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  • Hsieh-Ratliff, doubles advance in 4A tourney

    ALBUQUERQUE — Say this about the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls tennis team: it likes to keep things interesting.
    On the first day of the Class 4A state championship tournament, the Hilltopper doubles team of Hannah Cunningham/Astrid Hengartner went down to the wire in set one and dropped set two to set up a big third set against a team from Albuquerque Academy.
    But the duo prevailed and advanced in the 4A doubles draw, which is scheduled to conclude this evening at the Jerry Cline Tennis Center in Albuquerque.
    The Hilltoppers advanced three singles players, along with Cunningham/Hengartner into the championships this season.
    At the conclusion of Wednesday’s play, the Hilltopper doubles team and No. 1 player Sidra Hsieh-Ratliff were left standing.
    Hsieh-Ratliff, who garnered a No. 4 seed in the singles tournament, outlasted a tough opponent from Del Norte, Shelby Harrison. Harrison was able to dig out many tough shots throughout their two sets, but Hsieh-Ratliff prevailed 6-2, 6-4.
    With Harrison making some tough returns on the other side, Hsieh-Ratliff went to the baseline and made Harrison go laterally until she had an opening.
    “I felt like I needed to hit the corners,” Hsieh-Ratliff said. “She was able to get everything back, so I felt like I had to play a little better.”

  • Sports Briefs 05-07-14

    Run the Caldera attracts more than 300 runners

    A pair of runners from Albuquerque were the top finishers at last weekend’s Run the Caldera marathon.
    Mike Rahmer and Erin Churchill, both of the Duke City, were the winners in the 26-mile race.
    The Run the Caldera, hosted by Valles Caldera National Park, was in its eighth year this year. More than 300 runners took part in the 10K, half-marathon and marathon events.
    Rahmer finished the marathon in 3 hours, 28 minutes, 21 seconds to take top honors, while Churchill, the women’s champ, completed the race in 4 hours, 24 minutes, 24 seconds.
    A pair of Los Alamos runners, Ryan McNiff and Heather McNiff, won the 10K race, with Ryan running the course in 40:56 and Heather in 47:18.
    Brian Bolser, also of Los Alamos, won the men’s half-marathon. His time was 1:38:25. Stephanie Lynn of Farmington was the women’s half-marathon champion, coming in at 1:49:21.

    LAHS needs votes in national poll

  • 'Toppers win boys, girls 2-4A tourney

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls golf team is on a roll heading into the Class 4A state tournament, as evidenced by its performance Monday.
    The Hilltoppers won a big victory in the District 2-4A championship tournament, played at the Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe. The Hilltoppers shot a 357, which placed them 35 strokes below the pace they needed to earn their fifth leg of the 2013-14 season.
    Los Alamos’ girls were paced by Emma Haines. Haines earned the 2-4A individual medalist honors with her round of 84, two shots ahead of teammate and 2-4A runner-up Jennifer Necker.
    Both Los Alamos’ girls and boys were in action Monday. The Hilltopper boys also earned the district team title, topping Santa Fe in a first-hole playoff.
    Los Alamos and Santa Fe both shot 357s during regulation before Los Alamos prevailed in the playoff.
    In the tournament, Los Alamos was paced by Sean Rau. Rau, an eighth grader, finished with a score of 86, which placed him tied for third on the leaderboard.
    In the individual competition, Santa Fe’s Cisco Gonzales finished with an 81 and Jacob Fernandez, also of Santa Fe, was second, two shots behind.
    Also for Los Alamos’ boys, Matt Frye finished with an 88, followed by Jonathan Osden’s 90, Elliott Clay’s 93 and Noah Marriott’s 101.

  • Pulliam will join Aggies next season

    When Mikayla Pulliam gets to Las Cruces this summer, there will be at least one familiar face to greet her.
    Pulliam, the three-year starter for the Los Alamos Hilltopper cross country team and distance standout on the track and field team, will head south to join the New Mexico State University Aggies this coming fall. Pulliam signed her National Letter of Intent in a ceremony Tuesday at Los Alamos High School.
    With the end of the track season quickly approaching, Pulliam said that her high school career coming up through the Hilltopper program has ensured her that she’s ready to take her game to the collegiate level.
    “I’m definitely prepared,” she said. “I’ve loved running here, every second of it. It’s a lot of hard work, but I think it’s definitely a worthwhile experience.”
    Pulliam is the first athlete at Los Alamos this year to sign with a Division I school.
    She went down to visit NMSU’s campus in the winter and got to tour the facilities and got a chance to hang out with the coaches and some of the other runners.
    Before making her decision to attend NMSU, Pulliam was also looking at a few schools in California and even the Air Force Academy.

  • Pulliam to join Aggies this fall

    Los Alamos standout cross country and track athlete Mikayla Pulliam signed her National Letter of Intent Tuesday to join the New Mexico State University Aggies in the fall. Pulliam signed in a ceremony at Los Alamos High School Tuesday.
    See Wednesday's Los Alamos Monitor for a story on Pulliam's signing.

