• Game of the Week Feb. 15-21

    This weekend, the best wrestlers and swimmers in New Mexico will try to capture state championships.
    Los Alamos will be well represented at both championships.
    After hitting qualifying time after qualifying time and then dominating the District 1 championships, Los Alamos has at least one Hilltopper girl qualified for every event at the state meet. In most of the events, several girls have qualified. Many of the girls not only have state experience, they also scored points at last year's state meet when Los Alamos placed third as a team.
    Sarah Lott will be looking for another state title. Lott won the 100-yard freestyle championship in 2014 (52.07 seconds).
    The Los Alamos boys' swim team is also taking a big squad to the state meet. The Hilltopper boys have swimmers qualified in 10 of the 12 events.
    The state swim meet will take place Friday and Saturday at Albuquerque Academy.
    On the mat, Lane Saunders will be gunning for a third state title. The senior is competing at 182 pounds.
    All of the wrestlers will need to qualify for state at the District 2-5A championships today (Feb. 13), but the majority of Los Alamos' wrestlers are expected to place in the top-three at the district meet to move on to next weekend's state meet.

  • Sports Briefs 2-14-16

    Registration open for Jemez Mountain races
    The 11th annual Jemez Mountain Trail Races are scheduled for May 21.
    Registration for the 15 mile, 50 kilometer and 50 mile runs are now open and spots fill up fast.
    The half-marathon event has been changed to a 15-miler due to trail re-routes and improvements along Guaje Ridge.
    The Jemez Mountain Trail Races are a community event that takes full advantage of Los Alamos’ mountain trail running network around town, up Pajarito Mountain, and through the Valles Caldera.
    Last year over 600 runners participated.
    Through registration fees and sponsors, the race gave back over $16,000 to local charitable and non-profit organizations.
    Register at: ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=35461
    For more information about running, or volunteering, visit highaltitudeathletics.org/JemezMt.htm or email jemezruns@gmail.com.

    Hunting and fishing expo
    Anglers mark your Calendars. The New Mexico Outdoor Adventures Hunting and Fishing Show is coming to the Manual Lujan Building at the state fairgrounds in Albuquerque Feb. 19-21.
    Admission is free to licensed anglers, hunters, trappers and youths under age 18.
    The cost is $3 for everyone else.

  • Dedicated park crew part of Pajarito's good season

    In a lot of ways, Pajarito Mountain is having its best ski season in years and years.
    The mountain had the earliest opening in recent memory this season, on Nov. 27.
    A couple weekends ago it was able to the terrain under the Townsight lift open for the first time since the Los Conchas fire scorched the area in 2010.
    After that, it was able to open the Crazy Mother terrain park for the first time in the last five years.
    A lot of factors have fallen into place to help the mountain.
    A wet summer helped the mountain fill its snowmaking pond and open early.
    Natural snowfall, and a lot of work over the summer with chainsaws, helped it reopen the terrain on Townsight.
    To get the mountain's parks open, a dedicated park crew has been the crucial factor.
    "The new management has been really helpful," park-crew member Markus Boomer said. "They're willing to have stuff done because they think terrain parks are profitable, especially to get (the mountain) open seven days."
    Getting to a point where the ski area can be open for daily operations is a goal for the future.
    For the majority of this season, the ski area has been open Wednesday though Sunday and on Monday holidays, like this weekend's Presidents' Day.

  • Altmann out of FWT with an injured ACL

    The second stop of the Freeride World Tour took place Friday morning in France at Chamonix Mont-Blanc.
    There was a mystical atmosphere in the Flégère ski area as the clouds parted an unveiled the snow-capped peaks of one of Europe’s most legendary freeride venues.
    Riders in each of the four divisions, male and female, ski and snowboard, raised the bar for their respective sports and shook up the overall tour rankings.
    Skier Loic Collomb-Patton tossed a backflip to help secure his third win on his home turf in the event.
    While the skiers and snowboarders were going big in France, Garrett Altmann was back in Los Alamos. Altmann injured his knee at the first stop of the FWT at Vallnord-Arcalis Andorra.
    While skiing down a choke, Altmann clipped a hidden rock, kicked his ski and injured his knee.

  • Knights of Columbus crowns free throw champs

    Five boys and three girls from ages 10 to 14 won local championships at the 2016 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship to earn the right to compete at the district level.
    The 10-year-old champions were Mika Stanfield in the girls’ bracket and Abraham Sanchez in the boys’.
    Lena Chavez won the 11-year-old girls’ championship and Cody Rosson won the 11-year-old boys’ division.
    In the 12- year-olds’ bracket, Wesley Stanfield won the boys’ championship.
    Lucario Chavez won the 13-year-old division.
    Alicia Gonzales won the 14-year-old girls’ division and her brother Antonio Gonzales won the boys’ bracket.
    Alicia Gonzales won the state free throw championship in 2012, 2013 and 2014. She will be participating at districts later this month with a chance to win her fourth state championship in five years.
    Each contestant was allowed 15 free throw attempts in the contests.
    Ties were settled by successive rounds of five free throws per contestant until a winner emerged.
    Each of these winners will now compete in the district competition Feb. 21 at Los Alamos High School with an eye toward moving on to the state and international levels.

