• 'Toppers hold off Demons to grab district team title

    It was the closest contest this century.
    The District 2-4A girls team championship was a dogfight last weekend, but the Hilltoppers’ superior depth made up for a big performance by the Santa Fe Demons’ top athletes this weekend.
    Los Alamos’ girls held off Santa Fe for the 2-4A team title. Santa Fe won 10 district titles, but Los Alamos’ placers behind the Demons made up the difference.
    The Hilltoppers won the girls crown by a score of 188-171 over the Demons. That was easily the closest team score, boys or girls, since the Hilltoppers joined 2-4A in 2000.
    Meanwhile, the Hilltopper boys won the district title, picking up their 15th in a row, as did the Hilltopper girls. The boys finished with 193 team points, more than double the total of their next-closest competitor, Santa Fe.
    Los Alamos’ boys earned 10 district titles and took 1-2 in six of those events. Greg Ahlers had a big showing, winning the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, with Nathan Scrimshaw and Tyler Mullen picking up runner-up spots for the Hilltoppers.
    The top two finishers at district meets, regardless of mark, advance to the state meet. For Classes 3A-5A, that will be Friday and Saturday in Albuquerque.

  • ’Toppers advance to state semifinals

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls tennis team was looking for a repeat trip to the state Class 4A final round Saturday, but couldn’t knock off its old nemesis from Farmington.
    Los Alamos, the No. 4 seed in the 4A team tennis playoffs, earned a 6-3 win over Mesilla Valley Christian in the quarterfinals Friday evening, but couldn’t pull off a second straight postseason upset win over Farmington’s Scorpions in Saturday’s semifinals.
    The Scorpions, the top-seeded team in 4A, downed the Hilltoppers 5-2 Saturday afternoon at the Jerry Cline Tennis Center in Albuquerque. The Scorpions took four of the six singles matches, then their No. 2 doubles team of Liza Briody-Pavlik/Riley Coleman earned a win over the Hilltoppers’ Laura Whicker/Hannah Cunningham, 6-0, 6-4, to clinch the win.
    Last year, the Hilltoppers pulled off a huge win over the Scorpions in the final round of the 4A team tournament to win the state title, but this year it was not to be.
    The two victories earned by Los Alamos against Farmington Saturday were at No. 1 singles, where Sidra Hsieh-Ratliff defeated a very tough competitor in Danielle Nguyen, 6-3, 6-3 and at No. 5 singles, where Lauryn Anaya outlasted Coleman 6-2, 1-6, 6-2.

  • Girls golf opens its 4A tourney Monday

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls golf team, along with Hilltopper boys player Jonathan Osden, will get their practice rounds in at the University of New Mexico Championship course today.
    Los Alamos’ girls advanced to the Class 4A state tournament, which gets going in earnest Monday morning in Albuquerque.
    The Hilltopper girls will tee off beginning at 8:30 a.m. Monday, which is a shotgun start. The Hilltopper girls will start on or near the beginning of the back nine, while Osden will tee off starting at No. 17.
    Based on the Hilltoppers’ finish Monday, their start time Tuesday will be determined. Generally speaking, the better a player or team shoots in the opening round, the more favorable their tee times for the second round will be.
    Los Alamos’ practice round is scheduled to start just before 1 p.m. Osden, an individual qualifier, will start his practice round a few minutes after 1 p.m.
    The UNM course is a par-72. The No. 9 hole is the longest at UNM, measuring as much as 602 yards depending on which tees are being played.
    To get to the state championship, Los Alamos’ girls earned six qualifying legs during the 2013-14 season – it is split into fall and spring halves. Los Alamos earned four of its six qualification legs during the spring.

  • Jaguars blank ’Toppers, 10-0

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team couldn’t get much going on offense in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs Friday night.
    Los Alamos, which had been swinging the bat pretty well during a key stretch to end the 2014 regular season, managed only three hits the first round of Friday’s game against the Valencia Jaguars. The No. 12-seeded Hilltoppers fell in the first round contest 10-0 to the Jaguars.
    Valencia, the No. 5 seed in the Class 4A tournament, will now move on to the double-elimination round of the tournament, which starts Thursday.
    The Hilltoppers’ season is finished. They went 14-13 in 2014.
    Valencia scored four runs in the bottom of the first and four more in the fourth to put Los Alamos on the brink of elimination. Los Alamos couldn’t find any runs in the top of the fifth against Valencia pitcher Amber Baca to extend the game. Baca struck out seven of the 17 batters she faced Friday night to earn the victory.
    For the Hilltoppers, it was the final game in the careers of seniors Krysta Salazar, Kiana Zerr, Alyssa Mojica and Emilee Jones.

  • LA sweeps Centennial to advance

    It wasn’t often the Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball team got into trouble this weekend.
    But when it did, Los Alamos was able to work its way out.
    The Hilltoppers, the No. 7 seed for the Class 4A playoffs, earned a two-game sweep over the 10th-seeded Centennial Hawks at Bomber Field. The 2-0 sweep in the best-of-3 first round series puts the Hilltoppers into the quarterfinals, which are scheduled for Thursday in Rio Rancho.
    Los Alamos took game one 15-5, closing that one out in five innings Friday night. Saturday was a tighter contest, but Los Alamos earned the sweep with an 8-4 win.
    Hilltopper star Jared Mang won Friday’s game one, throwing a complete five innings, then entered Saturday’s game in a tight spot in the fifth inning with the Hawks threatening.
    “Coming into the game, I told coach I was ready to go,” said Mang, who worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth and gave up just one hit in the final two innings against a big-hitting lineup. “My arm felt going coming into the game today. Just needed to get it done and I was ready.”
    This will be Los Alamos’ second straight appearance in the quarterfinals. Los Alamos swept Aztec in the first round at home in 2013.

