• Kirk signs contract with Italian Club

    Alex Kirk is taking his game overseas.
    After spending last year playing in the NBA’s Developmental League and this summer playing for a pair of NBA franchises, the next step in Kirk’s professional career will now take place in Italy.
    Kirk inked the deal with the Giorgio Tesi Group Pistoria last Friday at his foundation’s third basketball camp of the summer, surrounded by campers, at New Mexico Highlands University.
    At the Alex Kirk Foundation’s Los Alamos camp the prior week, Kirk’s father, Alan, said they were in negotiations at that time, and “At the end of the month we hope he’ll be going somewhere.”
    Now Kirk has made his choice and he knows where he’ll be going.
    On Kirk’s Instagram page, he said, “Excited to announce that I will be playing for Giorgio Tesi Group Pistoria in Pistoia, Italy. Also happy to sign my contract in front of the Alex Kirk foundation’s camp here at Highlands University. This is the 3rd professional contract I have signed and want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout the roller coaster ride. Thanks again.”
    The contract was for one year, but the amount of money he’ll receive wasn’t disclosed.

  • Game of the week, Aug. 14-21

    The Los Alamos girls soccer team will kick off the fall sports season with a game full of playoff-seeding importance. Los Alamos will host Farmington at noon Saturday at Sullivan Field.
    Last year, both teams earned a first-round bye for the class 5A state playoffs. Los Alamos was the No. 3 seed and Farmington was the No. 4 seed.
    Farmington, however, beat Los Alamos to start the season, 4-3, in Farmington.
    After losing only two seniors, Los Alamos should be in a good position to do well again this year.
    See Friday’s edition of the Los Alamos Monitor for a complete preview of the soccer team and Sunday’s edition for next week’s top contest, as selected by Sports Editor Cody Olivas.

  • Football team focused on building brotherhood

    The main goal of Los Alamos’ football team this year is to create a brotherhood, a family on the field.
    In the past there were cliques on the team in different positions and grades.
    This year, the team wants to be one cohesive unit, holding each other accountable and knowing everyone has everyone else’s back.
    “We set up new standards and made a contract that everyone signed,” senior fullback/linebacker Derek Selvage said.
    As of Tuesday, no one had missed practice, Selvage said, which is one of the things they all agreed upon.
    Everyone on the team is also expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA.
    If somebody breaks the contract, they have to face consequences to make amends.
    “We’re holding everyone accountable so there are no slips ups,” senior guard/defensive tackle Nathan Rogers said.
    So far it’s been working.
    “Their attitude is one of the best I’ve seen,” head coach Garett Williams said. “The players are working extra hard on building a united team.”
    The team didn’t start trying to build its brotherhood on Aug. 3, the first official day it could practice this fall, it started building it last school year.

  • Sports Briefs 8-13-15

    Los Alamos sports passes
    Hilltopper fans can be sure they catch all of the action this year by purchasing an all-seasons pass.
    The sports passes for the upcoming school year are currently for sale at the Los Alamos High School Athletics Office and will also be available for purchase at ticket booths at upcoming sporting events.
    The passes are good for all athletic events at Sullivan Field and Griffith Gymnasium. The passes, however, will not be accepted for district and state tournament events.
    All high school students get in free to high school events with their school ID.
    Middle school students get in free to middle school events with their school ID, but not high school events.
    Staff Members with a school ID badge are also admitted free. They may purchase additional passes for immediate family members at reduced prices — first pass $20 and any additional passes $15.
    The price for a family pass, for two adults and two students, is $125.
    One adult pass is $75. A senior citizen pass is $30, or two-for-$50. Students can get a pass for $30. Middle school athletes can get a pass for $15. High school students can get a pass to middle school games for $10.

  • LA sports back in action

    Monday was the first day the majority of high school sports teams in New Mexico were allowed to hold their first official practices of the fall season. In Los Alamos, teams took advantage of the first day by working on some fundamentals, building their strength and increasing their flexibility.

  • New coaches leading fall teams

    Both Los Alamos’ boys and girls soccer teams have new head coaches leading them this season.
    Ron Blue took over the boys soccer program last spring while Gary Ahlers was recently named Los Alamos’ head girls soccer coach.
    Neither coach will have a ton of time with his team before the team’s schedules are full of games either.
    The girls soccer team will play three games in one week, beginning Aug. 22 at Farmington. After that, they’ll play at Bosque Aug. 25 and host Moriarty Aug. 27.
    The boys, meanwhile, will play at Bosque Aug. 25 and then return home to host eight teams during its home tournament, Aug. 28-29.