  • Gymnasts reach podium at winter meets

    The boys competitive team from the Los Alamos School of Gymnastics traveled to Rio Rancho to compete in the Winter Challenge meet at Eagle Ridge Gymnastics recently. Over 100 boys from three states competed in the compulsory levels 4-6 section of the meet.
    In the level 4 competition, Arturo Yarotski finished fifth and Dominic Valdez placed eighth in the children’s division. Pasha Trudolyubov was fourth in the junior division, and Caleb Kersteins was second in the senior division. This was the first time competing for the entire Los Alamos level 4 boys team.
    In the level 5 competition, Kyle Hatler finished fourth in the senior division with 57.70 points. He placed second on high bar with a 10.20, earning bonus points, and third on rings with a 9.90.
    Jon Gilbert, competing for his first time ever, finished eighth in this division with 52.60 points. Gilbert took the gold on vault, placing first with a 10.00. Troy Makela finished ninth in this division with 51.90.
    Daniel Fryer finished 15th in the level 6 competition.
    Atomic Tumblers
    The Los Alamos Atomic Tumblers from Los Alamos School of Gymnastics also traveled to Albuquerque recently to compete in the 2016 Winter Fiesta at Precision Gymnastics. Over 600 New Mexico gymnasts competed in this meet.

  • Los Alamos ready for big games at Española Valley

    The Los Alamos girls’ basketball team will play its biggest game of the year so far when it travels to Española Valley Saturday.
    The game will feature the No. 3 ranked Sundevils (18-4, 4-1 2-5A) and the No. 5 Hilltoppers (18-5, 4-1). The winner will gain sole possession of first place in the district.
    Wednesday, the Sundevils avenged an earlier loss to Del Norte. They routed the Knights 74-38 to break the three-way tie for first place. Los Alamos and Española now share the top spot in the district with 4-1 records, but Española has the head-to-head advantage after winning the first game by a single point, 76-75.
    The first game had everything a fan would hope to see in a rivalry game featuring two of the top teams in the state. There was tough defense, great shots from both sides, momentum changes and an outcome that wasn’t decided until the final buzzer.
    Tonight, the Hilltopper boys will also play at Española Valley. The Hilltoppers came aggressive in their first contest against the Sundevils, building a 20-12 first quarter lead before going into halftime trailing 34-33.
    Española Valley, however, used a relentless attack to finish on top, 80-70.
    The Hilltopper boys are currently 8-15, 1-4 while Española is 16-7, 3-2.

  • Hilltopper tennis teams set to begin season

    The Los Alamos boys’ and girls’ tennis teams will be the first spring teams to taste competition this year. The two squads will travel to Texas this weekend to begin their seasons at the El Paso Austin tournament.
    With snow on the ground in many places in Los Alamos, however, the teams have been working out in the gym, lifting weights and doing plyometrics as well as getting out on the court.
    “A lot of their work in the off season is showing in these early practices,” boys’ coach Lloyd Wilton said. “They look like they’re sharpening up quicker. I’m really happy about it.”
    Both teams are still waiting on a few athletes who are playing winter sports or doing extra-curricular activities, but they have most of their players out.
    Both squads also seemed poised to make a deep run at the state championships this year.
    Last year, the boys and girls both reached the Class 5A state semifinals before being eliminated.
    The vast majority of those players are returning to the court this year — both teams only lost two seniors.
    Both teams’ No. 1 players, George Margevicius and Sidra Hiseh-Ratliff are also back to lead the squads again.

  • LA girls blow by Capital

    The Los Alamos girls’ basketball team doubled up Capital Friday, beating the Jaguars 76-38.
    Los Alamos led 17-10 after the first quarter and took a 41-24 lead into halftime. The Hilltoppers kept the pressure on in the third, winning the quarter 23-10, and then cruised to victory.
    Ashlynn Trujillo and Kayla Salazar, who lead the district in scoring according to MaxPreps, led Los Alamos’ offense in the game. Trujillo finished with a double double, scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the game while Salazar added 16 points.
    Eight other ’Toppers scored as well, including Ashley Logan with nine points and Makaela Jones with six.
    Salazar currently leads the district with 17.0 points per game. Trujillo is second with 16.7 PPG, but she leads the district in steals (4.1), rebounds (8.1) and assists (4.0).
    Los Alamos is now 18-5 overall and 4-1 in District 2-5A. Capital slipped to 4-19, 0-5.
    The Hilltoppers’ next game will be Saturday at Española Valley. Española (18-4, 3-1) was scheduled to play Del Norte (11-10, 3-1) Tuesday in a battle between the other two teams tied for first in the district.

  • Capital beats LA to hold on to first place in 2-5A

    The Los Alamos boys’ basketball team welcomed the No. 3 ranked Capital Jaguars to town Saturday. Los Alamos made it a game early, but the Jaguars dominated the second half to win the game, 65-34, and hold on to first place in District 2-5A.
    The first half featured big runs by both teams. Capital had a slim, 9-7 lead in the first quarter. The Jaguars then sunk a pair of 3-pointers and added some transition buckets to go on a 12-0 run and eventually take a 21-9 lead into the second quarter.
    Capital made the first two field goals of the second quarter, but then Los Alamos roared back and scored 14 of the game’s next 16 points.
    Antonio Trujillo started the rally by draining a three. Cade Gasway added a bucket and then Jack Stewart made a turnaround jumper, a three and another field goal. Trujillo also added a pair of free throws and Los Alamos was able to claw its way back into the game.
    After trailing by 16, Los Alamos headed into halftime only down 29-23.
    The second half, however, belonged to the Jaguars. Capital picked up the pressure on defense and forced Los Alamos to make lot of hurried passes into traffic. The Jaguars then turned many of those turnovers into quick, transition baskets.