capital hoping to pick up its second win over the year over the Jaguars, not to mention at least a dollop of momentum for the upcoming District 2-4A tournament. Tonight’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
    It has been a disappointing second round of 2-4A play for the Hilltoppers (2-22 overall, 1-6 in district), particularly after their victory over the Jaguars Feb. 1.
    In that game, Los Alamos came back from a 9-point first half deficit to win 40-38 at Griffith Gymnasium. Franklin Archuleta had 8 of his team-high 13 points in the second half to help Los Alamos earn the victory.
    Since then, however, things haven’t gone the way Los Alamos was hoping they would.
    Los Alamos dropped three straight contests, including getting blown out by both Bernalillo and Santa Fe in back-to-back games. Friday, Los Alamos fell 50-39 to the Española Valley Sundevils, a loss which guaranteed Los Alamos its second straight finish in the district’s basement.
    By virtue of its last-place finish, Los Alamos will have to play on the road for the duration of its stay in the 2-4A tournament, which begins Monday at either Capital or Bernalillo.

  • LA drops contest in the valley

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team dropped its third consecutive District 2-4A contest Saturday night.
    Los Alamos once again struggled with defensive pressure, particularly in the first half, as it was knocked off by Española Valley 67-58 at Edward Medina Gymnasium in Española.
    The loss drops the Hilltoppers to 2-5 in district play and 10-14 on the season. The Hilltoppers have just one more district contest remaining, that scheduled for tonight at home against the woeful Capital Jaguars.
    Española Valley (19-5) picked up the season sweep over Los Alamos with the win. The Sundevils are still in line for a potential one-game playoff for the 2-4A championship with Santa Fe. If the two teams end up in a tie, that game would be played Monday at a neutral site.

  • 'Toppers pull off an upset win over Jaguars in 2-4A

    It would take the best collective effort the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestlers had to offer to pull off a major upset in the district tournament.
    And Los Alamos pulled it off.
    The Hilltoppers nipped the Capital Jaguars for the District 2-4A championship at Saturday’s tournament, hosted by Bernalillo.
    Los Alamos scored 176 team points to Capital’s 170 to earn its third consecutive district title. Along the way, Los Alamos earned four individual district crowns to three by the Jaguars.
    “Everybody we needed to have step up stepped up,” Los Alamos head coach Bob Geyer said after leading his team to its third consecutive district win — it had been nearly two decades since the Hilltoppers won a district title prior to their win in 2011-12.
    As a reward for its efforts, every one of the Hilltoppers’ 14 participants in Saturday’s meet qualified for the state tournament. The 4A championship starts Friday in Rio Rancho.
    Among the big finishes that pushed Los Alamos over the top were Dominick Montoya at 132 pounds and Damien Sundby at 138 pounds.

  • LA holds off St. Mike's to grab District 1 team crown

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys swimming team went down to the wire with the St. Michael’s Horsemen for the District 1 championship this weekend.
    Los Alamos and St. Michael’s were neck-and-neck, but with its win in the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Hilltoppers secured the district team championship.
    Both the Los Alamos boys and girls took part in the district meet, hosted by Santa Fe. Los Alamos’ boys nipped the Horsemen by just two points, 371-369. Los Alamos’ girls, meanwhile, won a big victory, earning 502 points, well ahead of runner-up St. Michael’s.
    Both Hilltopper teams pulled a six-race sweep of the relay events en route to the team championship, while grabbing seven individual girls title and four individual boys titles.
    Among the big winners for Los Alamos were Izzy Runde and Justine Yang, both of whom grabbed a pair of first-place finishes.
    Runde won both the 100 butterfly and the 100 freestyle, while Yang won the 200 and 500 freestyle events.
    Also for Los Alamos’ girls, Sarah Lott broke the District 1 record in the 100 freestyle, finishing in a time of 53.72 to win that title.
    Sydney Schoonover won the 200 individual medley (2:30.35) and Maria Venneri was the winner in the 50 freestyle (26.05).