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  • Prep boy's soccer: ’Toppers get past Goddard in first round

    The Los Alamos boy’s soccer team picked the right time to play one of its best halves of the season.
    The No. 5 Hilltoppers advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state tournament after defeating 12th-seeded Goddard 4-1 in the first round on Saturday at Sullivan Field. Los Alamos will face No. 4 Chaparral at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Bernalillo Soccer Complex in Bernalillo.
    “I was really proud them,” Los Alamos coach Ron Blue said. “They came together, they talked, they figured out what they needed and they just needed more energy.”
    After struggling in the first half and letting in a goal that tied the game 1-1, Los Alamos began the second half with Andreas Runde finding Christopher Blue, who drilled a left-footed shot to put the Hilltoppers ahead 2-1 in the 45th minute.
    Los Alamos added an insurance goal in the 59th minute when Arthur Steinkamp slipped through the Goddard backline and tucked away the first-time finish. Sophomore Cade Cummins assisted the Hilltoppers third goal. Senior Jonathan Coons sealed Los Alamos’ first state first round win since 2013 with a 75th-minute goal.
     “We just kept telling each other to play for each other,” Hilltoppers senior midfielder George Steinkamp said. “We needed to make it a team effort and wrap it up.”

  • LAHS volleyball tops Capital in regular season finale

    The Los Alamos volleyball team finished the regular season with a four-set (25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23) win against Capital on Saturday at Griffith Gym.
    The Hilltoppers evened their overall record to 10-10 and improved to 5-3 in District 2-5A. With the win, Los Alamos received the No. 3 seed for the District 2-5A tournament and hosted Capital on Tuesday (after the Monitor’s print deadline).  
    On Saturday, the Hilltoppers got off to a quick start leading 5-0 in the first set. Los Alamos extended its lead to 13-7, before Capital inched closer and cut the Hilltopper lead to 23-20. Los Alamos did enough to close out the set after a Jessica Moore kill.
    After a 14-8 start in set two, the Jaguars were able to hold off a Los Alamos comeback and tie the match.
    The third set began 10-10, before Los Alamos went on an 8-1 run. Capital went on a run of its own to cut the Hilltoppers lead to 21-19. But Los Alamos closed out the set with a Mackenzie Alexander kill.
    A highly competitive fourth set saw both teams tied at 10-10, then trade points until the teams were tied 23-23. After that, the Hilltoppers fed Kaitlin Bennett twice and the senior sealed the match with back-to-back kills.

  • Prep volleyball: Sundevils top LA, clinch regular season title

    It was going to take a typical resilient effort from the Los Alamos volleyball team to keep Española Valley from clinching the district regular season title.
    But the resiliency wasn’t there for the Hilltoppers in the Sundevils straight-set (25-22, 25-23, 25-19) victory on Wednesday in Española. The Sundevils, who improved to 14-5 overall and 6-1 in district play, clinched the District 2-5A regular season title and will host the district tournament championship.
    “I think (Española) played better than we did today,” Los Alamos coach Diana Stokes said. “Our passes were off today. And they were playing a quicker game and our girls had a hard time keeping up with them.”
    After Española Valley took a one-set lead, the Sundevils jumped out to a 15-11 lead in the second set. Los Alamos (9-10 overall, 4-3 District 2-5A) then scored seven-straight-points to take an 18-15 lead. With a 20-18 lead, it appeared that Los Alamos was on its way to a set-victory victory. But, the Sundevils ended up evening the set 20-20, before close it out on a 5-1 run.

  • Prep cross country: ’Toppers host district meet today

    Today’s District 2-5A meet will likely come down to two opponents who know each other very well.
    The Los Alamos and Albuquerque Academy cross country teams will face off at the Los Alamos Municipal Golf Course to decide this year’s District 2-5A champion. The boy’s race is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m., while the girl’s race is expected to follow and has a tentative 4:05 p.m. start time.
    The top two finishers will receive automatic bids to the Nov. 5 Class 5A state meet. The Hilltoppers and Chargers are heavy favorites to claim those spots, forcing Capital, Española Valley or Del Norte to complete an upset in order to take a complete team to the state meet.
    Los Alamos and Academy have met in four different meets this season. Both Charger teams have finished ahead of the Hilltoppers in each of those meets.
    Their latest mutual meet was last week’s Los Alamos Invitational. The Academy boys finished first and the girls placed second. Both Los Alamos teams finished fourth, respectively.
    Eighth-grader Rafael Sanchez and seniors Chris Buntain and Kai Coblentz lead Los Alamos into the anticipated district meet.
    Jordan Lesansee and A.J. Kedge are expected once again lead the Academy boys.

  • LAHS boy’s soccer hosts Goddard in first round

    The Los Alamos boy’s soccer team begins its state tournament run on Saturday.
    The fifth-seeded Hilltoppers will host No. 12 Goddard at 10 a.m. at Sullivan Field in the first round of the Class 5A state tournament.
    “We’re going to come out and play hard,” Los Alamos senior defender Tristen Roach said. “We’re going to try to get up in the first half. We’re not going to stand back on watch, we’re going to play all the way through.”
    Los Alamos goes into the first-round matchup at 13-5-2 overall, and closed the regular season with a 1-0 win at No. 1 Albuquerque Academy and a 0-0 tie at No. 3 Capital.
    Defensively, the Hilltoppers have been solid and tallied 11 shutouts during the regular season. The defensive success this season is due to the solid play of Roach, senior goalkeeper Seth Hailey and junior defenders Kye Jones and Adam Listwan. Los Alamos has outscored its opponents 53-15 this season.
    “It’s been phenomenal with our goalkeeper Seth (Hailey) communicating with us and helping us press forward,” Roach said. “That’s where part of our success came from... Holding the backline and doing our job.”    