  • Runners do loops in Pace Race

    Ryan Smeltzer had a good prediction and was only 5 seconds off his predicted time for his four-mile run at Tuesday’s pace race.
    Georgia Pedicini was 11 seconds off her predicted time for two miles.
    Nikol Strother’s delta time for six miles was only 25 seconds off.
    There were 34 people who competed in the weekly Pace Race in cool weather.
    The course was a fairly flat, one-mile paved-loop that competitors could run as many times as they liked in 45 minutes. All distances, between one and six miles, were completed.
    It was located mainly on Estante Way in Pajarito Acres.
    The fastest times for one mile were Griffin Hubner (9 minutes, 58 seconds) and Chloe Keilers (10:21).
    The best times for two miles were Isolina Viloria (17:54) and Jason Pieck (20:55).
    The fastest three milers were Rigo Chavez (21:35) and Monica Cook (26:00).
    For four miles, Ryan Smeltzer ran a 28:33 and Katie Gattiker ran a 45:55.
    For five miles, Mark Bjordlund did a 39:21.
    For six miles, Strother led the charge with a 42:14 while Ted Romero ran a 43:26.
    The differences between predicted and actual times were adjusted by distance to three miles.

  • EnduroFest showcases Los Alamos’ top trails

    The Los Alamos Rock n Roll EnduroFest expanded out of Pajarito Mountain’s trail system for its second go round last weekend.
    The second annual event grew into a two-day, seven-stage mountain bike race all over town and at Pajarito’s Bike Park.
    It also joined the New Mexico Enduro Cup Series.
    “We were aiming to showcase the trails in Los Alamos — that’s why we went to two days,” race director Brad Nyenhuis said. “People were blown away by the trails.”
    Nyenhuis said one competitor told him he was going to skip a Moab trip next year and bring his friends to ride in Los Alamos instead.
    “That’s exactly the response we were looking for,” Nyenhuis said.
    The seven stages were a combination of steeper, downhill-style trails and pedally cross-country trails.
    “It was a really good showcase of the trails in Los Alamos, both in town and on the mountain,” local biker, and second-place overall finisher, Neal Pederson said. “People were impressed.”
    Pederson missed the top overall spot on the podium by just 10 seconds.
    Pederson had raced downhill before, but the competition was his first enduro.

  • Splash n Dashes find stride in season finale

    The fourth and final Splash n Dash of the season took place Wednesday at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.
    The training event nearly reached its capacity — 69 people showed up to swim and run. Out of those people, 56 of them took on the long course — a 400-meter swim followed by a 5K run.
    Five others did the short course, a 200-meter swim and a 3K run, while eight kids swam 100 meters and then ran 1.3 miles.
    The Splash n Dashes might be over, but the Triatomics are holding numerous other training events for swimming, biking and running, many before the Los Alamos Triathlon next Saturday.
    On Tuesday the Triatomics will have its weekly time trials. The bike ride will start at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink. Arrive at the ice rink around 5:50 p.m. to participate.
    The group’s weekly Wednesday night run will be on the Pajarito trail this week. The runners will leave from the parking lot just before the Sportsmen’s Club at 6 p.m. and run to either Guaje Ridge or Guaje Creek. The group usually runs for about an hour.
    On Thursday, the group will hold its mountain bike time trials. The competition between the young and old is said to be fierce.
    Start time is 6 p.m., but the location hasn’t been finalized yet.

  • Foundation a way for Alex Kirk to give back

    The first-ever Alex Kirk basketball camp took place Wednesday and Thursday in Los Alamos’ Griffith Gymnasium. The gym was packed with kids dribbling their new camp basketballs around.
    Kirk, former Lobo teammate Jamal Fenton, and Los Alamos head boys basketball coach Mike Kluk guided the kids through a series of drills to improve all aspects of the campers’ game.
    The basketball camp was also the first event put on by the Alex Kirk Foundation.
    “We put together the foundation for Alex to work as he goes through the pro career and to collaborate with different groups for youth activities,” Alex’s father, Alan Kirk, said. “We wanted to keep Alex active in northern New Mexico. It’s a way for him to give back to the community.”
    Kirk also hosted a camp in Clayton this weekend. Next week, he’ll host one more camp at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas.
    All three of the camps will give money back to the host schools to help their basketball programs.
    The camps are just one part of what has been a busy summer for Kirk. He played in the NBA Orlando Summer League for the Memphis Grizzlies, the Las Vegas Summer League for the New York Knicks and then played in The Basketball Tournament for a million-dollar team prize.