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  • Soccer brackets are due out today

    Today is the day the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls soccer teams will learn their playoff fates.
    The New Mexico Activities Association’s soccer seeding and selection committee will meet to determine the postseason brackets for the upcoming state tournament. Tournament brackets are scheduled to come out at 5 p.m. today.
    Heading into Saturday, the final day of the soccer regular season for soccer across the state, the Hilltopper boys were still unsure if they would win the District 2-4A championship and grab the district’s automatic bid into the playoffs.
    While Los Alamos’ boys are a safe bet for an at-large bid this season, after posting a 10-10 season record and going 7-4 against Class 4A schools, the difference between going in as the District 2 champ and an at-large pick could be huge.
    Capital, which needed to beat Santa Fe by two goals and keep Santa Fe down to a low number of goals Saturday in order to win the district title, was ranked third in the MaxPrep.com poll released Tuesday.
    That poll holds a lot of sway when teams are being seeded for the state tournament, but if Los Alamos (10-10) does end up with the district championship, it would, by rule, have to be seeded ahead of Capital in the playoffs — Capital (11-6) was likely a top-four team before its 2-1 loss to Los Alamos Tuesday.

  • LA romps over Espanola Valley, 46-6

    Hilltoppers James Higdon (84) and Brian Geyer (51) combine to bring down Española Valley’s Justin Martinez during the first half of Friday’s game at Sullivan Field. Los Alamos picked up its second District 2-4A win as it mauled Española Valley 46-6 on Senior Night. With the win, the Hilltoppers kept pace in district, but will still need someone to knock off Santa Fe for them to have any chance at going to the playoffs. Los Alamos finishes of its regular season Friday night at Capital.

  • Colin Hemez, Mike Walker take Nos. 3 and 4 slots

    It came down to the No. 6 runner.

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys cross country team has a knack for finishing as strong or stronger than any team in the state, year after year. Often that tendency shows up for the Los Alamos Invitational, and Friday was no exception.

    The Hilltoppers hosted their annual home meet at Los Alamos Golf Course, with 12 teams taking part, not the least of which was the Albuquerque Academy Chargers. The Hilltoppers and the Chargers, of course, have slugged it out for the state Class 4A title every year since 2000 — they’re the only two teams that have won 4A championships from then until now.

    For most of this season, the edge has clearly been with the Chargers, until Friday when the two teams finished deadlocked for first place at the Hilltoppers’ home meet.

    The teams both finished with scores of 55 points. However, Academy won the tiebreaker with its No. 6 finisher, Jorge Otero, taking the 18th spot overall while the Hilltoppers’ No. 6, Greg Ahlers, was 22nd.

    How does Los Alamos seem to turn up the heat on Academy every single year?

  • Topper girls grab three top-10 spots at Friday’s meet

    Heading into the postseason, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls cross country team is still the squad to beat in Class 4A.

    But its top two competitors clearly aren’t going down without a fight.

    Los Alamos had a tough battle at its home invitational Friday, taking on two solid 4A teams in St. Pius and Albuquerque Academy. Los Alamos prevailed, but the scores were tight.

    The Hilltoppers finished with 57 points at the meet, held amid cold, slick conditions at Los Alamos Golf Course. St. Pius’ Sartans, who went 1-2 individually in Friday’s race, was second, just 8 points behind, while Academy was third with 74 points.

    Despite the scores being closer than might have been expected going in, the win was still a solid one for the Hilltoppers, who are looking to defend their four consecutive state titles as they go into the 2013 postseason.
    Hilltopper Jordan Parker, who has been struggling with knee issues much of this season but still finished 20th at the golf course, said the race was a good one to get Los Alamos ready for the postseason.

  • LA X-Treme football wins the Chile Bowl

    The Los Alamos X-Treme football team capped a perfect regular season with a big win in the annual Chile Bowl Oct. 20 in Santa Fe.
    Los Alamos, which went a spotless 7-0 on the season, took on the 6-2 Santa Fe Bears in the Chile Bowl.
    Both teams had chances toward the end of the game, but the X-Treme defense held on a big fourth down play and scored late to earn a 20-6 win and this year’s title in YAFL Division I (6-8 year olds).
    The Chile Bowl was played at St. Michael’s.
    Los Alamos’ Jeremiah Hartzol scored all three touchdowns against the Bears, including a 35-yard run on the final play of the game to help give his team the victory.
    To get to the championship game, the X-Treme knocked off the Santa Fe Trojans in the semifinal.
    The X-Treme defense had a huge showing against the Trojans, allowing just one first down.
    On the other side of the ball, the X-Treme’s offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage as the X-Treme scored four rushing touchdowns.
    Luke Gonzales scored twice on the ground in the tournament semifinal, while both Jeremiah and Isaiah Hartzol got into the end zone for Los Alamos as well. Jack Fisher went 4-for-4 in PAT attempts.

