• Football ready to tackle Pintos for Homecoming

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper football team will be looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season tonight when it hosts the Moriarty Pintos for Homecoming.
    But the Hilltoppers will have battles on several fronts if they want to get back on the right track.
    Los Alamos took it on the chin last week against one of its oldest rivals, the St. Pius X Sartans. For the second straight week, Los Alamos struggled to slow down a mobile quarterback, St. Pius’ Drew Ortiz, who ran for two long touchdowns in addition with throwing for two more in the first half.
    Los Alamos fell to the Sartans 46-0.
    But even with its defensive struggles, Los Alamos had to play the second half without its No. 1 offensive threat, Derek Selvage. Selvage was injured just before halftime and sat out practice time this week with a leg injury.
    Two weeks ago, Selvage had 129 rushing yards. He had 46 yards on the ground before he got hurt against St. Pius. But he had also been doing the bulk of the running out of the backfield, getting 37 touches in six quarters before the injury.
    Los Alamos finished the St. Pius game with Lane Saunders and Edward Lavelle in the backfield, both of which ran well in Selvage’s absence.

  • ’Toppers get shut out in home opener

    One of the slipperiest runners in Class 5A did some of his best work in the first half of Friday night’s game against the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team.
    Los Alamos had virtually no answer for Drew Ortiz, who was effective with not only his feet but with his arm at the quarterback spot for the St. Pius X Sartans. Ortiz rushed for 136 yards and threw for another 116 in the first half, both numbers better than the Hilltoppers’ total output for the first half, as the Sartans cruised to a 46-0 win at Sullivan Field.
    The Sartans scored just a little over a minute into Friday night’s game and tacked on a second score about 2-1/2 minutes later to get the rout going. They ruined the home opener for Los Alamos, which went into the game feeling good after a 19-13 opening game victory over Pojoaque Valley.
    The worst news of the contest, however, came in the second quarter when fullback Derek Selvage left the game with an injury. He was sidelined and on crutches for the rest of the contest.
    Selvage keyed the Hilltoppers’ season-opening win on the road against the Elks a week before, scoring all three of their touchdowns in the second half.
    Against St. Pius, Selvage rushed for 46 yards in the first half, the majority of the Hilltoppers’ offensive output up to that time.

  • Hilltopper girls run to victory at Lobo Invite

    Los Alamos started the cross country season on the right foot Saturday at UNM’s Lobo Invite. The Hilltopper girls finished first out of 26 squads while the Hilltopper boys placed sixth out of 31.
    “We were really pleased with the performances at the UNM Invite this morning,” co-head coach Kathy Hipwood said.
    The girls team race was tight, with only three points separating the top three teams. The Hilltopper girls won the team title by a single point. Los Alamos finished first with 80 points while Albuquerque Academy finished second with 81 and Rio Rancho took third with 83.
    Madison Foley led Los Alamos with a third-place finish in 19 minutes, 31.20 seconds. She was the first runner to finish from the top three teams, as well.
    Los Alamos’ one through five split was 1:23 and their average time was 20:23, which was also the fastest. Its top-three runners gave them a nine-point lead over Academy. Rio Rancho’s top-three, on the other hand, all finished in the top-10 and gave the Rams a seven-point advantage over Los Alamos. The Hilltopper’s fifth runner, however, made up that difference against Rio Rancho’s fifth runner.
    Sophia Galvez was second ’Topper to finish. Galvez finished 11th in 20:21.01.

  • Los Alamos places third at Moriarty tournament

    The Los Alamos volleyball team finished third out of 16 teams at the Moriarty tournament and backed up its strong performance by beating Pojoaque in three games on Tuesday.
    “I keep seeing this team improve every step of the way,” Los Alamos head coach Sharleen Espinoza said. “They’re talented players. Now they’re getting to dig deep and find the little things that need to work on — which is good because it means the big things are working. The girls keep raising the bar for us.”
    The Hilltoppers started the Moriarty tournament Friday in a pool with Estancia, Bernalillo and Portales. Los Alamos finished first in pool play to move into the tournament’s gold bracket.
    In its first game in the bracket, Los Alamos took on a team that finished second in its pool, Hatch Valley.
    “Hatch had some big middles which posed some difficulties with (their) blocks,” Espinoza said. “It forced us to move our shots around.”
    The match was tight, but the ’Toppers were able to win it in three sets — 25-23, 25-10 and 25-23.
    After beating Hatch, Los Alamos took on Sandia Prep in the tournament’s semifinals.
    Sandia Prep, however, was able to beat Los Alamos en route to a tournament title.

  • Game of the week, Sept. 6 - 12

    Los Alamos will celebrate Homecoming by welcoming Moriarty to town on Friday. The ’Toppers will look to continue their solid start on the gridiron against the Pintos in the game.
    Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
    The game’s festivities will also include the crowning of Los Alamos’ homecoming royalty and a special introduction to Los Alamos’ second Hall of Fame class.

