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  • 'Toppers, Sundevils on brink of elimination heading into tonight

    Tonight, a pair of teams in desperate need of a win will duke it out.
    Both the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team and the Española Valley Sundevils will need a win, and some help, to stay alive in the District 2-5A race.
    Both the Hilltoppers and Sundevils dropped their district opener — Los Alamos two weeks ago against Capital at home and Española Valley last week in Albuquerque against Del Norte — and will have to win out to even have the hope of forcing a tie atop the district race.
    However, even the winner of today’s contest, scheduled for 7 p.m. in Española, could fall short regardless of whatever else it does this season.
    In the other schedule 2-5A game tonight, Capital will be in Albuquerque to face Del Norte. Both teams are 2-0 in district.
    The winner of that contest can do no worse than split the top spot this regular season.
    And, for Los Alamos and Española Valley, that game will eliminate one or the other from any chance at a title. If Capital wins, Los Alamos is out. If Del Norte wins, Española Valley is out.
    But for the Hilltoppers, a win tonight would be welcome enough, regardless of what happens in the other game.

  • 'Toppers earn a key win to close out their season

    The goal the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team set for itself several weeks back has been realized.
    Taking a 2-0 win over a very good team from St. Michael’s Thursday evening at Sullivan Field put the icing on that cake.
    With its win over one of the top-ranked teams in Class 4A, the Hilltoppers made it to their goal of winning 10 straight games to close out the season. The Hilltoppers’ victory at Sullivan Field was their final regular season contest.
    The Hilltoppers set that goal when they were sitting at 4-6 on the year and had taken a particularly tough loss against the Class 6A Rio Rancho Rams.
    Along with the goal of running the table the rest of the way, Los Alamos also wanted to put itself in a position to earn a top-four seed for the upcoming state tournament. Los Alamos may, in fact, be in that position, but the team will have to wait and see what the New Mexico Activities Association says on Sunday.
    For now, the Hilltoppers are going to enjoy their string of success.
    “We feel great about it,” Los Alamos’ Jordan Henson said. “We were kind of underdogs this season. Not a lot of people expected us to do this. Now we’re heading to state to get that trophy.”

  • LA closes out its season on Friday

    Those wanting to see a preview of the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls cross country teams as they head into the postseason won’t have to look very far.
    Friday, the Hilltopper teams will host their annual home invitational meet. The boys varsity race is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday at Los Alamos Golf Course and the girls varsity race will follow shortly thereafter.
    Los Alamos tends to do its best work toward the end of the year and this year may be no exception after a big showing last week in a key regular season contest.
    The Hilltopper boys finished as the runners-up at Saturday’s Rio Rancho Jamboree, a crowded race that attracts some of the top teams in the state.
    Even bigger than their finish, the Hilltoppers stunned their main rival for the Class 5A championship, the Albuquerque Academy Chargers. The Hilltopper scored a 12-point victory over Academy, their first win over the Chargers this season.
    There had been some question whether Los Alamos, which won three consecutive titles at the 4A level prior to this season, had the depth to compete with Academy in 2014, but that question was answered decisively at Rio Rancho.

  • 'Toppers shut out Knights in 2-5A

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team was wise not to take the Del Norte Knights lightly in its final District 2-5A game of the season.
    Los Alamos and Del Norte played to a scoreless tie through the first half. In the second half, the Hilltoppers netted a pair of scores to win 2-0 in Albuquerque and claim their eighth consecutive district championship.
    It was a game Los Alamos felt going in that could be a bit of a trap. The Knights still technically had a chance to force a tie atop the District 2-5A standings with a win, although the Knights (10-8 overall, 4-2 in 2-5A) would’ve had to win big in order to do so.
    Nevertheless, head coach AJ Herrera said that, because Del Norte would be fired up and playing at home on a grass field, it wouldn’t be a cakewalk for his team.
    “The field was really small and Del Norte was able to move around on defense,” Herrera said. “It made it difficult for us to penetrate.”
    After playing even the first half, Los Alamos finally got on the scoreboard in the 50th minute. Catie McDonald hit a shot that ricocheted off the Del Norte defense and to Charlotte Leonard, who put it away.

  • Sports Briefs 10-22-14

    Yum Run returns for its 10th year

    The Yum Run will return this year Nov. 1.
    The Yum Run includes 10K, 5K and 1K races and proceeds from the event go to benefit LA Cares. It will start downtown near Ruby K’s Bagels. Runs begin at 9 a.m.
    Registration forms are available at Ruby K’s store or at the business’ website, rubykbagel.com. For further information, call 672-1639.

    Motorists warned about meet parking Friday

    Parking will be tight around Los Alamos Golf Course for Friday’s home cross country meet, Los Alamos High School’s athletic office warns.
    Parking won’t be allowed on Diamond Drive for Friday’s event, which will start at 3 p.m.
    LAHS’ athletic office said signs will be posted around LAGC for motorists looking for a place to park.

