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  • Spaeth named top singlespeed racer

    Los Alamos cyclist Caroline Spaeth was named women’s singlespeed champion for the 2013 New Mexico Off-Road Series racing season.

    Now in its 14th year, the NMORS comprises 11 races staged throughout the state that challenge riders with a wide variety of competitors and terrain. Finishers receive points for their position at the end of each race, and total points are tallied at the end of the series to determine the winners of the series categories.

    Competitors are required to enter seven races to qualify.

    To win the yellow NMORS jersey, Spaeth won six of the seven races she entered. Racing on a singlespeed is no easy feat in this state’s race series. Unlike racers on regular bikes who have a range of gearing to use for climbs and descents, singlespeed riders must choose a single gear combination for each race.

    With race terrain ranging from rocky and rolling desert hillsides in Las Cruces, to erratic, steep climbs and descents at Silver City’s Signal Peak Challenge, to venues with every type of terrain and topography in between, gear choice itself can be daunting for the singlespeed racer — too easy a gear and the rider is spinning and coasting on downhill and flat terrain, too hard a gear and the rider is trudging uphill pushing the bike.

  • Working for the Weekend

    Hilltopper center William Steinkamp tries to drive against Moriarty’s Jake Flaming Tuesday night. Los Alamos had a scheduled game against St. Michael’s but that game was postponed due to weather. That game was rescheduled for tonight in Santa Fe.

  • Update: Hoops games get rescheduled

    Weather concerns due to the recent winter storm have shifted the schedule this weekend for the Los Alamos boys and girls basketball teams.

    Tonight, the Hilltopper boys basketball team will play at St. Michael's, a make-up game from Thursday's night's postponement. The game is set for 7 p.m. in Santa Fe.

    Saturday, Los Alamos' girls basketball game against Moriarty, which was orginially set for a 7 p.m. start time, will now get going at 5 p.m. Los Alamos athletic director Vicki Nelms said the time change was made due to travel concerns following the game.

    Los Alamos' girls were also scheduled to host Albuquerque Academy Thursday. That game has been rescheduled for Jan. 27.

    Last month, the Hilltopper boys basketball team was supposed to open its season with games against Sandia Prep and Kirtland Central. While no announcement has been made regarding the Sandia Prep game, Los Alamos has rescheduled with Kirtland Central for Dec. 30.

  • LA hockey team hosts St. Pius X

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey team will be back in action for just the second time this season tonight.
    Los Alamos (0-1) will take on St. Pius X at 8:15 p.m. That game, at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink, will also be broadcast on KRSN radio.
    The Hilltoppers, the defending New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League pure team champions, will look to bounce back from an opening day defeat. The Hilltoppers fell to the Santa Fe Blue Jackets 3-2 Nov. 22.
    NMIIHL teams were off for the Thanksgiving break last weekend.
    Against Santa Fe, Chase Rochester and Trevor Matuszak both scored goals for Los Alamos, one off an assist from Sam Ortiz and the other from Griffin Matuszak.
    St. Pius is currently 2-3-2 in NMIIHL play. The Sartans have scored and given up 27 goals on the season.
    Following tonight’s game against St. Pius, Los Alamos will be on the road for the first time this season Saturday. It plays Rio Rancho’s Rams at Blades Ice Arena at 2:15 p.m.

  • 'Toppers will be at home for 2nd meet of season Saturday

    There are plenty of familiar faces around the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls swimming teams this season, although one of the new faces is the one at the top.
    Head coach Stu Corliss takes over the reins of the program this year and is prepping the team for its second meet of the season Saturday.
    Los Alamos will make its one-and-only home appearance of the season Saturday.
    Teams from Taos, Desert Academy, St. Michael’s and St. Pius X, among others, are expected for the Los Alamos Invitational.
    The transition from Rusty Bernstein, who took over the swim program in 2009, to Corliss, has taken some adjusting to and getting some of the teams’ newcomers up to speed has been a challenge during the preseason.
    “At the beginning it was kind of a big mess,” said senior Maria Venneri. “The returners know what’s happening…It’s really on the shoulders of the older swimmers to get things going.”
    Los Alamos will be banking on some of its top returners to get back to form this season, as well as a key newcomer to the program.

  • Girls, boys basketball postponed for tonight

    Los Alamos High School’s athletic department said today that tonight's scheduled girls basketball game between Albuquerque Academy and Los Alamos and the boys basketball game between Los Alamos and St. Michael's have been postponed due to weather conditions.
    Make-up dates have not been set.

