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  • Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Race Results and Photos

    The second annual Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon drew 900 runners Sunday from across North America.

    The USATF-certified race started at 8 a.m. in downtown Santa Fe and ended in the Rio Grande Valley at the Pueblo of Pojoaque’s Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino.  The race gave athletes the opportunity to test their fitness and endurance at high altitude.

    The Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon course was fast and scenic, dropping over 1,300 feet after a gradual climb for the first two miles. The top male runner Meshack Kirwaran 4:51 minute mile and the top female runners including Atalelech Asfawand and Alvina Begay were at 5:34 and 5:37 per mile.

    Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills started the race. Steve “King of the Mountain” Gachupin, double U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier, Nike N7 Ambassador Alvina Begay and World Record Steeplechaser Peter Koech attended and participated in the weekend events. The Rarámuri (Tarahumara) Indians from Copper Canyon, Mexico, were in for the race as well. The Rarámuri are famed for their running-based culture, as recently portrayed in the best-selling book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall.

  • LA girls soccer stuns Las Cruces

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team’s seniors were challenged to respond following a disappointing showing last weekend.

    On Thursday, they did.

    The Hilltoppers came up big against an elite opponent Thursday in the first round of the Albuquerque Academy Invitational Tournament. The Hilltoppers downed the Las Cruces Bulldawgs to advance to today’s tournament semifinal round, 3-1.

    Saturday, Los Alamos was trounced in all phases of the game, taking a big 4-0 loss against St. Pius X. A win in that game might have established Los Alamos as the team to beat in Class 4A this season, but head coach Jiri Kubicek said the effort wasn’t there.

  • ´Toppers bounce back vs. Scorps

    The last time the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team went on to win the Louie Cernicek Invitational, it would go on to win the state championship.

    In 2012, the Hilltoppers are hoping this weekend’s tournament is a harbinger of things to come.

    Los Alamos picked up two impressive victories in the opening rounds of the tournament, but had to slug it out against the defending Class 4A champion Farmington Scorpions.

    After 78 minutes of scoreless ball and both teams struggling to produce any offense, Farmington’s Jeremy Klepac, quite possibly the most dangerous player in 4A, outhustled the Hilltopper defense to a long boot ball. Klepac emerged with the ball from a converging triangle of Los Alamos defenders to clang a shot off the crossbar and in.

    But the drama wasn’t over, not by a long shot.

    Deep in extra time, Cooper Christensen was fouled just outside of the Farmington penalty box. Midfielder Rohun Iyer was locked on to fullback Ben Stewart as he set up a flip-over kick that went right to Stewart’s head and into the goal.

    Stewart, who was named the Defensive Player of the Tournament, said he felt responsible for Klepac’s late goal and new it was up to him to make something happen.

  • LA boys, girls top all comers Friday

    If there were any doubters remaining, and apparently there were, they should be quieted now.

    Before Friday’s University of New Mexico Invitational, Los Alamos runner Orion Staples said there were Albuquerque Academy faithful claiming on the Internet that the Hilltoppers’ decisive victory at the 2011 state tournament was a happy turn of events for Los Alamos and nothing more.

    Well, maybe not.

    The Hilltopper boys, along with the Hilltopper girls, the queens of New Mexico cross country, scored wins at the UNM Invitational meet, their season openers.

    Los Alamos’ boys stole the show in that race, scoring a scant 38 points, less than half the total of Class 5A juggernaut Cleveland. Los Alamos placed four runners in the top 10 in a loaded field of individuals.
    Meanwhile, the Hilltopper girls may not have been the flashiest team running Friday night, but they were far and away the most consistent.

    The Hilltopper girls nipped a top-loaded St. Pius X by four points to claim the title in their first race of the season.

    The UNM Invitational is traditionally the largest single running event in the state. This year, 35 boys teams and 33 girls teams took part, including heavyweights such as Cleveland’s Storm, Rio Rancho, Academy and La Cueva.

  • Elks Stewed By LA

    While the skill position players get the lion’s share of the credit in football, as the old saying goes, “the war is won in the trenches.”

    So score a victory for the Los Alamos Hilltoppers Friday night.

    Los Alamos’ undersized offensive and defensive lines were dominant at Sullivan Field against Pojoaque, which featured some big bodies upfront. But Los Alamos, using its speed advantage to full effect, hit the Elks hard and fast, creating holes on offense and creating havoc on defense.

    The Hilltoppers scored a pair of defensive touchdowns in the first half, one on a strip-and-go by Cory Geyer late in the first quarter and the other on a pick-six by Arnoldo Ortiz after Pojoaque quarterback Ryan Koller was hammered by Chandler Lauritzen coming off the right side.

