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Today's Sports

  • LAHS boys soccer advances to...

    It was a dominant showing for the No. 4 seed Los Alamos High School varsity boy’s soccer team in the state quarterfinals, as the Hilltoppers defeated No. 5 seed Roswell High School 3-0.

    It was a rematch from the regular season, as LAHS defeated Roswell 2-0 earlier this season at the Albuquerque Academy Tournament on Sept. 9.

    After falling to the Hilltoppers, Roswell went undefeated through the rest of the regular season, going 8-0 down the stretch, including a 6-0 record in district play.

    Much like the first matchup between the two teams, the Hilltoppers were highly aggressive early, sending balls toward the Roswell net at every opportunity, as senior captain Tristan Semelsberger was able to dictate the pace at the beginning of the game with his ball-handling ability.

    The Hilltoppers’ aggressiveness paid off quickly, as LAHS scored the game’s opening goal in the 6th minute. LAHS senior defender Ben Rees made a nice play near the sideline to keep a ball in play, and sent a pass toward the goal over to sophomore Samuel Cirigliano, who took a quick shot and sent it into the back of the net. The Hilltoppers led 1-0.

  • LAHS girls soccer advances to...

    The No. 6 seed Los Alamos High School varsity girl’s soccer team pulled off an upset in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state tournament, defeating No. 3 seed St. Pius X High School 3-2 in double overtime.

    Heading in, it was expected to be a highly competitive matchup, as the Hilltoppers had defeated the Sartans at Sullivan Field earlier this season 2-1.

    However, the Sartans had put together a great regular season, compiling a record of 11-5-1, and going 7-0-1 in district play.

    The game did not start out well for the Hilltoppers, as LAHS surrendered a goal just three minutes into the contest after the Sartans were set up with an early corner kick. Though the corner kick was not on target, the redirected shot by Miranda Hart was. Hilltopper goalkeeper Ashley Atencio had no chance to stop the shot, which gave St. Pius X a 1-0 lead.

    Much of the early action took place in the Hilltopper defensive zone, as the Sartans tried over and over to get the ball onto the feet of Hart, who was St. Pius’ leading scorer this season. During the regular season, Hart scored 27 goals.

  • Rematches await both LAHS soccer...

    The matchups are set for the quarterfinal round of the Class 5A soccer championships, and regular season rematches await both teams from Los Alamos High School.

    The girls advanced to the quarterfinal round following a 10-0 first round victory over Grants High School Saturday morning.

    The team was led by a hat trick from Elsa Gram, and two goals apiece from Alix Hailey, Katie Hopkins and Kaitlyn McGrane.

    The team will now face St. Pius X High School Thursday at 9:30 a.m. On Aug. 29, the Hilltoppers defeated the Sartans 2-1 at Sullivan Field as Hailey and Gram both scored second half goals to overcome an early 1-0 deficit.

    The Sartans enter the game with a record of 11-4-1, and a near-perfect district record of 7-0-1.

    In the team’s most recent game, St. Pius lost to top-ranked Albuquerque Academy 1-0.

    The winner of Thursday’s contest will advance to the semifinal round to face the winner of the Los Lunas vs. Aztec matchup.

    The Hilltopper boys received a bye in the first round of the state championship tournament after being awarded a top-four seed by the New Mexico Activities Association.

    The team will face off against Roswell High School Thursday at 1 p.m. in the quarterfinal round.

  • LAHS volleyball advances to...

    For the second night in a row, the Los Alamos High School varsity volleyball team pulled off an upset victory in the District 2-5A tournament, defeating Española Valley 3-1.

    The Hilltoppers, the No. 5 seed in the district tournament, won just one district game in the regular season. But that hasn’t stopped the team from rolling through the first two rounds of the district tournament, after defeating Del Norte High School Monday evening.

    Heading into Tuesday’s quarterfinal match, the Hilltoppers had a sense of confidence facing the Sundevils, as LAHS had defeated Española Valley twice in the regular season, most recently last Thursday inside Griffith Gymnasium.

    That confidence showed early in the first set, as the Hilltoppers jumped out to an early lead, and led by as many as nine points, at 18-9. But the Sundevils came roaring back in the set, tying the score at 19-19 and maintaining the momentum, eventually winning the set 26-24 to take a 1-0 lead.

    As the second set began, it appeared that the Sundevils would continue to roll, jumping out to a 10-5 lead. But the Hilltoppers continued to chip away, led by junior Sophia Salazar, who had 6 kills in the second set.

  • Football completes another...

    For the Los Alamos High School varsity football team, completing improbable comebacks over Española Valley High School has become an annual tradition.

    Almost exactly one year ago, the Sundevils entered the fourth quarter with a double-digit lead and watched it slowly slip away, capped off by a Hail Mary touchdown pass from Nick Quartieri to Kevin Maresca with no time left on the clock. The Hilltoppers walked away with a 35-34 win, and Española Valley and its fans walked away in stunned silence.

    This year’s game followed a similar script. The Sundevils’ lead was just five points entering the fourth quarter, but the team’s sense of control was just as strong. With two minutes left, Española Valley had the ball and the lead, needing just one more yard to run out the clock.

