• Topper girls finish sixth at state swim meet

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls swimming and diving team finished a respectable sixth place in this year’s state meet.

    The all-classification state championship was hosted by Albuquerque Academy at its Natatorium. The Hilltopper girls finished with 170.5 points, paced by Sarah Lott’s third- and fourth-place finishes Saturday.

    Lott’s top-four finishes came in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyles. In the shorter race, she swam a 1:55.80, good enough for third, and went 5:16.48 in the 500.

    Also Saturday, the Hilltopper boys placed 10th overall, finishing with 96.5 points.

    Winning the state boys team championship was Eldorado, which needed virtually every one of its 265 points to hold off La Cueva, which finished with 262 points.

    On the girls side, Eldorado made it a clean sweep of the titles, grabbing 324 points, earning a comfortable victory over Academy, which had 260 points.

    Among the other top finishes for the Hilltopper girls were the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams, both of which cracked the top four, and Maria Venneri’s sixth-place finish in the 100 backstroke. Top Hilltopper diver Madeline LeScournec had a fifth-place finish, earning a score of 344.60.

  • Volleyball coach Maskaly resigns -- updated


    Garry Maskaly resigned from his position as the head coach of the Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball program Thursday.

    Maskaly, who took over the program in 2008 after the departure of Diana “Deedi” Stokes, said he wanted to spend more time with his young son, Matthew, and continuing coaching wasn’t conducive to that goal.

    “Matthew’s 17 months old now,” Maskaly said. “He’s changing so fast. Between my work picking up a lot, all these changes, last year was hard and next year will be even harder.”

    Since joining the program in 2008, Los Alamos won four consecutive District 2-4A championships and advanced to three straight Class 4A semifinals.

    Maskaly informed the team at their annual banquet Thursday night that he would not be returning.

    Los Alamos High School athletic director Vicki Nelms received word of Maskaly’s resignation late Thursday night.

    “I wanted to make my decision about what I was doing by the volleyball banquet,” he said. “I spent a lot of time in January thinking about it and a lot in early February thinking about it. It wasn’t one thing in particular…but something had to give and volleyball was that thing that would have to slide.”

  • Brian Geyer wins state wrestling title in sudden death


    RIO RANCHO – Brian Geyer was working for the weekend. His work paid off big time.

    Geyer, Los Alamos’ 182-pound junior wrestler, held on for dear life, literally, against Los Lunas’ Mark Hussey to earn an individual state Class 4A title. Geyer won in the fourth overtime period, just hanging on to Hussey’s ankle long enough to pick up a sudden death ride-out win in the state championship bout.

    Earlier this year, Hussey defeated Geyer 4-3, but Saturday night, Geyer was the victor.

    It was a rough couple of weeks for Geyer heading into the tournament, getting hurt prior to the District 2-4A championships, where he lost to Jonah Schmelz of Santa Fe, but nursed his shoulder injury over the previous week to get back to health.

    It was a big tournament for the Hilltoppers, who were cautiously optimistic heading into state they could have a strong showing.

    Los Alamos finished in fifth place, one of its strongest team showings in recent history.

    Along with advancing the two Geyers, Brian and Cory, to the finals, moved two other wrestlers into the championship semifinals, 152-pounder Lane Saunders and 170-pounder Arnoldo Ortiz. Diego Madrid at 220 and Chandler Lauritzen at 132 also made it through to the medal round in the consolation bracket.

  • LA's state swimming preliminary entries

    Here are the preliminary meet entries for the 2012-13 state swimming and diving meet. Los Alamos entry qualifying times are listed. Top seeded entries are in parentheses.


    200 medley relay

    Los Alamos, 2:00.41. (Eldorado, 1:49.49)

    200 freestyle

    Justine Yang, 2:08.91; Anna Wermer, 2:08.37; Sarah Lott, 2:03.22; Kaitlin Bennett, 2:08.00. (Nika Fellows, La Cueva, 1:55.24)

    200 individual medley

    Isabelle Runde, 2:21.88; Ashlynn Bennett, 2:21.75. (Cassaundra Pino, Albuquerque, 2:10.12)

    50 freestyle

    Sydney Schoonover, 26.16. (Olivia Morrell, Volcano Vista, 24.29)

    1 meter diving

    Madeline LeScourenec, Laura Wendelberger, Amy Neal.

    100 butterfly

    Ashlynn Bennett, 1:03.87. (Cassaundra Pino, Albuquerque, 58.11)

    100 freestyle

    Kaitlin Bennett, 57.70; Maria Venneri, 57.42. (Anika Apostalon, Albuquerque Academy, 51.24).

    500 freestyle

    Anna Wermer, 5.55.98; Justine Yang, 5:48.51; Sarah Lott, 5:27.08. (Nika Fellows, La Cueva, 5:05.96)

    200 freestyle relay

    Los Alamos, 1:48.70. (Academy, 1:40.02)

    100 backstroke

    Sydney Schoonover, 1:05.21; Isabelle Runde, 1:05.17; Maria Venneri, 1:03.26. (Tyler Wickesberg, Eldorado, 57.69)

    100 breaststroke

  • LA has almost full slate for state meet

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper swimming and diving teams qualified plenty of athletes for the upcoming state swimming and diving championship.
    The state championship meet will be Friday and Saturday at the Albuquerque Academy Natatorium. Diving preliminary competition starts at 8:30 a.m. Friday while swimming preliminary heats get going at 3 p.m. Both diving and swimming finals are Saturday.
    At the 2011-12 state meet, the Hilltopper girls finished eighth overall with 114 points. The Hilltopper boys were well back in 22nd place.
    Last season, the Albuquerque Academy girls were the big winners in team competition, racking up 339 points to runner-up Las Cruces’ total of 267. Eldorado dominated the boys team standings, topping Academy by 99 points.
    Heading into this weekend’s competition, Los Alamos has entries in all but two events, the girls 100-yard breaststroke and boys diving.
    Individually, Los Alamos’ swimmers will have some ground to make up if they have their sights set on a state title.
    Among those Los Alamos athletes within striking distance of the top qualifiers this season are Maria Venneri in the girls 100 backstroke, Sam Harris in the boys100 butterfly and Nick Greenfield in the boys 100 freestyle.