  • LA is No. 12 seed for the postseason

    Roger Anaya went 15-for-16 in calling the entries for the upcoming Class 4A softball playoffs.
    Anaya, the manager of the Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team, correctly called his seed in the upcoming postseason. The Hilltoppers finished with a No. 12 seed for the first round.
    The postseason brackets were released Sunday. Play starts Friday for most 4A teams across the state.
    The playoffs start with a first round single-elimination contest. The winners advance to play double-elimination starting midweek next week.
    For Los Alamos, it will be on the road for the first round. It will go to a familiar spot, Los Lunas, but it will be playing the Valencia Jaguars, the No. 5 seed in the tournament.
    Prior to the release of the bracket, Anaya said he was hoping to see someone in the first round other than the Los Lunas Tigers, a group Los Alamos runs into quite often.
    “We were happy with the seed we got,” Anaya said. “We were not too surprised. When we sat down and did all the numbers, we thought we’d move up some and the 11-13 seed is what we were hoping for. Valencia is a pretty good place to go.”

  • 'Toppers will host Hawks in first round

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball team will be staying home for the first round of the state Class 4A playoffs.
    Los Alamos will face the Centennial Hawks in the best-of-3 series starting Friday and continuing through Saturday at Bomber Field. Friday's game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday's first game is set for 11 a.m. and, if necessary, the final game of the series will start at approximately 1 p.m.
    The baseball playoff brackets were released Sunday evening. The Hilltoppers garnered a No. 7 seed for the tournament, which starts this weekend and continues next week when the venue shifts to Rio Rancho.
    Hilltopper manager Mike Gill, who guided the team to a District 2-4A title this season, its sixth in a row, said his team landed right about where he expected it to land.
    “I thought we’d end up anywhere between a No. 4 and a No. 7, because of our past history,” he said. “It didn’t surprise me one bit.”
    Gill said Los Alamos will have to be prepared for Centennial. Centennial is a No. 10 seed, but has played some tough contests and will no doubt be ready for Los Alamos this weekend.

  • LA qualifies doubles, single for tourney

    SANTA FE — Despite not being able to make much of a dent against the Santa Fe Demons, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys tennis team will advance to this week’s Class 4A team playoffs.
    Los Alamos picked up the No. 7 seed for the team tournament, which starts Friday in Albuquerque.
    Unfortunately for the Hilltoppers, they will be playing what is essentially a play-in game into the main 4A team draw early Friday morning. They will face the St. Pius X Sartans, the No. 10 seed, in the opening round at Sierra Tennis Club on the west side of Albuquerque.
    Los Alamos finished as the District 2-4A runners-up last weekend. Los Alamos advanced to the team final, but was topped 5-0 by the top-seeded Demons, who swept five of the six singles contests to clinch the match.
    Individually, Los Alamos will also send Nikita Belooussov to the 4A playoffs, as well as its top doubles team of Forrest White/George Margevicius. The singles and doubles playoffs get going Wednesday.
    Santa Fe, which is spearheaded by Warren Fulgenzi but features a solid top-to-bottom lineup, was too much for the Hilltoppers to compete against, but Belooussov said he felt good about his overall performance last weekend.

  • 'Toppers pull off upset in 2-4A final

    SANTA FE — Following the three doubles contests Saturday and knowing it was unlikely to pull off upsets in the top two singles slots, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls tennis team had no margin of error in the District 2-4A championship dual.
    And while things were tight in the remaining singles contests, the Hilltoppers came up big when they needed to.
    Los Alamos, the No. 2 seed in the 2-4A tournament, pulled off the upset over the Santa Fe Demons. Los Alamos took the Nos. 3-6 singles contests to knock off the Demons 5-4 in the finale at Capital High School.
    At those positions, Hannah Cunningham, Astrid Hengartner, Lauryn Anaya and Lauren Fugate swept their Santa Fe opponents.
    The Nos. 3 and 6 singles, which were the big question marks for Los Alamos heading into the finals were close contests, however, with both going into third sets.
    At No. 3, Cunningham had to come back from a set down to top Dakota Haraden, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
    Haraden, an aggressive player who goes to the net any opportunity she has, looked like she might cruise to that victory after the opening set.
    Cunningham, however, was able to settle in and move the ball around in the second and third sets, taking advantage of Haraden’s hard charges.

  • LA girls, Hsieh-Ratliff get No. 4 seeds in tennis

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls tennis team got a No. 4 seed at the state tournament coming off its win in Saturday's District 2-4A championships.

    Los Alamos will take on fifth-seeded Mesilla Valley Christian in the Class 4A state tournament, which will be played this week in Albuquerque, the New Mexico Activities Association announced today.

    Meanwhile, the Hilltopper boys are the No. 7 seed in the boys 4A team competition. They will face St. Pius X bright and early Friday morning.

    In individual singles play, Los Alamos' No. 1 Sidra Hsieh-Ratliff earned a No. 4 seed for the tournament. Her first round opponent is Del Norte's Shelby Harrison.

    Los Alamos' Lauren Whicker will have first round match-up against third seeded Carrie Alberson of Centennial and the Hilltoppers' third entry into the girls draw, Lauryn Anaya, will meet sixth-seeded Dani Apodaca of Albuquerque Academy.

    In boys singles, Los Alamos' Nikita Belooussov, who finished second in Saturday's District 2 championships, will meet eighth-seeded Brighton Pope of Roswell.

    Belooussov was defeated in the district championship round by Warren Fulgenzi, who is the No. 2 seed in 4A.