• Building their dreams with picks and shovels

    When some people look at a mountain, they see a pretty landscape filled with plants, flowers, trees and cool looking rocks.
    When other people look at a mountain, they see terrain that would be fun to ride their bike down — fun turns and a whole bunch of things to jump off.
    At Pajarito Mountain, the lines mountain bikers fantasize about can become a reality, if they’re willing to build the trail themselves.
    “If you’re in with the trail-building group, you can pretty much build whatever you want, as long as it’s somewhat safe,” Alex Adams said. “That’s very cool, and very rare too.”
    Before Tom Long took over as Pajarito’s general manager, Long said people used to build trails on the mountain “under the cover of darkness.” He changed that when he took over about a decade ago.
    “I encouraged them and they jumped into it whole-hearted,” Long said. “They’ve done a superlative job.”
    Neal Pederson has volunteered since then and is now the lead dog on the crew.

  • Joan Williams has best prediction in Pace Race

    It was a hot and dry evening for Tuesday’s Pace Race, but 52 runners came out to try the courses in the Bayo and Rendija Canyons.
    Joan Williams was the best predictor of the night.
    She was only 9 seconds off her prediction on the figure-eight course through the canyons.
    On the one-mile course, there was a tie between Erik Leonard and Jason Pieck.
    They were both 18 seconds off their predictions.
    Ted Romero was the best male predictor on the three-mile course. He was 29 seconds off.
    Leading the predictions for the women were Sophia Pieck on the one-mile course and Laura Woodroffe on the three-mile course.
    Next Tuesday’s Pace Race will start at 6 p.m. at the Ponderosa Campground, which is just south of the N.M. 501 and N.M. 4 junction.
    One and three mile courses will be available.
    For more information on the club or its upcoming Pace Races, visit atomicrunners.com or call 672-1639.

  • Playing with fire

    The Los Alamos Blaze battled 100-degree temperatures and tough competition at the Rio Rancho Chile Classic, June 19-21.

    Playing nine games in three days, the Blaze pulled out six wins to finish third in the 14-and-under USSSA fast pitch softball tournament.


  • Kirk, Lobo stars give fans plenty to cheer about

    ALBUQUERQUE —The inaugural Lobo All-Star brought together many of the best UNM basketball players from the last 20 years to WisePies Arena, AKA The Pit, on Sunday.
    Los Alamos’ Alex Kirk, a two-time All-Mountain West defensive team selection and three-time conference champion, was among the 20 players selected to participate in the game.
    “All of these guys are legends,” Kirk said after the game. “It was truly an honor to be here.”
    Kirk got to play with Ruben Douglas in the game; Kirk said Douglas was his hero growing up. Douglas played professionally for nine years after leaving UNM, but in his last season as a Lobo, in 2003, he was the Mountain-West Player of the Year, an All-American honorable mention and he led the nation in scoring with 27 points per game.
    Douglas sunk three 3s in the All-Star game, which didn’t surprise anyone.
    “We knew that was going to happen,” Drew Gordon said.
    “It’s like riding a bike,” Douglas said.
    For Douglas, however, playing in the game 12 years after he left UNM was an honor, like it was for Kirk.
    “To get the invite was humbling,” Douglas said.

  • Sports Briefs 6-28-15

    Firecracker 5K
    The Family YMCA in Los Alamos is hosting its annual Firecracker 5K Family Fun Run on July 4.
    The 5K is open to people of all ages that want to walk, run or jog in the festive event.
    Prizes will go to the top male and female finishers in youth, adult, adult 60-plus and dog jogger divisions.
    The best-costumed participant will also win bagels for a year from Ruby K’s.
    All participants will get the annual Fun Run T-shirt and are eligible to win random door prizes.
    The 5K race route starts in the YMCA parking lot, turns north on 15th to Canyon. Then it goes west on Canyon toward the aquatic center and all the way to Diamond. The route then makes a U-turn at the crosswalk and returns to the YMCA along same route, running with traffic.
    Early registration, prior to July 4, at the YMCA, 1450 Iris Street, is encouraged. Race day check-in on July 4 is from 7-7:45 a.m. The race will start at 8 a.m. The price is $30, or $20 for YMCA members, and $10 for youth under 14 years old.
    Volunteers are also needed to help with set-up and takedown, registration check-in, traffic control and to help award prizes. The volunteers will be given race T-shirts.
    Register for the race or sign up to volunteer at the YMCA, or call 662-3100 for more information.

  • T2 reaches mid-point

    Halfway through its season in the United Soccer League Pro (USL), the Portland Timbers 2 (T2) are right on the bubble to get into the playoffs.
    With a 5-7-2 record, T2 is currently tied for sixth out of 12 teams in the USL Pro’s Western Conference. The top six teams in each conference will make the playoffs.
    Los Alamos native, Andy Thoma, is one of five Portland Timbers players who are on loan to T2.
    The Portland Timbers play in the Major League Soccer; the USL Pro is MLS’s minor league. The USL Pro has been around awhile, but this its first season as MLS’s minor league and also T2’s first season of existence.
    Thoma starts for T2 as a defender. This is the 22-year old’s first year as a pro. The Timbers drafted him in the second round, 24th overall, in the 2015 MLS Super Draft from the University of Washington.
    Playing 90 minutes a game for T2, however, should prepare him to eventually move up since the organization can customize his development.
    The Timbers have the sixth most points out of the 20 MLS teams with a 7-6-4 record. The Timbers also have one of the more loyal fan bases in the MLS. One particularly popular activity is after the Timbers score a goal at Providence Park a lumberjack revs up his chain saw and slices a circle off a giant tree to give to the player who scored.