  • 'Toppers expect big things at 4A tourney

    When the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling program’s coaching staff sat down Tuesday night to crunch the numbers, the group figured it had a good shot of getting five individuals seeded.
    Los Alamos will take part in the Class 4A state championship tournament. The tournament gets going Friday morning and continues through Saturday at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.
    The Hilltoppers are going into the state tournament fresh off their victory in the District 2-4A tournament last weekend. In what might be a first for the Hilltopper team, it qualified its entire contingent of 14 wrestlers for state.
    Heading in, Los Alamos head coach Bob Geyer said he and the rest of his staff sat down Tuesday to figure out where his wrestlers may end up when the official draw is released tonight.
    Taking into account winning percentages and head-to-head results with other Class 4A competitors, Los Alamos likes its chances of getting five individuals tagged with top-four seeds.
    “It would be nice to be opposite the No. 1s more often,” Geyer said. “But I think we’ll be OK.”
    Among those the team figures will be likely seeds are Chandler Lauritzen at 132 pounds, Lane Saunders at 152 pounds, 160-pounder Cory Geyer, 170-pounder Arnoldo Ortiz and Brian Geyer at 182 pounds.

  • Boys basketball team drops its 2-4A finale vs. Capital

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team attempted a comeback after falling behind big after three quarters.
    Los Alamos, which trailed the Capital Jaguars by 24 with just one quarter remaining, chopped that lead down to 11 with 4:22 to play Wednesday night at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Unfortunately for the Hilltoppers, that would be as close as they would get as the fell to the Jaguars 63-50 in their final District 2-4A game of the season.
    The Hilltoppers (1-24 overall, 0-8 in district) have one more game remaining, that coming Saturday night at Albuquerque Academy, a makeup game from their Joe Armijo Invitational game that was snowed out.
    The Jaguars, the No. 3-ranked team in Class 4A, dominated the first three quarters of play. In the third quarter, the Jaguars outscored the Hilltoppers 20-9 on the strength of 8-for-14 shooting in the frame.
    But Los Alamos, led by guard Skyler Veenis, held Capital scoreless for more than half the quarter, going on an impressive 13-0 run. Veenis finished the fourth quarter with 10 of his game-high 18 points.
    Simon Heath finished with 11 points coming off the bench for Los Alamos.

  • LA ends its season with a win

     The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team used a big first quarter to propel it to victory Tuesday night.

    Los Alamos held the Capital Jaguars to just 6 points on their home floor and, with some hot shooting from the field, went up big early in the game. After one quarter of play, Los Alamos led 19-6.

    The Hilltoppers cruised the rest of the way, except for a late comeback attempt by Capital, to win 57-48 at Edward Medina Gymnasium.

    Tuesday’s game was the regular season finale for the Hilltoppers, who end with a 15-11 record and a 5-3 mark in District 2-4A play.

    Los Alamos will await the winner between Capital and Bernalillo in the 2-4A tournament quarterfinal round next Tuesday. The winner of that game will most likely play at Española Valley Thursday night for the right to advance to the tournament championship game.

    Against Capital, Los Alamos guard McKenzie Logan, who became a big source of offense during this district season, hit 3 3-pointers early in the ballgame and Kiana Zerr dropped in 10 points in just a little over a quarter to get things rolling for Los Alamos.

    Logan finished with 15 points, while Zerr and Erin Kirk both had 14 points.

  • Local runner will brave the Sahara Desert

    The question Garth Reader gets asked more than any other is, “why?”
    The question is in response to Reader’s goal of competing in the Marathon Des Sables, a multi-day scheduled footrace in the western Sahara Desert.
    “Everyone asks that,” said Reader, a local ultra-runner who jumped at the chance this year when his name came up to compete in the Marathon Des Sables, which encompasses a 240-kilometer (approximately 149 mile) path through the burning southern Moroccan corner of the Sahara. “I found out about it more than a decade ago and it struck me as one of those things that you see and you say ‘that’s me.’ That would be so neat to do.”
    The Marathon Des Sables, scheduled from April 5-15, is no ordinary ultramarathon — if there is such a thing — as competitors run set distances every day and camp in two-sided tents called bivouacs at night out in the desert. Daytime temperatures can reach in excess of 120 degrees, while nighttime temperatures can fall to near freezing. Throw in the random Saharan sandstorm and things can really get interesting for competitors.
    All of these complications don’t seem to hurt interest in the race any. In its previous 27 runnings, the race has averaged about 500 competitors a year.

  • 'Topper boys face Capital Wednesday

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team will finish off its District 2-4A regular season Wednesday night when it hosts the Capital Jaguars.

    Los Alamos (1-23 overall, 0-7 in 2-4A), which has a nondistrict contest scheduled for Saturday at Albuquerque Academy to finish the season, will be hoping to gain at least some momentum for next week’s district tournament.

    Despite being knocked around this district season, Los Alamos will be looking to grab at least some momentum for the tournament, in which it will have to win three straight road games to get to the tournament final.

    In their most recent outing Friday night, the Hilltoppers were drubbed by the Española Valley Sundevils 89-62 in Española.

    The two teams played a defense-optional second half at Española Valley, in which they combined for 78 points — the Sundevils scored 49 points in the first half.

    Los Alamos’ 62 points was a season high for the team, but so was the 89 points allowed against the Sundevils.