  • Prep football: ’Toppers face Sundevils Friday night

    Despite having decades of success against Española Valley, the Los Alamos football team still finds motivation in facing its area rival.
    The Hilltoppers will look to continue that success against the Sundevils when both teams face off at 7 p.m. tonight in Española.
    “This game is the same as every week,” Los Alamos coach Garett Williams said. “We have our process that we go through every week to prepare. It’s always fun to prepare for these guys. It’s always a good rivalry game.”
    Los Alamos is coming off an open week and goes into the contest at 4-4 overall and 1-1 in District 2-5A, after a 44-7 win against Albuquerque Academy on Oct. 14.
    During district play, the Hilltoppers have amassed 717 yards of total offense (402 rushing, 315 passing). Against Academy, Los Alamos had its biggest passing of the season with quarterback Nick Quartieri throwing for a career-high 245 passing yards. Using Quartieri’s arm could be key against a lowly Española secondary that’s allowed numerous big plays.

  • Prep soccer: LAHS girls get bye, boys receive 5 seed

    Last season, the Los Alamos boy’s soccer team benefited from a first-round bye en route to a state championship appearance.
    This season, the Hilltoppers will have to play an extra game to get there, as they were selected as the No. 5 seed for the Class 5A state tournament, the New Mexico Activities Association announced Sunday.
    “When we knew that we finished third in our district, we knew that it was going to be tough for us to get the bye,” Los Alamos coach Ron Blue said. “We were prepared for it.”
    Los Alamos, which finished the regular season 13-5-2 overall and 3-2-1 in District 2-5A, will host a first-round matchup against No. 12 Goddard at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sullivan Field.
    “We felt like our last two games were playoff games,” Blue said. “Goddard has a losing record so it’s odd that they made it. But with that being said, we know that we’re a pretty solid team and we should be able to go out and play our game.”
    District 2-5A members Albuquerque Academy and Capital both received a first round bye. Academy was selected as the No. 1 seed, while the Jaguars were selected as the No. 3 seed.

  • Prep cross country: ’Topper boys, girls finish 4th at home meet

    The Los Alamos cross country teams are beginning to inch closer to Albuquerque Academy.
    But, the Chargers continued to have the upper hand in Friday’s Los Alamos invitational at the Los Alamos Municipal Golf Course. Academy finished in first on the boy’s side, while the Charger g-irls placed second.
    Both Hilltopper teams finished fourth, respectively.
    The Academy boys benefited from four top-10 individual finishes. Jordan Lesansee, who was the top individual, ran a 16:04.77 to lead the Chargers. A.J. Kedge, Academy’s second-best runner, finished in fifth place. Mark Harrington placed eighth, while Julian Garcia finished in ninth. Skyler Forman, who placed 12th, rounded out the 35-point performance for Academy.
    On the boy’s side, Rafael Sanchez continues to lead the Hilltoppers, the eighth-grader finished in fourth individually with a 16:46.92. It was Sanchez’s fourth-best performance of the season. Seniors Kai Coblentz and Chris Buntain capped the top three for Los Alamos. Coblentz, who finished in 27th place, ran a 17:48.02, while Buntain ran a 17:54.07 to place 29th.

  • LAHS girl’s soccer shutout Capital, boys tie in regular season finale

    Finishing the regular season on a high note was key for the Los Alamos girl’s soccer team.
    The Hilltoppers did just that with a 7-0 win against Capital on Thursday in Santa Fe. Los Alamos finished the regular season 15-5 overall and 4-2 in District 2-5A.
    “This was really good because I was able to play and start some of the backup players,” Los Alamos coach Gary Ahlers said. “We have the injury bug that hit us. I got several players that are down right now. Being able to play some of the players that haven’t seen a lot time is a big confidence booster.”
    The Hilltoppers are virtually a lock for not only a spot in the Class 5A state tournament, but also a home game in the first round. But, the question now for Los Alamos is whether or not it did enough to earn a top-four seed and a first round bye. That question will be answered on Sunday during the soccer state tournament selection show.
    “If we get a five or a six seed, I’m not going to be upset with it,” Gary Ahlers said. “There are some teams out there that won their district and if they get the top four seeds I won’t be upset. When you get to this time of the season, the top six are pretty close on any given day.”

  • ’Toppers volleyball edges Chargers in comeback, 5-set win

    In a tight District 2-5A race, the Los Alamos volleyball team has made the most out of its pressure situations.
    The Hilltoppers won their fourth match in the last five - all in five sets - after downing Albuquerque Academy 25-27, 25-13, 29-31, 25-16, 15-7 on Wednesday’s “Dig Pink” match at Griffith Gym.
    “The good part about going five (sets) all the time is that it’s going to keep us in condition and keep us going,” Los Alamos coach Diana Stokes said. “We had some good moments there. Each time they (Los Alamos) play well, they have to believe in themselves.”
    With the exception of last Saturday’s loss to Del Norte, Los Alamos (9-9 overall, 4-2 District 2-5A)  has been stellar in decisive sets, and that was the case on Wednesday against Academy (7-11 overall, 0-6 District 2-5A). The Hilltoppers jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the fifth set and sealed the win with a strong defensive performance.
    “Seniors came through tonight,” Stokes said. “Kaitlin (Bennett) came through big again tonight. Jessica (Moore) her first game was a little rough but that last dig that she got in the back row just fired up everybody. They just to learn that they have to keep fired up.”