  • LA softball bounced in first round

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team was closed out early in Los Lunas Friday night, falling to the Valencia Jaguars.

    The Jaguars (18-9) scored four runs in the first inning and four more in the fourth to close that contest out in five innings, winning 10-0.

    Los Alamos is now wrapped up for the year. It finishes with a mark of 14-13.

    Los Alamos never got much going offensively. It was held to just three hits in the ballgame off sophomore pitcher Amber Baca, who fanned seven Hilltoppers in five innings.

    The Jaguars, the No. 5 seed in the Class 4A playoffs, will now move on to play in the quarterfinals of the 4A tournament, which start Thursday in Rio Rancho.

  • 'Toppers win big in game one against Hawks

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball team will take a 1-game advantage into the conclusion of today's first round playoff series with the Centennial Hawks.

    The Hilltoppers (21-6) scored eight times in the first inning of Friday evening's ballgame against Centennial, taking full advantage of five Hawk errors in the inning, as they won 15-5. The Hilltoppers won the game in five innings.

    Zealand Walterscheid had a two-run double in the first inning and Trevor Pacheco had a run-scoring single in the first and a leadoff triple in the second, coming around to score one batter later on a Wes Moss RBI groundout, among the big Los Alamos hits in Friday's game.

    Los Alamos chased Centennial pitcher Zack Gonzales out of the contest after just a third of an inning - Gonzales gave up several big hits, but got zero help from his defense and could've gotten out of the first inning after giving up just one or two runs.

    The Hilltoppers can advance to Thursday's quarterfinal round with a win in either of two potential games today, while the Hawks (17-10) must sweep both games to move on.

    Game two is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Bomber Field. Game three, if necessary, will start at approximately 1 p.m.

  • 'Topper boys, girls hosting district championship meet

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper track and field teams will both be looking to grab their 15th consecutive District 2-4A titles this weekend.
    Los Alamos’ boys and girls will host the district meet at Sullivan Field. Day one was scheduled for today and competition will resume Saturday at 10 a.m.
    The Hilltopper boys are the clear favorites to win this weekend. On the girls side, however, the Hilltoppers will have quite possibly their toughest challenge for the district title since joining 2-4A.
    The Santa Fe Demons, who sport some of the top overall athletes in the state, could give Los Alamos a run for its money for this year’s team title.
    Although Santa Fe has a lot of top talent — not the least of which are sprinters Tiffany Garcia and Akeisha Ayanniyi, two of the top-rated sprinters in the state — Los Alamos has a big depth advantage, as evidenced by its victory in last weekend’s Los Alamos Invitational. The Hilltoppers won the team competition with nearly double the Demons’ score, although Garcia sat out that meet.
    The top two finishers in each event at the district meets, regardless of mark, will advance to next week’s state Class 4A meet. The state meet is set for May 16-17 in Albuquerque.

  • Hsieh-Ratliff advances to 4A semifinal


    Sidra Hsieh-Ratliff advanced to the Class 4A girls tennis semifinals, but ran into to the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament.

    Hsieh-Ratliff was topped in the semifinal by Grants’ Paris Corley in Thursday afternoon’s semifinal. Corley, who went on to win the state 4A title over Dani Apodaca of Albuquerque Academy, knocked off Hsieh-Ratliff 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinal round.

    Prior to her loss, Hsieh-Ratliff defeated Maddie Andersson of Mesilla Valley Christiain three sets, 6-1, 6-7, 6-1.

    Also Thursday, the Hilltopper doubles team of Hannah Cunningham/Astrid Hengartner was also knocked out of the girls tournament by the eventual state champion. Cunningham/Hengartner lost to Santa Fe’s Brandee Fulgenzi/Greta Miller 6-0, 6-0.

    Fulgenzi/Miller, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, defeated top-seeded Melissa Pick/Stacy Pollack in three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6, to earn the girls doubles title.

  • Boys knocked out in 1st round

    ALBUQUERQUE — Piedra Vista’s Brandon Adair didn’t go into the Class 4A boys singles draw seeded in the top eight. Perhaps that was an oversight.
    Adair, the first round opponent of Los Alamos’ Nikita Belooussov, displayed not only a solid first serve, but made some acrobatic shots in Wednesday night’s contest at the 4A state tournament.
    Despite some solid play from Belooussov, the No. 5 seed in the draw, Adair proved to be too much, knocking off Belooussov in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1.
    Los Alamos advanced Belooussov and the doubles team of Forrest White/George Margevicius to the 4A tournament this season, but neither survived the first round at the Jerry Cline Tennis Center Wednesday.
    In singles competition, Adair scored what would be a key break in the first set, giving him a 5-4 edge over Belooussov and gave him a chance to close out that set, which he did, with a scorching ace.
    Then, in the second set with Adair up a pair of breaks, he made two big shots at 3-0 to hold his serve.
    Adair’s best shot of the match, however, came on a point he lost. Adair did a full body stretch to get a racket on a strong passing shot attempt by Belooussov. Belooussov had to scramble to get to Adair’s shot, which hit the baseline, but Belooussov’s next pass was successful.