    Instead, everything that could go wrong for the Sundevils did go wrong. The Hilltoppers got the ball back, and with exactly one minute left on the clock, Kayden Rivera connected on a pass with Jack Stewart, who walked into the end zone for a 19-yard game-winning touchdown. The Hilltoppers won 21-20, and the Sullivan Field crowd erupted in a stunned celebration.

    For the second year in a row, the Sundevils walked away empty-handed.

  • LAHS cross country qualifies for...

    The Los Alamos High School  boys and girls cross country teams successfully qualified for the state championships at Friday’s district meet held at Española High School.  

    The Hilltoppers were the runners up to defending state champions Albuquerque Academy in both divisions.  

    Six runners were presented with All-District awards based on their top 10 finishes.

    For the boys, that included freshman standout Rafael Sanchez, junior Shawn Williams, and senior Kevin Parkinson.  

    For the girls, junior Marin Kelly, freshman Mabel Pyle and sophomore Abby Beus earned All-District.

    “The course was challenging, but fun and included long stretches of sand and hills, plus a loops on trails near the school with a lot of sharp turns and steep climbs and descents,” said head coach Kathy Hipwood. “With the state meet being one week away, we asked the kids to approach the race with an appropriate amount of caution.  We felt they managed the situation very well.  They definitely ran hard and competed, but shouldn’t have to deal with recovering from excessive race fatigue.”

    The girls ran without front-runners Lidia Appell and Norissa Valdez, who were rested in preparation of this week’s state championship.  

  • LAHS volleyball knocks off Del...

    The Los Alamos High School varsity volleyball team has a long road to toe if it wants to get back to the Class 5A playoffs this season.

    On Monday, the Hilltoppers got that journey on that road started on the right foot.

    LAHS had one of its best performances of the entire 2017 season Monday in Albuquerque. The Hilltoppers, the No. 5 seed in the District 2-5A tournament took on the Del Norte Knights, the No. 4 seed, in the opening round and earned a sweep.

    The Hilltoppers, who had only taken one set off the Knights in two previous 2-5A matches, earned a close 25-22 victory in the first set. The other two sets, however, were decisive Hilltopper victories – LAHS won those 25-17 and 25-16 to pull off the sweep.

    With the upset win, Los Alamos moves on to Tuesday night’s quarterfinal round of the district tournament, where it will face Española Valley.

    In Monday’s win over Del Norte, Los Alamos (6-15 overall, 2-7 in 2-5A) got 11 spike kills from junior outside hitter Sophia Salazar.

    However, LAHS had a balanced attack throughout the contest, with Natalie Gallegos finishing with 8 spike kills and Emme Segler and Kimberly McKinley both earning 6 spike kills.

  • A family bond on the soccer pitch

    The role of most parents of high school athletes is to sit in the stands and cheer on the team. They scream the loudest when their son or daughter does something well on the field, and they are the first people to offer moral support if the team loses.

    The parents are a big part of the team, but they are separate from the day-to-day activities of the team.

    However, this is not the case for Ron Blue and his son Christopher. Ron Blue coaches the varsity boy’s soccer team at Los Alamos High School, the team for which his son Christopher plays forward.

    For the past three years, the two of them have had to set aside their familial bond during soccer season, when Christopher Blue becomes one of Ron Blue’s players. There are no special favors or promises of playing time. He has to work arguably harder than anyone on the team.

    “It has probably been harder on him than anything,” Ron Blue said. “Because I hold him to a higher standard than anyone, mainly because I don’t want anyone to question that he belongs on this team.”

    Christopher Blue has been a consistent starter for the Hilltoppers this year, scoring four goals and adding eight assists, making him the third-highest scoring player on the team.

  • Atomic City Update: Passion and...

    As I was watching the World Series earlier this week, something caught my eye that was great to see. The players showed true, genuine emotion that rarely exists in the world of professional sports.

    It makes sports so much more fun when you can tell they players truly care about what they are doing. It’s the kind of emotion you often see out of high school athletes, who are so excited to succeed, or so disappointed to fail, that they wear those emotions all over their faces, and in their body language.

    Watching Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers slam his glove down in disgust after coming up short on a diving attempt at a catch, or Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros scream and jump up and down after hitting extra inning home runs is the kind of emotion I love seeing.  

    Some may perceive the actions of Puig as throwing an unnecessary tantrum, or the actions of Altuve and Correa to be showboating, but to me it shows how much they care and want to win a championship. It’s emotion that you wouldn’t see in a regular season game normally, where the stakes are so much lower. That’s one of the differences between high school sports and every other level of competition. In high school, you can see that kind of emotion every single day.

  • Volleyball heads to Albuquerque...

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team got neither the win it needed or the help it needed to move up from the District 2-5A basement to get a home match.

    Los Alamos fell in three sets to Capital Saturday and the Espanola Valley Sundevils defeated the Del Norte Knights, relegating the Hilltoppers to the No. 5 seed in the district tournament, which starts tonight.

    The Hilltoppers will take on Del Norte's Knights in Albuquerque this evening. The winner of tonight's match will meet Espanola Valley, which ended up third in the 2-5A standings, Tuesday night in the valley.

    Los Alamos finished the regular season with a record of 5-15 and won just one regular season district match. Del Norte took both contests between the two teams, winning six of the seven sets they played against each other.