  • 'Toppers end home season with big win

    A pair of Los Alamos seniors had big games for Senior Night.
    The Hilltopper boys soccer team hosted their final regular season home game Tuesday, taking on the Bernalillo Spartans, and came away with a big victory.
    Hernan Lebensohn and Austin Rowan, both seniors, both scored twice against the Spartans as Los Alamos rolled to a 9-0 victory at Sullivan Field.
    Los Alamos had 5 second half goals Tuesday as it blasted Bernalillo (3-11) for the second time this season. Los Alamos topped Bernalillo 11-1 in the teams’ first meeting earlier this month.
    With its win, Los Alamos improved to 9-8-2 on the season (3-2 in 2-5A play), the first time in 2014 the team has been above the .500 mark. Los Alamos also clinched the runner-up spot in 2-5A — Capital won the title with a victory over Bernalillo last week.
    Los Alamos was scheduled to close out its season today with a road game against Del Norte.
    Along with his two goals, Rowan also finished with a pair of assists, while Lebensohn was credited with an assist.
    In all, seven Hilltoppers scored Tuesday. Also picking up goals were George Steinkamp, Eric Burnside, Tristen Semelsberger, DC Kim and Alex Csanadi.

  • LA blows out Bernalillo on Senior Night

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team got its busy week started on the right foot Tuesday.
    The Hilltoppers, who have three games in three days, blasted the Bernalillo Spartans at home. The Hilltoppers scored five times in the opening half to cruise to an 8-0 victory at Sullivan Field.
    With its win, Los Alamos has won eight straight contests and improves to 5-0 on the District 2-5A season. However, Los Alamos won’t be able to officially clinch the district title until today at Del Norte — that game was scheduled for 3 p.m.
    That game will probably be no more than a formality in crowning Los Alamos with its eighth consecutive district title, although the Hilltoppers weren’t assuming anything heading into that contest. The Knights (10-7 overall, 4-1 in district) were certainly going to be fired up heading in.
    “Del Norte has some players that can hurt us if we don’t bring our ‘A’ game,” Los Alamos head coach AJ Herrera said following Tuesday’s win.
    It was Senior Night at Sullivan Field Tuesday and, for the next-to-last home appearance of her career, senior Jessica Heironimus had a big showing. Heironimus finished with a goal and an assist in the first half as the Hilltoppers jumped all over the Spartans.

  • LA boys XC finishes 2nd at key meet

    Almost invariably, the Los Alamos Hilltopper cross country teams do their best work toward the end of the season and Saturday’s race may have been a precursor of what is to come.
    The Hilltopper boys had their biggest showing of the 2014 regular season Saturday at the Rio Rancho Jamboree.
    As a team, the Hilltoppers finished as the runner-up behind the host Rio Rancho Rams.
    Los Alamos finished with 147 points. Although the Rams cruised to the team title, the bigger news for Los Alamos was its 12-point win over the Albuquerque Academy Chargers.
    Prior to Saturday’s race, the Hilltoppers in 2014 hadn’t beaten the Chargers, who are this year considered the team to beat in Class 5A.
    The win at Rio Rancho is significant because the Jamboree is held at the same venue as next month’s state championship meet.
    “They worked really hard for it and are really excited for the upcoming weeks,” Los Alamos head coach Kathy Hipwood said. “We need to keep them calm and healthy.”
    Initially, the results showed Academy coming out on top, but those results omitted John Rees, who was the No. 4 finisher for Los Alamos.
    Also Saturday, the Hilltopper girls took third place in the team competition. Paced once again by Maddy Foley, the Hilltoppers finished with 145 points.

  • 'Topper boys cruise to 6-1 win over PV

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team blasted the Piedra Vista Panthers in a nondistrict contest Saturday.
    The Hilltoppers scored four times in the first half, then cruised in the second half as they rolled to a 6-1 victory at Sullivan Field.
    It was a big win for the Hilltoppers heading into the final week of the regular season. The Hilltoppers will have their final home game of the season tonight when they take on the Bernalillo Spartans, then finish off their schedule with a road game at Del Norte.
    Against Piedra Vista, Los Alamos thoroughly dominated the opening half. Los Alamos scored two goals inside of three minutes, those provided by Eric Burnside and George Steinkamp.
    The Hilltoppers upped their advantage to 3-0 at the 14-minute mark with a goal by DC Kim. Kim finished the game with a pair of goals in another solid outing for him.
    Los Alamos’ big performer Saturday was freshman Tristen Semelsberger. Semelsberger, who worked his way onto the varsity roster following a rash of injuries last month, has put in some very productive minutes since his call-up.
    Against the Panthers (6-12), Semelsberger finished with a goal and two first half assists, sending passes from the left wing into the middle to Burnside and Kim.

  • 'Topper XC boys are runners-up at Rio Rancho

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys cross country team had a huge showing at Saturday's Rio Rancho Jamboree.

    Los Alamos' boys finished second in team standings to the Rio Rancho Rams, finishing with 147 points. Moreover, the Hilltoppers stunned the Albuquerque Academy Chargers, their main nemesis. The Chargers finished in third place with 159 points.

    The Rio Rancho Jamboree is run at the same venue as the state championship meet, which is now just three weeks away.

    Los Alamos got top-20 finishes from two of its runners, Greg Ahlers and Cameron Staples, in the invidiual competition, for its runner-up finish.

    On the girls side, Los Alamos finished in third place. The Hilltoppers had 145 points, which easily outpaced the other competing Class 5A teams at the race.

    Los Alamos' girls were paced by Maddy Foley, who finished in third place overall.

    More information on the Hilltoppers' big finish will be in Tuesday's Los Alamos Monitor.