  • Cross country teams begin seasons Saturday at UNM

    The Los Alamos cross country teams will begin their seasons Saturday at the University of New Mexico’s Lobo Invitational.
    For Los Alamos, the defending Class 5A boys and girls state champions, the meet will give it a good look at how it stacks up against some of the fastest teams teams around.
    The meet will feature many of New Mexico’s top teams in multiple classifications.
    The Los Alamos boys won the meet in 2010 while the Hilltopper girls won it in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
    The meet was originally scheduled to have a community race, two divisions of high school races and college races, as well. The college races, however, have been cancelled.
    Two collegiate institutions that were slated to participate at the Lobo Invitational, New Mexico State and UTEP, are instead competing at the Texas Tech Double Duals this Friday in Ruidoso.
    Without the adequate number of collegiate teams, New Mexico was unable to count the competition towards its mandated number of events for a competition season.
    Consequently, instead of forfeiting the weekend and risking issues with countable competitions, New Mexico will now also participate at the Texas Tech Double Duals this Friday.

  • Los Alamos plays first home game tonight

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper football team will play its first home game of the season tonight. The ’Toppers will welcome the St. Pius X Sartans to town.
    Kick off is at 7 p.m.
    Los Alamos is 1-0 after coming from behind to beat Pojoaque, 19-13, in its season opener last Friday.
    Fullback Derek Salvege will lead Los Alamos’ attack against the Sartans. He scored all three of Los Alamos’ touchdowns — all in the second half — to help the ’Toppers complete their comeback.
    Selvage finished with 129 rushing yards on 26 carries against Pojoaque.
    Quarterback Nick Quartieri added 23 rushing yards on 9 attempts.He also threw five passes in the game, but had no completions.
    After the win, Los Alamos moved up five spots in MaxPrep’s Class 5A rankings, from No. 23 to No. 18. It also passed a pair of District 2-5A foes in the rankings — Española Valley (No. 19) and Bernalillo (No. 23).
    St. Pius X, meanwhile, destroyed the team that was favored to win District 2-5A in its opener, Del Norte. St. Pius beat the Knights, 47-8.
    Quarterback Drew Ortiz will lead a potent passing attack for the Sartans tonight.

  • 'Toppers beat St. Mike's to stay undefeated

    The Los Alamos boys soccer team stayed undefeated with a 3-0 victory over St. Mike's on Wednesday.
    The closest thing about the game, however, might have been the score.
    Los Alamos outshot St. Mike's 30-5 in the contest and had an 10-0 advantage in corner kicks.
    "They battled and played hard, but I always felt like we were in control," Los Alamos head coach Ron Blue said.
    Los Alamos was in possession of the ball for the vast majority of the game.
    Los Alamos also had no problems getting shots off, but many off them were off target. Seven of its first 11 shots missed high or wide. Out of the four that were on goal, two of them scored.
    Eric Burnside created the first opportunity, dribbling past a pair of St. Mike's defenders on the right sideline. Burnside then centered the ball to DC Kim who scored with his left foot in the sixth minute of the game.
    Burnside then put Los Alamos up 2-0 in the 17th minute. Levon Wiggins stole the ball deep in St. Mike's territory and passed to Burnside who kicked it off the left post and in.
    Four of the 'Toppers last five shots in the half were on goal, but saved.
    "We didn't finish well, but they were a difficult team to break down," Blue said. "They had a lot of numbers behind the ball."

  • Williams, Marr lead predictors

    The annual staggered-start Pace Race and fun run was held Tuesday on the White Rock bike path.
    The runners with the slowest predicted times started first from Piñon/Rocket Park.
    Starting last were the runners with the fastest predicted times.
    The best predictors for the one-mile course were Joan Williams and Duane Marr, both of whom were 5 seconds off.
    For the three-mile course, the best predictors were Roxana Candia and Zachary Medin at 23 seconds off.
    David Kratzer was 27 seconds off while Sanna Sevanto was 33 seconds off.
    The fastest runners were Jackie Marr and Brian Newnam on the one-mile course.
    Valerio Pinchetti, Ted Romero, Laura Woodroffe, and Nikol Strother had the fastest three-mile times.
    Next Tuesday’s Pace Race will take place at the end of North Mesa on San Ildefonso Road South below the Big Rock Loop.
    One-and and three-mile courses will be available.
    For information, call 672-1639 or visit the Atomic City Roadrunner’s website atomicrunners.com

  • Volleyball hopes to learn from loss at St. Pius X

    The Los Alamos volleyball team started its season against a tough opponent Tuesday night in Albuquerque, the St. Pius X Sartans.
    The senior-led Hilltoppers were hoping to make a statement in its first game of the fall, but instead found some parts of its game that still need improvement.
    St. Pius X won the contest in three games — 25-19, 25-17 and 25-22.
    “It was a good opener for us,” Los Alamos head coach Sharleen Espinoza said. “St. Pius is a team that will expose the things you need to work on.”
    Timing its blocks were one thing Espinoza said her team still needs practice on.
    Mackenzie Alexander, the 6-foot junior who moved up to varsity this season, did havesome success blocking shots, especially later in the game, though.
    “She’s a wall when she gets her hands up,” Espinoza said.
    Middle hitters Noelle Gallegos and Halie Street “did well,” Espinoza said, while outside hitters Brianna Montaño and Sierra Foley “did a good job moving the ball around,” but added her team needed to “spread the ball around a little more” to give the outside hitters’ arms a rest.
    First match jitters, however, caused a lot of unforced for Los Alamos in the match, especially in the first two games.