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  • 'Toppers earn 2nd place in district

    It was a tense afternoon for the Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team, but Manuel Montaño managed to break it up a little bit.
    Montaño, the manager of the Bernalillo Spartans, texted Los Alamos manager Roger Anaya after the conclusion of Bernalillo’s ballgame, one that the immediate future of the Hilltoppers hinged on as much as their game Wednesday.
    “When coach texted me, he said, ‘we lost 3-1,’” Anaya said. “Then he said, ‘just kidding, we won.’”
    With its win over Capital Wednesday and the Spartans win over the Santa Fe Demons, the Hilltoppers clinched the runner-up spot in District 2-4A on the final day of the regular season.
    Los Alamos won its game big, earning a 16-1 victory at Overlook Park. That win, however, was expected. What was not so cut-and-dried was the Bernalillo-Santa Fe game played Wednesday in Bernalillo.
    Going into that game, the Spartans were the top team in the district standings and Santa Fe was No. 2. The two teams split their doubleheader April 12 and the outcome of that contest was far from certain.
    But now, with those wins, the Hilltoppers are almost assured of an at-large bid into the upcoming state playoffs.
    The 2014 playoff field will be announced Sunday.

  • Softball finishes up its regular season

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team has its regular season finale this afternoon against the Capital Jaguars, but the game Los Alamos may be most worried about will be out of town.
    Los Alamos (13-12) has an excellent chance to finish out its season on a winning note against the Jaguars (3-19) and finish two games above .500.
    However, the Hilltoppers, even with a win today, are still squarely on the bubble in terms of getting an at-large bid into the state tournament — brackets will be released Sunday.
    That could change, however, if the Bernalillo Spartans can top the Santa Fe Demons this afternoon in Bernalillo. A win by the Spartans (17-4) would put the Hilltoppers into the runner-up spot in the District 2-4A standings, assuming the Hilltoppers can hold off the Jaguars, whom they dominated in two games earlier this season.
    A win by Bernalillo would give Los Alamos and Santa Fe equal marks in the loss column, but Los Alamos earned the district tiebreaker over Santa Fe with a 3-1 victory April 23.
    Santa Fe (13-7) is a safe bet to earn an at-large bid this season, but Los Alamos will not only have get into the playoffs if Santa Fe gets in, but will have to be granted a higher seed than the Demons.

  • Spring postseason events start May 7

    The New Mexico Activities Association has released its official schedule for the upcoming spring state championship competitions.
    The NMAA is the governing body of most major interscholastic athletics in the state and coordinates the state championship events.
    The first two events scheduled to begin are the tennis and small-school baseball tournaments, both of which start May 7. Seeding meetings for both events are set for Sunday and brackets will be released Sunday afternoon.
    For tennis, the individual singles and doubles playoffs will be May 7-8, and the team tournament will be May 9-10 in Albuquerque. Specific match sites will be announced when brackets are released.
    For baseball, the Class A and AA first round contests are set for May 7. For classes 3A-5A, the best-of-3 series will be played May 9-10 at home sites.
    The venue for baseball shifts to Albuquerque for the quarterfinals starting May 14 for small schools and May 15 for larger schools.
    For softball, the first round, which is single elimination format, is scheduled for May 9-10 for classes 3A-5A. For smaller schools, the first round will be played May 14 in Rio Rancho.
    The quarterfinal round, which starts double-elimination play, will be May 15-17, also in Rio Rancho.

  • Demons, 'Toppers favored in district

    The District 2-4A boys and girls tennis tournaments get going Friday, and for the first time since the formation of the district, neither Hilltopper team will be the favorite going in.
    Los Alamos’ boys and girls had to settle for the No. 2 seed in the tournament, which gets going Friday and continues through Saturday in Santa Fe. The Hilltopper teams both lost in the pre-district seeding tournament earlier this month to Santa Fe’s Demons.
    While the Demon boys are the defending 2-4A champions, topping the Hilltoppers in the finals of last year’s district tournament, the Demon girls have emerged as a threat to loosen the Hilltopper girls’ 14-year grip on the tournament.
    Last season, Los Alamos’ girls went on to win both the Class 4A team title and the girls doubles titles. However, most of the team’s top players, including the winning doubles combination of Gillian Hsieh-Ratliff and Madeline Margevicius.
    But Santa Fe emerged this season as a major player in 2-4A — prior to this year, Los Alamos has rarely been seriously challenged in district play. Santa Fe’s girls unit is spearheaded by Brandee Fulgenzi, an eighth grader who is part of one of the most successful tennis families in New Mexico prep history.

  • LA's Geyer to hit the mat for Nebraska-Kearney next year

    The most successful wrestler coming out of the Los Alamos High School program in recent history will take his game to the next level.
    Los Alamos’ Brian Geyer, a two-time state champion, will sign his National Letter of Intent Thursday to join the University of Nebraska-Kearney next year, one of the top small-school programs in the country.
    Geyer, a three-sport athlete, won back-to-back state titles, including one to cap off a huge 2013-14 season while wrestling under the eye of head coach and father Bob Geyer.
    Nebraska-Kearney has about 7,000 students and the campus is relatively compact, something that appealed to Geyer as he toured colleges around the area following the season.
    “I really did like the campus,” he said. “Some of the other campuses, they weren’t as green or anything. They were really spread out. (Colorado State University-Pueblo) was really spread out. It was a bigger campus, but it has less people. I didn’t have to spend 30 minutes walking across to my next class…my mom said, ‘you’re going to spend the next four years there, you’d better like it.’”
    He said he was never sure he could wrestle in college, even after winning the first of two consecutive state titles following the 2012-13 season.

