• 'Toppers open the year at Valencia

    The final team to get its winter season rolling at Los Alamos High School is the wrestling team, but it will hit the mat for the first time Saturday.
    Los Alamos will be at the Valencia Duals Saturday. The team is scheduled to meet up with five other teams to get its season going.
    The Hilltoppers may be a bit of an unknown quantity this season, but it will have some key returners back from their 2013-14 team that came up big at the end.
    Last season, Los Alamos finished a better-than-projected eighth in the Class 4A tournament. Moreover, Los Alamos earned two individual state titles, the first time since the mid-1990s the program had accomplished that feat.
    Brian Geyer, who won his second consecutive state title last season, is currently wrestling collegiately, but the other, Lane Saunders, will return for his junior year.
    Saunders earned the 170-pound state title and is projected to be among the grapplers to beat for this year’s title at 182 pounds.
    In the championship bout a season ago, he came back from a 4-0 deficit late in the second period to defeat Aaron Rino of Piedra Vista. With under 40 seconds remaining in the second period, Saunders cut the lead down to 4-3, then scored on a reversal to open the third period, winning the contest 5-4.

  • Sports Briefs 12-04-14

    Santa Fe ski area to open Saturday

    Ski Santa Fe announced this week it will open for the season Saturday.
    Ski Santa Fe will open the Midland and Easy Street runs and the Pine Flats beginners’ area. As of Tuesday, Ski Santa Fe was projecting 20 inches of natural and man-made snow for Saturday’s opening.
    The Super Chief quad chairlift, Easy Street beginner chairlift and Pine Flats lift are planned to be operating Saturday.
    Further, facilities at the ski area, including La Casa Lodge, La Casa Café, the sports and rental shops, coffee bar and Totemoff’s Bar and Grill will be in operation.
    Officials at the area said its snowmaking department will continue to manufacture snow. As more natural snowfall accumulates, more terrain will be available for use.
    Ski Santa Fe will be open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, visit skisantafe.com.

    Colleges to be at baseball camp this weekend

  • LA's teams will compete at Santa Fe Invite on Saturday

    Heading into the 2014-15 season, the Los Alamos Hilltopper swimming and diving teams are like a man without a country.
    Or a swimming pool, at least.
    Los Alamos will get the meat of its season started this weekend when it takes part in the Santa Fe Invitational meet. That meet is scheduled for Saturday at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center.
    This will be the second meet of the year for the Hilltoppers, who also took part in the Peter Barney Relays last month. The Hilltopper boys finished third in that meet — which includes some of the top finishers from the previous year’s state championship event — and the Hilltopper girls finished fourth in team competition.
    Heading into the season, Los Alamos’ boys have 21 swimmers on their roster while the girls sport 17 on their roster.
    Notably, however, one of the swimmers not appearing is Sarah Lott, who won the state championship last February in the 100-yard freestyle. Lott, who was also the state runner-up in the 200 freestyle, stayed busy much of the offseason with her club team, the Charger Aquatic Club.
    Should the Los Alamos girls team be without Lott this season, it will be looking toward other qualifiers last season to put points on the board.

  • Venhaus has best finish at Turkey Trot

    Grayson Venhaus was the top finisher at the 2014 Turkey Trot race.
    More than 200 participants took part in this year’s CROP Walk/Turkey Trot, which was held on North Mesa Nov. 23.
    The event was held to benefit the CROP organization, which helps those struggling with hunger.
    Venhaus finished the 2.57-mile course in 16 minutes, 17 seconds. That mark was 20 seconds better than runner-up Ted Romero’s time.
    Other participants could choose to go on a 1.6-mile course for the race.

    Here are the top 24 finishers from the 2014 Turkey Trot:

    1. Grayson Venhaus, 16:17; 2. Ted Romero, 16:37; 3. Duncan Fuehne, 17:29; 4. Ryan Smetzer, 17:38; 5. Elias Velasquez, 17:54; 6. Tad Hughes, 18:24; 7. Nikol Strother, 18:38; 8. Jeremiah Palmer-Scott, 18:46; 9. Quinn Abfalterer, 19:03; 10. Nick Parra-Vasquez, 19:04; 11. Bill Rice, 19:35; 12. Roxana Candia, 19:59;

    13. Paul Bradley, 20:02; 14. Zack Medin, 20:36; 16. Steven Strevell, 21:03; 17. Michaelle Sutton, 21:30; 18. Duncan Hammon, 21:38; 19. Darla Thompson, 21:50; 20. Vincent Chiravalle, 21:57; 21. Everett Key, 22:05; 22. Pete Sheehey, 22:31; 23. Artemia Rojas, 23:05; 24. David Kratzer, 23:16.

