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Today's Sports

  • Atomic City Update: Gimmicks and...

    This week, the Albuquerque Isotopes announced plans to participate in the “Copa de la Diversión,” Minor League Baseball’s way of celebrating Hispanic culture this baseball season.

    In select games throughout the season, the Isotopes will transform into the “Mariachis de Nuevo México” and Isotopes Park will become “The Plaza.”

    Sure, this is a huge gimmick. But it’s also a lot of fun. It will be great to see this idea play out, and see other teams participate. For example, the Memphis Redbirds will become the “Memphis Música” and the Oklahoma City Dodgers will be come the “Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City.”

    A total of 33 teams are participating across all levels of Minor League Baseball, and there are 165 games scheduled as part of the “Copa de la Diversión.

    While some people may think adding gimmicks like this to Minor League Baseball is meaningless, I actually disagree. The minor leagues should be a place where the teams can have some fun and do crazy things. The stakes aren’t nearly as high as they are at the major league level, and other draws besides the play on the field are needed to get people to the ballpark.

  • LAFC continues strong start

    The Boys U12 LAFC Pumas have gone 3-0 in Duke City Soccer League this spring, winning 4-2 against the AYSO United Vipers, 5-0 over the Rio Rapids Silver, and 2-0 against the Albuquerque United Red. They play the Amarillo Lightning - also undefeated - this Saturday in Bernalillo at the NM State Soccer Complex.

    The Boys U11 LAFC Krypton Lasers defeated the Westside United Bears 3-1 in a hard fought match for their third win in three games.  Dhruv Thulasidasan initiated the Lasers first goal by stealing the ball from a Bears midfielder and passing to James Ito who dribbled down the right side of the field and drilled a shot to the far post past the goalie into the side netting.

    In the second half, Taelin Stanfield intercepted a Bears goal kick off his chest, dribbled around two defenders, and placed the ball calmly into the back of the net to put the Lasers up 2-0.  

    The Bears then stepped up their intensity with a half dozen shots on goal. Goalie Liam Cunningham made several key saves, and central defender Michael Witkowski sacrificed his body on several occasions to stop shots on goal.  

  • UNM falls in NIT Sweet 16

    In a game that had some eerie similarities to UNM’s last loss, a poor third quarter allowed TCU to race back from down seven at the break to take a lead they would hold the rest of the way, as the Horned Frogs defeated New Mexico 81-72, ending UNM’s season at 25-11, one win short of a school record.

    The Lobos were looking for a third quarterfinal appearance in the WNIT all-time in six trips, but a 3-for-16 third quarter just couldn’t be overcome.

    The loss was similar to UNM’s 69-66 Mountain West Tournament quarterfinal loss to Wyoming in which the Lobos shot 1-for-14 in the third quarter, losing a 15-point lead.

    It started out well, the UNM shooting 50 percent in the first half, opening at one point a 34-20 lead, its biggest of the game.  A strong opening quarter saw Tesha Buck score eight and Cherise Beynon seven, with Beynon having to deal with two early fouls.

    Up 24-17, UNM went on a 10-3 run which ended on a Laneah Bryan three in the corner.

    However, after a TCU basket and a UNM miss Beynon was whistled for a very late foul, sending her to the bench, and

    TCU was able to whittle the lead down to seven at the break as UNM scored just one field goal the rest of the second quarter.

  • LAHS soccer player signs with...

    For four years, Tristan Semelsberger dazzled onlookers with his impressive ball-handling skills and highlight-reel goals on the soccer field for Los Alamos High School. Now he will get a chance to do it at the collegiate level, signing with the Colorado School of Mines to join the team in the fall.

    Colorado School of Mines is an NCAA Division II school located in Golden, Colorado, that plays in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. In 2017, it dominated the RMAC, finishing 17-4-1 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

    Mines has been to the NCAA Tournament in two of the past three seasons, and has finished with a winning record every season since 2009.

    Semelsberger said he is excited to join such a talented team, and is happy to have the opportunity to continue playing the game he loves. He also said there is a certain amount of pressure joining such a talented team, but that he is ready for the challenge.

    “It’s great, because I get to continue my journey as a soccer player and the way I see it, the sky’s the limit,” Semelsberger said. “So I just want to keep playing, keep working my hardest.”

    When deciding on a school, Colorado School of Mines checked off all the boxes Semelsberger had in mind.

  • Lacrosse loses home opener to...

    The Los Alamos High School girls’ lacrosse team played its first home game of the season Tuesday night against Rio Rancho, falling 15-2 against the high-powered offensive attack of the Rams.

    LAHS fell behind early in the contest, and struggled to gain control of the ball in the early minutes.

    Taking advantage, Rio Rancho sprinted out to a 7-0 lead before the Hilltoppers had time to react.

    After slowing the pace down and gaining control of the ball, LAHS got on the scoreboard as Allina Bergemann sprinted down the field and snuck a shot past the goalkeeper to make the score 7-1.

    Minutes later, Marie Lee added another tally for the Hilltoppers, as she earned a penalty shot after being fouled attempting to put a shot on net.

    Her shot from eight yards out was perfect, sneaking right past the goalkeeper into the back of the net to make the score 7-2.

    However, LAHS got no closer. Rio Rancho added another goal before halftime to go up 8-2, and scored 7 unanswered goals in the second half to claim a 15-2 victory.

    The Hilltoppers will return home to Dara Jones Field in White Rock April 3 to take on Bosque at 5 p.m.