  • Harper Invitational meet results

    ALBUQUERQUE – Here are the results from Friday’s and Saturday’s Richard Harper Memorial Invitational. Athletes are from Los Alamos unless otherwise indicated.

    Boys

    Team scores
    1. Cleveland, 98.5; 2. Rio Rancho, 49.5; 3. Volcano Vista, 49; 4. Albuquerque Academy, 37.75; 5. Cibola, 34.75; 6. Los Alamos, 27.75; 7. Valencia, 27; 8. Eldorado, 21; 9. Sandia, 17; 10. Manzano, 15; 11. Highland, 11; (tie) La Cueva, 11; 13. Atrisco Heritage, 10; (tie) Del Norte, 10; 15. Capital, 10; 16. Los Lunas, 7.75; 17. Rio Grande, 5; 18. West Mesa, 4; 19. Belen, 3.

    100 meters
    1. Joshua Burbank, Valencia, 10.92; 2. Dante Hernandez-LaCour, Atrisco Heritage, 11.04; 3. Tyler Chavez, Cleveland, 11.22; Xavier Dennison, 11.54; Sidney Ellis, 11.97; Miroslav Betts, 12.01.

    200 meters
    1. Joshua Burbank, Valencia, 22.96; 2. Camden Davis, Cleveland, 23.06; 3. Simon Bailey, 23.47; Miroslav Betts, 24.34; Sidney Ellis, 24.36.

    400 meters
    1. John Finnegan, Rio Rancho, 48.43; 2. Tyler Chavez, Cleveland, 48.57; 3. Augustine Larranga, Capital, 50.34; Joe Roback, 51.87; Miroslav Betts, 52.10.

    800 meters
    1. Frankie Scorfina, Cibola, 1:53.44; 2. Adam Monroe, Eldorado, 1:54.08; 3. Fernando Lucero, Rio Rancho, 1:58.13; 5. Colin Hemez, 1:58.62; Hayden Walker, 2:06.03; Victor Kim, 2:08.74.

  • LA heads to playoffs with win

    With its big sweep of the Española Valley Sundevils, the Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball team locked up its sixth consecutive District 2-4A title.
    Now, with what seems to be a lock on a 20-win season, the Hilltoppers can turn at least one eye toward the postseason.
    Los Alamos earned the district’s automatic bid to the playoffs with its game one victory over the Sundevils Saturday at Bomber Field. Los Alamos won game one in impressive fashion, taking an 11-1 victory over its toughest district foe.
    For good measure, the Hilltoppers then blanked the Sundevils 9-0 in game two to complete the doubleheader and the season sweep.
    The Hilltoppers (19-6) have just one game remaining on the regular season, that coming Wednesday against the struggling Capital Jaguars (4-18).
    While Los Alamos won’t find out until Sunday where it will end up in the 4A bracket, it seems likely at this point the team will end up with a first round home date. Heading into this, the last week of the regular season, Los Alamos was ranked No. 6 in 4A according to MaxPreps.com, which is usually a good indicator of where teams may land in the postseason. A top eight seeding would afford the Hilltoppers the luxury of hosting the first round best-of-3 series, which will be played May 7-8.

  • Opening day
  • LA clinches sixth 2-4A crown

    They are officially in the Class 4A postseason. The trick might now be to stop them.
    The Los Alamos Hilltoppers are the 2014 District 2-4A champions in baseball and are among the hottest teams in the state. Los Alamos clinched its sixth consecutive district title Saturday with a decisive 11-1 victory over the Española Valley Sundevils at Bomber Field.
    To clinch, Los Alamos closed out game one of the doubleheader the way it opened game one: with a big rally.
    With the Hilltoppers up 6-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth, they scored five times to pick up the victory and the district crown.
    Left fielder Chris Funk drove a single into right on a hit-and-run play, knocking in a pair of runs to close out the contest.
    “My plan was just to execute that, swing at that pitch,” Funk said. “I was just trying to get hard contact on the ground, like coach tells us to do, and it turned out to be the game-winning hit.”
    Going into Saturday’s play, the Sundevils were the only team with a mathematical shot at ending the Hilltoppers’ chokehold on 2-4A. The Sundevils and Hilltoppers played a tight contest in Española earlier this month which Los Alamos won 3-2 with a late home run by Colin Kitts.

  • 'Toppers have big showing in first day of Harper Invite

    ALBUQUERQUE – With the season quickly coming to a close, the Los Alamos Hilltopper track and field teams are hoping to peak at the right time.
    That may be the case, if some of this weekend’s performances are any indication.
    Los Alamos’ boys and girls competed in Friday and Saturday’s Richard Harper Memorial Invitational, hosted by the Albuquerque Academy Chargers. Los Alamos posted some big finishes in day one of the two-day event.
    Final results for most of the running events had not been reported as of press time.
    For Los Alamos’ boys, one of the biggest showings of Friday’s day one was turned in by Liam Johnson, a freshman, in the pole vault.
    Johnson, who had never pole-vaulted prior to this season, cleared 12 feet to finish in second place for the Hilltoppers.
    Earlier this season, Johnson said he felt fortunate just to make it over 8 feet, but said he stuck with his training.
    “I just kept fighting through it,” Johnson said. “Just never giving up on anything.”
    With the vault, Johnson will now represent Los Alamos at the upcoming state Class 4A championship meet — that’s scheduled for May 16-17, also in Albuquerque.