  • 'Toppers can't slow Pintos down low

    The Moriarty Pintos had the height advantage down low Tuesday night and they used it to their full advantage.
    Los Alamos’ boys basketball team was looking to snap its two-game losing streak to start the season Tuesday night, but the Pintos’ game near the basket proved to be too much to overcome.
    Moriarty’s big man, Jake Flaming, who is listed at 6-foot-7, dominated on the low block, dropping in 27 points as the Pintos thumped the Hilltoppers, 51-32.
    Flaming went 13 of 22 from the field on his night. Early in the game he showed the ability to go either inside the lane or down the baseline to the basket.
    By the second half Tuesday, Los Alamos was out of answers defensively for him.
    With the loss, the Hilltoppers drop to 0-3 on the season, with all those losses coming at home.
    More troubling for the Hilltoppers, however, is that all three of those losses have been against Class 5A opponents, which could come back to haunt them if they get into position by the end of the year to vie for a playoff spot.
    Right now, however, Los Alamos will have to focus on fixing a myriad of issues, not the least of which is scoring some points.

  • LA to face Moriarty tonight in boys hoops

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team will be at home tonight taking on the Moriarty Pintos.
    Game time is 7 p.m. Tonight’s game will be broadcast on KRSN.
    The Hilltoppers (0-2) will be looking to bounce back from a big loss a week ago. They were crushed by the Valencia Jaguars 83-35 at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Both Los Alamos’ losses this season have come against Class 5A competition. The Hilltoppers also lost their season opener to Aztec Nov. 22.
    Tonight’s game will be the second year in a row the two teams have played early season contests at Griffith Gym. Moriarty topped Los Alamos last year, 49-40.
    In that game, Los Alamos had one of its best efforts of the season, but also committed 22 fouls and sent the Pintos to the foul line 24 times, where the Pintos converted 20.
    Jake Flaming, Moriarty’s big presence inside, finished with 12 points in last year’s contest.

  • Christmas Lights Runs going for the season

    The Los Alamos Triatomics multi-sport club will be hosting its annual Christmas Lights Runs from now until Dec. 22.
    Runs are scheduled for every Monday and Wednesday during that time.
    The next run will be Wednesday starting at Barranca Mesa on Loma del Escolar. Run time is 6:15 p.m. and runners are asked to arrive promptly at that time and be warmed-up and ready to go.
    According to the club, this year’s runs will be shorter and flatter on Mondays and longer on Wednesdays. Wednesday’s race will be 4.7 miles in length.
    Runs are not competitive. They are designed to be fun for all participants and paced so that runners can admire Christmas lights around the neighborhoods.
    Runners are encouraged to wear light clothes or reflective material for safety purposes. Runs will take place during active snowstorms but not if courses become icy.
    For more information or for late-change announcements, visit the club’s website, triatomics.org.

  • LA earns 20-point win over Pojoaque Valley

    One of the big plusses of running an aggressive, attacking defense bent on creating turnovers is that setting up an offense isn’t necessary to finding good shots.
    And that’s exactly what the goal of the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team has been during its first two games of the season.
    Los Alamos forced 31 turnovers against the Pojoaque Valley Elkettes Saturday night at Griffith Gymnasium. A big chunk of those turnovers turned into quick transition buckets on the other end as Los Alamos rolled to a 59-39 victory.
    It was the second impressive win of the season for Los Alamos to start the career of new head coach Nestor Trujillo — the Hilltoppers earned a solid victory over St. Michael’s Nov. 25 on the road.
    In previous seasons, Los Alamos had used pressure only situationally, but now, under Trujillo, it appears it will be the team’s staple.
    Even with its early success, the Hilltoppers feel they’ve got a long way to go to get its defense down-pat.
    “We knew we needed to work harder,” said Hilltopper guard Amber Logan. “We need to make it clear who was going to win this game.”
    Logan, a senior, has been on several Hilltopper teams in the past that has fallen victim to aggressive defense, including Pojoaque Valley’s.

  • Christmas Light runs start tonight

    The Los Alamos Triatomics multi-sport club will begin its annual Christmas Lights Runs this evening.

    Tonight's run is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. It will start in the downtown area and go around Ashley Pond. The full run will cover approximately 3 miles.

    Christmas Light runs are scheudled every Monday and Wednesday between today and Dec. 22. The runs are non-competitive, but participants should be warmed-up and ready to go promptly at 6:15 p.m. It is highly recommended that all runners wear light-colored outfits or wear something reflective for safety purposes.

    For more information about the Triatomics or to view the full Christmas Lights Run schedule, visit triatomics.org.

  • Kirk’s highlights, D-League games on YouTube channel

    Those interested in keeping up with former Los Alamos basketball star Alex Kirk may do so online.
    The NBA Development League, where Kirk has seen most of his playing time so far, has its own YouTube channel.
    For approximately two weeks now, Kirk has been with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Developmental League team, the Canton (Ohio) Charge after spending the first nine games of the regular NBA season with the Cavaliers.
    Kirk, of course, was signed to a free agent deal by Cleveland last summer. He was with Cleveland until Nov. 17 when he was assigned to Canton, a move that had been anticipated since the beginning of the NBA season.
    Canton Charge games, as well as many other D-League games, are regularly broadcast on YouTube. Users can search the D-League teams they’re interested in to watch games live and highlights are available for other contests.
    Currently, a highlight video of Kirk’s 25-point effort against Grand Rapids from Nov. 22 and a postgame interview with him is posted on the D-League’s YouTube channel.