    The Elks made a valiant attempt to right their ship in the second half, but by that time it was far too late as the Hilltoppers cruised to a 55-14 win at Sullivan Field.

    “Basically, our strategy is not size,” said Los Alamos senior lineman John Gibson. “We never had size. This year, our line focused on agility and speed. What we do isn’t anything fancy....When we work our technique, we’re unstoppable.”

  • LA thumps Pojoaque in opener

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper football team got its season going with a bang Friday.

    The Hilltoppers drove for touchdowns on three of their first four possessions and got big turnover returns from Cory Geyer and Arnoldo Ortiz as they rolled to a 55-14 wn over the Pojoaque Elks.

    Los Alamos rolled up 251 yards of offense in the first half. New quarterback Brice Van Etten threw a touchdown pass to Geyer and ran for two more in the opening half as the Hilltoppers built up a 42-0 lead going into the break.

    Read more about the Hilltoppers' big win in Sunday's Los Alamos Monitor.

  • LA wins big in Cernicek opening round

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team scored three goals in quick succession to open the second half en route to a big win over Belen.

    Los Alamos got six scores from six different players as it downed the Belen Eagles 6-1 at Sullivan Field this morning.

    Los Alamos will now advance to the semifinal round of the Louie Cernicek Invitational. It will play at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. The winner of the early contest will play in the tournament championship game at 6 p.m. Saturday.

  • Toppers looking for some payback tonight

    To say the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team is feeling better about itself in 2012 as opposed to 2011 is an understatement.

    Heading into their opener at Pojoaque last year, the Hilltoppers were wracked with injuries and had inexperience by the bagful.

    But when the Hilltoppers open up their season tonight at Sullivan Field, those problems will be non-existent.

    Los Alamos takes on Pojoaque in its season opener. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

    The Hilltoppers were knocked around by the Elks 59-22 in the 2011 opener, a game that was disastrous on all fronts. It would take the Hilltoppers a month to recover from that loss and the pasting they would take the following week against Aztec.

    "We weren't completely ready for competition," said Hilltopper junior Peter Brewer. "Everybody was nervous and we were making a lot of simple mistakes."

    But the 2012 preseason has gone swimmingly and even though Brewer, an offensive and defensive lineman for Los Alamos, said he has some butterflies going in, he's expecting the team to pick up where it left off at the tail-end of last year.

  • Fuehne is tops at Pace Race

    Duncan Fuehne was the top predictor at this week’s Atomic City Roadrunners’ Pace Race.

    The Pace Race, the Roadrunners’ annual Lollipop race, was Tuesday starting at the San Ildefonso Playlot. In all, 37 participants took part and all finishers earned lollipops following the event.

    Fuehne had a prediction error of just 1 second to pick up the win. He was running on the 3-mile course. David Kratzer had the next-best prediction with a 9-second error, while Katie Gattiker was 14 seconds off.

    On the 1-mile course, Nathan Burnside was the fastest overall finisher (7:14). Paulina and Melina Burnside both crossed the finish line in 8:48.

    On the 3-mile course, Ted Romero had the best time (20:16), followed by Lynn Bjorklund (22:40).

    The next Pace Race will start at Estante Way in Pajarito Acres. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday.

    For more information on the Pace Race, call 672-1639 or visit atomicrunners.com on the Internet.

  • LA thumps Moriarty Thursday, 10-0

    Amy Neal scored four goals and Catie McDonald added three goals and an assist as the Los Alamos Hilltoppers crushed the Moriarty Pintos Thursday, 10-0.

    Stephanie Blair scored the game-winning goal in the 77th minute off an assist from Neal as the Hilltoppers (3-0) earned their second victory over a Class 4A team this season.

    Los Alamos evenly split its goals in the two halves. Neal had two goals in the first half and her other two in the second half in the rout — she also picked up two assists.

    For McDonald, who is having a monster start to her prep career, she notched her second hat trick of the season, scoring in the 4th, 51st and 56th minutes Thursday.

    The Hilltoppers outshot the Pintos (0-1) 19-2 in the contest. Pinto goalkeeper Taylor Luker made 9 saves in the contest, while Los Alamos goalkeeper Bryce Theesfeld stopped 2 shots en route to her third consecutive shutout to start 2012.

    Los Alamos assistant coach Paul Criscuolo said the passing was a little hit-or-miss for the Hilltoppers – playing on grass for the first time this year might have been a factor – but that will need to get more consistent before the team takes on arch-rival St. Pius X in just a little over a week.