• Player bounces back from serious injury

    More often than not, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls’ soccer team saves its best showing for last.

    The Hilltoppers host a first round game of the Class 4A playoffs Saturday.

    At the forefront of their hopes for making a run in the playoffs is their star forward, Catie McDonald.

    McDonald is the featured scorer for Los Alamos and the one the other teams will have to find a way to slow down in the 4A tournament. But for the Hilltopper sophomore, the past year has been a challenging one.

    Last October, on a routine run toward the goal during what should’ve been an unremarkable game against Bernalillo, McDonald went headlong into the steel post at Sullivan Field.

    McDonald was taken by ambulance to the hospital and was diagnosed with head trauma, whiplash and a serious shoulder injury.

    Instead of being the tag-team partner of one of the most prolific scorers in program history, Amy Neal, on the way to what may have been a run at the state title, McDonald was suddenly relegated to the bench and Los Alamos was bounced in the state semifinals.

    While someone suffering a similar injury would be given a pass for downshifting their game, McDonald said that’s not the way she wants to play.

  • LA boys, girls open state playoffs at home

    The Class 4A boys and girls soccer playoffs are this weekend for the teams left standing around the state.
    For Los Alamos, both the Hilltopper boys and girls will be in action Saturday. And while the Hilltopper teams are both No. 6 seeds facing off against No. 11 seeds, the scenarios are quite different.
    Los Alamos’ boys will take on Centennial, a school that’s only been open for just over a year, while Los Alamos’ girls will meet Piedra Vista. Saturday’s boys game is scheduled for 11 a.m. and the girls will play at 1 p.m. at Sullivan Field.
    Los Alamos’ boys could have a test on their hands against the upstart Centennial Hawks. The Hawks, a team comprised mostly of underclassmen, has been one of the surprises in 4A this season.
    Centennial, which is located in Las Cruces, put together a nice season, going 13-7 and was involved in a three-way tie at the top of the District 3 standings. However, Centennial finished third in the tiebreaker and, as such, dropped down to the No. 11 seed.
    Hilltopper head coach Evan Gartz was quick to note, however, that in the final MaxPreps.com rankings, the Hawks were rated one place better than the Hilltoppers.

  • Volleyball team faces Farmington Saturday

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team will close out its 2013 regualar season Saturday afternoon on the road.
    The Hilltoppers will face the Farmington Scorpions in a nondistrict match in the Four Corners.
    It’s a tough test for Los Alamos (13-7) in its regular season finale. It’s also a match that could affect seeding in the upcoming Class 4A playoffs.
    The Scorpions (13-5) are the No. 4 team in the 4A rankings this week and four of its five losses this season came against the No. 1 team in the state, the Piedra Vista Panthers.
    Los Alamos will host the semifinal match of the District 2-4A tournament Thursday night.

  • Bernalillo tops Santa Fe, LA still alive in 2-4A football race

    It’s still anybody’s ballgame in District 2-4A football.
    The Los Alamos Hilltoppers can take a half-game lead in 2-4A with a win tonight at Capital. Game time is 7 p.m.
    Los Alamos got one of the breaks it needed in the district race when the Bernalillo Spartans upset the Santa Fe Demons Thursday night.
    The two teams duked it out through four quarters and were knotted at the end of regulation, but in overtime, Santa Fe scored a touchdown but couldn’t get into the end zone on a 2-point conversion.
    Bernalillo scored on its try and kicked the point-after to take a 43-42 win.
    Santa Fe (3-6 overall, 2-1 in 2-4A) dropped Los Alamos 28-9 Oct. 18 and was in the driver’s seat in the district until the loss against Bernalillo (2-7, 2-1) which seems to be surging in the late going of 2013.
    But the playoff scenario for the three teams is clear heading into tonight’s game. Los Alamos needs to win tonight and have Santa Fe lose to Capital next week for it to be district champion.

  • LA tops Capital in 3

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team earned a sweep to close out its District 2-4A regular season Wednesday.
    As expected, the Hilltoppers dropped the Capital Jaguars in three sets, winning 25-14, 25-22, 25-16 at Edward Ortiz Gymnasium in Santa Fe.
    The win improved Los Alamos’ season mark to 12-7 and wrapped up the 2-4A runner-up slot for the regular season.
    Los Alamos still has a key nonidistrict contest Saturday at Farmington, one that could affect Class 4A postseason seeding.
    With its runner-up status, Los Alamos will host the district semifinal playoff match Nov. 7. The winner of the Nov. 7 match will face Española Valley for the district tournament title — Española Valley clinched the regular season championship with its 3-0 win Saturday at Griffith Gymnasium. 