  • Aquatomics ready to host home meet, honor Nogar

    The Los Alamos Aquatomics will welcome 13 teams to the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center this weekend for the team’s home meet, the Nogar Memorial Open.
    “It’s like a home-court advantage,” Aquatomics coach Maribeth Englert said. “I’m sure they’ll be kids who get their state times.”
    After this meet, the swimmers will only have one more opportunity to qualify for the long-course state championships at the end of July. That makes the meet even more important to the 176 swimmers who will compete Saturday and Sunday.
    The Aquatomics have just-under 100 registered swimmers with the club, and at any given time 75-80 are actively participating.
    This weekend, 35 Aquatomics will compete, including neutrons (5-8 year olds), photons (7-10 year olds), electrons (11-12 year olds) and quarks (13-and-up).
    The younger kids, 12-and-under, will dive in at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and at 9 a.m. on Sunday
    The older kids, ages 13-and-up, will start after the younger kids, beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and at noon on Sunday.
    The meet is open to the public and free to attend. Concessions will also be available.
    The meet is dedicated to Nick Nogar — a former Los Alamos High School, University of New Mexico and U.S. Master swimmer.

  • Kirk joining former Lobos in All-Star game

    The University of New Mexico is welcoming back some of its best men’s basketball players to WisePies Arena, AKA The Pit, on Sunday.
    At 6 p.m., UNM will host its inaugural Lobo All-Star game. The festivities will also include a slam-dunk contest.
    The lineup for the game features over 20 former Lobos, including NBA players and other pros.
    The Chicago Bulls’ Cameron Bairstow and Tony Snell are scheduled to play, as well as the Phoenix Suns’ Danny Granger.
    Other pros that have committed to the game include the 23-year-old big man from Los Alamos, Alex Kirk, plus Kendall Williams, Daniel Faris and Drew Gordon.
    J.R. Giddens, Jamal Smith, DeShawn Delaney, AJ Hardeman, Chris Perez, Kenny Thomas, Emanuel Negudu, Dairese Gary, Tony Danridge, Daren Prentice, Eric Chatfield, Phil McDonald, Ruben Douglas and Chad Adams will also play in the game.
    Tickets start at $8 and are available at the game or unmtickets.com.
    For more information, call 414-6297.
    Directly after the game, there will be an All-Star after party at Triple Sevens in Isleta Resort and Casino. The party is open to the public.
    Kirk is one of many of the former Lobos still playing basketball. After the All-Star festivities, he will play in the NBA’s Orlando summer league for the Memphis Grizzlies, July 4-10.

  • Splash n Dashes offer training, family fun

    Nobody was overheating at the first Splash n Dash of the summer Wednesday evening.
    After the participants finished swimming in the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center, a nice cool rain started falling as they were running.
    “This is the first one I remember getting rained on,” Bill Dunn of the Los Alamos Triatomics said.
    The rain didn’t stop the event, even though a few people were nice and wet when they finished the swim and the run.
    Times are kept at the Splash n Dashes, but no winners are announced. The events aren’t competitions in themselves, they’re preparation for upcoming competitions.
    “We call it a training a exercise,” Dunn said. “The thinking is a lot of people will do the LA Triathlon. This is a way to track your progress.”
    The Splash n Dashes are a “brick,” which means the athletes do two sports back-to-back. Participants can choose to do a 200-meter swim and then a 3K run, or a 400-meter swim and then a 5K run.
    “What’s cool is you always push yourself harder when you’re enemy is in front of you,” Dunn said. “Once you pass them they’re your friend again, but they’re your enemy when they’re in front of you. That’s the big benefit of group things; you push yourself harder.”

  • Parra-Vasquez has best prediction

    Nicholas Parra-Vasquez and Ted Romero were the best predictors in Tuesday’s Pace Race. On the three-mile course, Parra-Vasquez was 9 seconds off his prediction while Romero was 16 seconds off his prediction.
    Katie Gattiker was 61 seconds off her prediction.
    In the one-mile race, Martin Pieck was 27 seconds off and Bob Weeks was 29 seconds off his prediction.
    Tuesday’s Pace Race was held on trails to the Estante Overlook and in Potrillo Canyon.
    The fastest runners on the one-mile course were Jason Pieck (8 minutes, 34 seconds) and Sophia Pieck (9:01).
    The fastest runners at the three-mile distance were Romero (21:46) and Laura Woodroffe (27:37).
    Next Tuesday’s Pace Race will start off North Mesa Road, about 100 yards east of the roundabout on the road to the Posse Shack.
    For more information, call 672-1639 or visit atomicrunners.com.