    For the Hilltopper boys, this is their fourth weather postponement this year. Los Alamos has gotten in just two games this season.

  • Moriarty tops 'Toppers at Griffith Gym, 49-40

    In trying to get on the right path following a 1-win season, there is still a ways to go for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team.
    And while there were some missteps in their first two games, the Hilltoppers might be finding some footing.
    Los Alamos showed some things fans hadn’t seen for several years, including some semblance of a transition game, Tuesday night in its home opener against Moriarty. Los Alamos scored some transition buckets and moved the ball more effectively than it did for much of last season on offense.
    However, the Hilltoppers offensive performance still wasn’t where the team needed it to be. Los Alamos scored just 17 field goals on the night and just six in the first half as it fell to Moriarty 49-40.
    The Hilltoppers set themselves up with decent looks against the Pinto defense much of the contest, but converted only 33.3 percent.
    Defensively, Los Alamos had a much better showing than it did in its opener Saturday against Piedra Vista, when it surrendered 82 points.
    Los Alamos head coach Fil Dominguez said that lackluster performance came because the Hilltoppers weren’t communicating effectively on that end, but thought the communication improved considerably Tuesday.

  • 'Toppers thumped in opener

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team was thumped in its season opener Saturday.
    Los Alamos traveled to meet the Piedra Vista Panthers Saturday night in what turned out to be its season opener. Los Alamos had been scheduled to open at home Nov. 22, but that game and the following night’s game against Kirtland Central, were both postponed due to weather concerns.
    Instead, the Hilltoppers took on the Panthers in Farmington to open the season, and the Panthers prevailed handily.
    Piedra Vista had three players finish in double-figures, including a 22-point performance by junior Troy Dixon, as the Panthers (1-0) rolled to an 82-53 victory.
    The Panthers shot a red-hot 52 percent from the field against Los Alamos, which prides itself on defense, and connected on 10 3-pointers.
    Los Alamos (0-1) is trying to get itself established this season following a disastrous 1-26 showing in 2012-13, but this season hasn’t gotten off to the start the program was hoping for.
    It will have a chance to break into the win column tonight at home, however, when it takes on Moriarty.
    Moriarty’s Pintos (2-1) will go into tonight’s game off two straight victories against a pair of Class 3A opponents, Las Vegas Robertson and Taos.

  • LA nipped by Pojoaque Valley Saturday night

    JACONA – Despite digging itself an early hole, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team was nearly able to dig itself all the way out on several occasions.

    Unfortunately, every time the Hilltoppers got close, the Pojoaque Valley Elkettes were able to make a mini-run and get some separation Saturday night.

    Los Alamos trailed by as many as 12 points midway through the second quarter, but a 12-3 run got it back into the ballgame. Los Alamos cut the lead down to 1 point several times in the second half, but the Elkettes hung on to win 62-60 at Ben Lujan Gymnasium.

    Early in the fourth quarter, Jordan Duran put in a bucket after her own offensive rebound, putting the Hilltoppers to within 45-44, but the Elkettes would put together a 10-2 run over the next 3:15, then hit some key free throws down the stretch to put the game away.

    Pojoaque Valley veteran head coach Ron Drake, who made a scouting trip to Los Alamos earlier last week when the Hilltoppers played St. Michael’s, said he knew going in the Hilltoppers would have a better offensive performance than the 9-for-42 showing they had from the floor versus the Horsemen.

    “McKenzie (Logan) was 1-for-15 that night,” Drake said. “She’s a lot better than that. We had to put Ody (Andujo), one of our best defenders, on her.”

  • LA nipped at Pojoaque Valley, 62-60

    JACONA – The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team came back from a big early deficit to make a game of it against the Pojoaque Valley Elkettes.

    Unfortunately, the Hilltoppers could never find the points to tie it up as they fell to the Elkettes 62-60 Saturday night at Ben Lujan Gymnasium.

    Los Alamos trailed by 11 after one quarter, but chipped away at the lead for most of the rest of the contest. Los Alamos shooting guard McKenzie Logan dropped in 21 points to spark the comeback, including 10 in the second quarter.

    Unfortunately for the Hilltoppers, some late fouls, some streaky free throw shooting by the Elkettes and late turnovers hampered their comeback efforts.

    Read more about Saturday’s girls basketball game in Tuesday’s Los Alamos Monitor.