  • 'Toppers close out season with win

    SANTA FE — The main objective for the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team Thursday afternoon was to tune up for the upcoming state playoffs.
    But a win to close out the season is always nice, too.
    Los Alamos took on the St. Michael’s Horsemen at Brother Abdon Field. Neither team had particularly efficient showings on offense, but Los Alamos escaped with a 1-0 victory.
    Hilltopper Julia Haagenstad netted the only score of the contest, sending a short shot through a big scrum right in front of the St. Michael’s goal on a direct kick chance.
    Los Alamos controlled the contest for the majority of the first half, but St. Mike’s set itself up with some shots late in the half and early in the second half, all of which were off-target.
    Hilltopper goalkeeper Elena Atencio, who suffered an ankle injury earlier this month and is still wearing an ankle brace, earned the shutout, the eighth of the season for Los Alamos. Los Alamos has only allowed one goal since Oct. 3.
    “I think they’ve really gotten it together,” Atencio said of the Hilltopper defense. “We were going through a tough time finding who goes where. It’s nice they’ve really put it together.”

  • 'Topper boys move up 2 spots in 4A poll

    Here are the NMSoccer.com rankings for Class 4A teams for the week ending Oct. 20. Voting is done by head coaches from around the state. First-place votes are in parentheses.

    Girls 4A

    Team Total pts. Pvs.

    1. St. Pius X (5) 53 1
    2. Aztec (1) 48 2
    3. Farmington 36 4
    4. Academy (1) 34 3
    5. Los Alamos 32 5
    6. Piedra Vista 22 6
    7. Valencia 19 -
    8. Los Lunas 18 T-10
    (tie) Kirtland Cent. 18 T-7
    (tie) Del Norte 18 -

    Also receiving votes: Capital (1), 17; Santa Fe, 17; Belen, 10; Santa Teresa, 8; Artesia, 8; Grants, 7; Miyamura, 6; Bernalillo, 5; Deming, 4; Goddard, 4; Gallup, 1.

    Boys 4A

    Team Total pts. Pvs.

    1. Academy (5) 83 1
    (tie) Roswell (4) 83 2
    3. Capital 65 3
    4. Los Lunas 61 T-4
    5. Farmington 56 T-4
    6. Los Alamos 27 8
    7. Artesia 24 7
    8. Moriarty 21 6
    9. Santa Teresa 17 -
    10. Miyamura 13 -

    Also receiving votes: St. Pius X, 11; Santa Fe, 9; Valencia, 8; Chaparral, 8; Centennial, 7; Goddard, 2.

  • LA returns home to face Española Valley

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper football team will look to bounce back from its first loss of the District 2-4A season and has the right matchup to bounce back with.
    Los Alamos will be at home Friday night to take on the Española Valley Sundevils. Game time at Sullivan Field is 7 p.m.
    With its loss last week at Santa Fe, Los Alamos will need some help from the other teams in 2-4A to keep its chances for a district title alive. It is very likely only one team, the district champion, will advance to the Class 4A playoffs from District 2.
    The only hope for the Hilltoppers (2-6 overall, 1-1 in 2-4A) to make the playoff cut is for either Bernalillo or Capital to knock off Santa Fe’s Demons (3-4 overall, 2-0) in district play and force a three-way tie at the top of the district standings.
    Interestingly, there is a possibility, however unlikely, that Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Capital and Bernalillo could all finish their district schedules with a 2-2 record.
    For now, the Hilltoppers need to be concerned with the Sundevils.
    This season has been another struggle for the Sundevils, who have won just one game in eight outings, that coming against Santa Fe Indian School, a struggling Class 3A squad.

  • LA XC team to host home invite Friday

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls cross country teams will host their one and only home appearance of the season Friday.
    The Hilltopper teams, along with 12 other teams from around the area, are scheduled to take part in the Los Alamos Invitational Friday. The meet will be at Los Alamos Golf Course.
    Sub-varsity races will begin at 3 p.m. The girls varsity race is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. with the elementary school mile and the boys varsity race to follow.
    Friday’s race will be the regular season finale for the Hilltoppers, who will compete in the District 2-4A championship race next week.
    Los Alamos heads into Friday’s meet off a strong finish at the Rio Rancho Jamboree. Los Alamos’ girls finished as the runners-up at Rio Rancho to Eldorado.
    Last week’s meet was a huge one, with 30 full teams competing on the girls side and nearly as many on the boys side.
    The Hilltopper boys placed fifth at Rio Rancho, but that happened without their No. 1 runner, Colin Hemez. Mike Walker, who finished 15th overall, was the top runner from Los Alamos.
    On the girls side, Sophia Galvez finished in a time of 19:28 to pace Los Alamos. Galvez finished just out of the top 10 individually.

  • LA earns big sweep over Santa Fe

    Revenge is a dish best served cold. Or in the case of the Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team, in straight sets.
    Los Alamos dropped the Santa Fe Demons in three sets Wednesday night, picking up a big win in what appears will be a battle for second place in the upcoming District 2-4A tournament.

    After a solid win in set one, the Hilltoppers and Demons were back-and-forth in sets two and three. The Hilltoppers had to stave off a couple of Demon rallies in the second set and then come from behind late in the third set to win 25-18, 25-22, 27-25 at Griffith Gymnasium.

    Los Alamos outside hitter Sierra Foley, who otherwise had a productive night Wednesday, banged a pair of serves into the net in two straight trips late in set two and early in set three. She found herself at the service line with a chance to put the match away and did so, scoring the final two points to give Los Alamos the win.

    Besides that, Foley finished with a match-high nine spike kills, mostly using some holes in the middle of the floor to her advantage.

    “If we tipped, it was usually open,” Foley said. “We tried to tip around the blockers and hit into the corners. It’s more difficult because (the Demons) are taller. We’re used to having shorter blockers.”