  • LA football finishes season vs. Jaguars

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper football team will close out its regular season against the Capital Jaguars Friday night.
    The game the Hilltoppers might be most worried about, however, is happening tonight.
    The Hilltoppers (3-6 overall, 2-1 in 2-4A) will be at Capital (2-6, 1-1) for their 2013 finale, trying to keep their hopes alive for a shot at a district title.
    Two weeks ago, the Hilltoppers lost at Santa Fe 28-9, putting them in jeopardy of missing out on the district title. Santa Fe, by virtue of its win over Los Alamos, is in the 2-4A driver’s seat and can shut the door on the Hilltoppers’ chances of regaining the district title it lost in 2012 with a win over Bernalillo tonight.
    If the Demons lose tonight and the Hilltoppers win Friday, however, things get a little more interesting.
    It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that the Spartans, who have just one win on the year, can upend the Demons (3-5, 2-0). The Spartans will have momentum on their side after crushing Capital last week 49-7, while the Demons were on the wrong end of a blowout, getting blasted by Moriarty 52-8 in a nondistrict contest.
    Even in the best-case scenario for Los Alamos, a lot of things would still have to happen for it to grab a piece of the 2-4A title.

  • XC teams seeking another 2-4A title

    There is no such thing as a completely safe bet, but it’s hard to find bets better than picking the Los Alamos Hilltopper teams to win the District 2-4A cross country titles.
    Los Alamos’ programs are a perfect 26-for-26 in the district championship races since the current alignment took hold in 2000 and that doesn’t appear to be changing this season.
    The 2-4A race is scheduled for Friday afternoon at Capital High School in Santa Fe. The girls race is set for 3 p.m. and the boys race will follow.
    Los Alamos’ domination of 2-4A doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down this year, either, after easily turning away the district teams competing in last week’s Los Alamos Invitational.
    The Hilltoppers are coming off one of their best showings of the season, with the Hilltopper girls winning their home invitational, albeit by a slim margin over St. Pius X, which may be a legitimate threat to them at the state meet next weekend.
    Meanwhile, the Hilltopper boys finished tied in team points with the Albuquerque Academy Chargers, a surprising finish considering the Hilltoppers hadn’t given the Chargers much of a run for their money in head-to-head competition until last week.

  • Results from Elementary School run

    Here are the results from Friday’s Elementary School Mile Run at Los Alamos Golf Course.


    School scores

    1. Piñon, 29; 2. Aspen, 50; (tie) Mountain, 50; 4. Chamisa, 91; 5. Barranca Mesa, 130.

    Individual results

    1. Linda Appell, Chamisa, 6:43; 2. Michaela Martinez, Pojoaque, 6:44; 3. Allyssa Parker, Piñon, 6:47; 4. Savannah Lucer, Chamisa, 6:58; 5. Kaya Krantz, Piñon, 7:09; 6. Judith Allison, 7:18; 7. Kalen Melton, Aspen, 7:28; 8. Sophie Chadwick, Aspen, 7:28; 9. Isabella Bailey, Piñon, 7:57; 10. Jenna Harris, Mountain, 7:40;

    11. Ellie Eldham, Piñon, 7:57; 12. Seonja Yim, Mountain, 8:00; 13. Hannah Gartz, Piñon, 8:03; 14. Michaela Gonzales, Piñon, 8:03; 15. Jenee Montoya, Mountain, 8:05; 16. Bailey Nasise, Aspen, 8:06; 17. Sofi Vandenkieboom, Aspen, 8:09; 18. Elise Olivas, Aspen, 8:11; 19. Avery Koski, Aspen, 8:17; 20. Marissa Armijo, Oguna, 8:22;

    21. Tara McDonald, Barranca Mesa, 8:23; 22. Hailey McDowell, Aspen, 8:24; 23. Heidi Johnson, Mountain, 8:30; 24. Natalie Gallegos, 8:32; 25. Que Hawkins, Mountain, 8:40; 26. Annika Nye, Barranca Mesa, 8:40; 27. Marielle Gomez, Taos, 8:44; 28. Esther Wermer, Aspen, 8:50; 29. Norah Gartz, Piñon, 8:52; 30. Rebecca Brug, Chamisa, 8:54;

  • Wrapping Up

    Hilltopper outside hitter Brianna Montaño elevates during an Oct. 9 match against Española Valley. Los Alamos plays Capital tonight in their final District 2-4A contest of the season. A win tonight would lock the Hilltoppers into second place in the district standings behind the Sundevils, who clinched the district title with a victory Saturday. 

  • Baron is top finisher in Pajarito 10K

    Erica Baron wasn’t just the fastest woman competitor in the 10K race portion of the Pajarito Trail Fest, but the fastest overall.
    Baron, a top runner from Los Alamos, finished the 10K run Oct. 19 with a time of 55 minutes, 13 seconds, easily the best finish in that race.
    The Pajarito Trail Runs are held at Pajarito Mountain. The 10K and 15 mile runs attracted 88 runners, mostly from Los Alamos.
    Baron, the overall top finisher, topped No. 2 women’s finisher Stephanie Wingo by more than 13-1/2 minutes.
    The top men’s finisher in the 10K was Mike Englehardt of Los Alamos, who came in at 59:00.
    A pair of runners from Breckenridge, Colo., took first in the 15-mile race. Scott Archer and Lacy Wilson were the best finishers in the long race, with Archer posting a 2 hour, 12 minute, 16 second finish on the men’s side and Wilson a 2:39:20 in the women’s competition.

    Here are the results from the Pajarito Trail Fest. Runners are from Los Alamos unless otherwise indicated.

    Women’s 10K