    The boys’ team will make its home debut the next day, taking on Cibola/Bosque at 5 p.m. April 4.

     

  • UNM advances to NIT Sweet 16

    It was an offensive display for the ages, or at least for the Lobo postseason history books. New Mexico blistered and battered a stout Rice squad to the tune of 93 points, a Lobo postseason record, as New Mexico advanced to the Round of 16 in the WNIT for the third time in school history with a 93-73 victory over the Owls.

    The win pushed UNM’s win record to 25-10, tying for the third-most wins in school history, and now just one away from tying for the most wins in school history. The Lobos also improved to 19-2 in home games this season.

    The Lobos trailed for much of the opening quarter, and after taking a 13-12 lead, found themselves down 14-13 at the 2:39 mark of the first quarter. That, however, was Rice’s last lead, as Madi Washington hit a three-pointer to spark a 14-0 run that put Rice behind the 8-ball. Washington’s three made it 16-14, and then she hit another 39 seconds later.

    Jaisa Nunn, who went over the 1,000-point mark in the game, hit a short jumper in the lane in the waning moments to give UNM a 21-14 lead.

    They weren’t done. Nunn opened the scoring in the quarter and then Cherise Beynon hit back-to-back baskets and suddenly UNM was up 27-14.

  • Isotopes to celebrate Hispanic...

    As part of Minor League Baseball’s initiative celebrating Hispanic heritage and culture, the Albuquerque Isotopes will transform into “Mariachis de Nuevo México” for four games during the upcoming 2018 season.

    Mariachis, like baseball, provide the colorful soundtrack to people’s lives.  Mariachi bands are an essential source of entertainment in Mexico and the Southwest region of the United States.  

    “Our Mariachis de Nuevo México campaign is designed to embrace an entire culture,” said Isotopes General Manager John Traub. “We want to show our organization’s commitment to the Hispanic fan base in Albuquerque, in New Mexico, in the Southwest and throughout the entire country.”

    The Isotopes alternate brand will include all aspects of the organization from new on-field Mariachi uniforms and caps, to brand new Spanish language social media accounts (@MariachisNM) for the Mariachis. Furthermore, Isotopes Park will transform from “The Lab” into “The Plaza” during the Copa Cup dates, complete with traditional decorations, piñatas and mariachi bands playing both outside and inside the ballpark.

  • Belen dominates LAHS softball

    After three games in a row where nearly everything went right for the Los Alamos High School softball team, the opposite was true Friday night against Belen High School, as the Hilltoppers fell 16-2.

    LAHS came into the game riding a streak of outstanding pitching, allowing 1 or fewer runs three games in a row, highlighted by the no-hitter thrown by Reyna Lucero against St. Pius X High School.

    However, that streak came to an end in a hurry against the Eagles, again with Lucero in the pitching circle.

    Control issues plagued Lucero throughout the game, starting in the first inning.

    After striking out the leadoff batter, she walked a batter and hit two more with a pitch. With the bases loaded, a pitch got away from Jayde Tucker, the LAHS catcher, allowing a run to score, putting Belen up 1-0 without getting a hit.

    The Hilltoppers answered right back in the bottom of the first inning, as Alicia Gonzales led off the game with a long home run to left field, tying the score 1-1.

    She drove in both of LAHS’ runs in the game, adding an RBI double in the second inning.

    The Eagles took the lead for good in the second inning, as three walks and a hit batter loaded the bases and scored a run, and a double scored 2 more runs, making the score 4-1.

  • Tennis teams struggle in first...

    Playing in their first home matches of the season, the Los Alamos High School tennis teams struggled, with the boys and the girls going 0-2 facing off against Eldorado and La Cueva.

    Friday afternoon, the Hilltoppers took on Eldorado at LAHS, with the boys falling 9-0 and the girls falling 8-1. The Lone victory for the girls came from junior Alina Bulthuis, who defeated Eldorado’s Emily Sims 7-5 and 6-3.

    Saturday, La Cueva visited the Hilltoppers and came away with identical results, with the boys losing 9-0 and the girls losing 8-1. This time, the girls’ victory came from freshman Ella Hailey, who defeated La Cueva’s Neha Rajput 6-3 and 6-3.

    The boys will be back in action March 23 at the Taos Round Robin, which will take place over two days.

    The girls will return to the court for the Los Alamos Invite March 30, along with the boys. Matches will begin at 10 a.m.
     

  • Track teams set personal bests...

    Making the four-hour trip to the southern part of the state, the Los Alamos High School Track and Field teams enjoyed a successful weekend in Alamogordo, with the girls taking second place and the boys taking fourth place in the eight-team event.

    The girls had a number of standout performances, led by Becca Green, who came away victorious in the shot put and the discus events.

    Green threw the discus 120 feet, six feet further than the second place competitor, Victoria Hernandez, of El Paso Irvin.

    Green’s dominance in the shot put also continued, as her throw of 38 feet-9.5 inches was nearly a foot farther than the next closest competitor, Asia Salas of Silver High School.

    Green has been among the leaders in both events at every meet so far this season and appears likely to contend for state championships.

    Bailey Yost also had a great meet for the Hilltoppers, earning first place in the high jump by clearing 5 feet-4 inches.
    She also earned sixth place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 17.94 seconds.

    LAHS dominated in the 3,200-meter run, as Lidia Appell won with a time of 12:02.20 and Mabel Pyle earned second place with a time of 12:03.40. No other runner was within nine seconds of the Hilltopper girls.