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Today's Sports

  • Miscues prove costly in LA’s...

    It wasn’t a secret heading into Friday night’s game that the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team was a work in progress.
    But, judging from its performance Friday, there is no shortage of things for Los Alamos to work on or progress to be made.
    The Hilltoppers struggled to get their running game established, particularly the option, struggled with snapping the ball from their bread-and-butter pistol formation, and struggled for a good chunk of the night on defense against the Pojoaque Valley Elks.
    The Hilltoppers fell to the Elks in their 2014 opener, 18-6 at Sullivan Field.
    They were outgained by more than 2-to-1 on the offensive side and gave up too many big plays.
    Perhaps the backbreaker came in the third quarter, however. Pojoaque Valley quarterback Chris Quintana, who had been the piston driving the offense up to that point, was ejected from the ballgame on a late hit against Los Alamos defensive tackle Andres Dow with 4:05 left.
    Cold second-string quarterback Royce Nez came in from the bench. But on his first snap, a third-and-42 situation, Los Alamos retreated into deep coverage while Nez handed the ball off to tailback Darren Montoya. Montoya went untouched to near the first-down marker, bounced off three potential tacklers and scampered into the end zone.

  • Fencing class to return Tuesday

    The Family YMCA of Los Alamos will resume its fencing class starting Tuesday.

    The class will be only for fencers with previous experience. It will consist of 30 minutes of combined drills, followed by 30 minutes of bouting or individual instruction. There won’t be a class for beginning fencers until February or March.
    For more information, call instructor Tom Hill at 672-1058.

  • LA earns blowout win over...

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team did a number on the Moriarty Pintos Thursday night. A big number.
    The Hilltoppers scored 11 times in the first half en route to their first win of the 2014 season. Catie McDonald and Sienna Ahlers each scored four goals as the Hilltopper blasted the Pintos 11-0 in Moriarty.
    The two teams have met several times in the recent past, usually early in the season and usually with similar results.
    Los Alamos (1-2) wasted no time getting on the board, scoring its first goal inside of three minutes. Moriarty (1-1) for its part, never got a shot off Thursday.
    While breaking into the win column for the first time as part of his new gig was nice for Los Alamos head coach AJ Herrera, he more importantly wanted to see his team play a complete contest, which it did.
    “It’s easy to lower your level of play because the competition is not that good,” Herrera said. “We wanted to continue a high level of play. We were very consistent. We still have a lot to work on for what we want to accomplish this year.”
    Along with her four goals, giving her 8 total for the season, McDonald, who will likely finish among the most prolific scorers in the state, also earned two assists.

  • Aggies open their season with 28...

    LAS CRUCES — The New Mexico State University Aggie football team began the 2014 season with a solid win, defeating the Cal-Poly Mustangs, 28-10, in its home opener Thursday night in front of 13,772 fans inside Aggie Memorial Stadium.
    The Aggies gained 315 total yards in the contest.
    Freshman Larry Rose III led the way for NMSU, finishing with 150 yards on the ground on 30 carries in his Aggie debut. Rose III scored twice, once on the ground and another on a touchdown catch in the second half to seal the victory.
    It was a solid start for the Aggie offense Thursday. Sophomore quarterback Tyler Rogers went 18-for-27 for 118 yards, two touchdown throws and one interception.  As good as the offense was, perhaps more dominating was the young NMSU defense, especially in the second half. 
    The Aggies shutout the Mustangs in the third and fourth quarters and allowed only 27 yards after halftime. The Mustangs rolled up 236 yards rushing in the first half, but were limited to 23 in the second half.
    NMSU freshman linebacker Derek Ibekwe led the defense with a total of 14 tackles and half a sack in the game.
    Fellow linebacker Rodney Butler also had double-digits tackles and also had a sack.
    NMSU (1-0) won just two contests in all of 2013. 

  • 'Toppers blank Rockets...

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team not only picked up its first win of the year Friday morning, but also advanced to the second round of the Louie Cernicek Invitational.
    Early in the first half, the Hilltoppers scored what would be the lone goal of the contest against the Goddard Rockets. The Rockets had some chances in the second half, but the Hilltoppers made that advantage stand up, winning 1-0 at Sullivan Field.
    Los Alamos (1-1) will now advance to the semifinal round, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday at Sullivan Field.
    The only score of the game came just seven minutes into the contest on a nice run down the middle by Eric Burnside.
    Burnside beat out the collapsing defense to a ground ball, which he picked up at the top of the penalty box, and went to the right post to beat Miguel Robles.
    Robels, a solid goalkeeper with a big leg — he took several of the Rockets’ free kicks during the contest — had no chance at Burnside’s shot.
    For the game, the Hilltoppers got off 11 shots, although three of those came in quick succession with just about four minutes remaining.

  • Peng pulls off another U.S. Open...

    NEW YORK (AP) — Peng Shuai beat another seeded player at the U.S. Open to reach her second straight Grand Slam round of 16.

    Two days after upsetting fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, Peng defeated 28th-seeded Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-3 on Friday. The Chinese veteran had gone two years without making it past the second round at a major tournament before her Wimbledon run this summer. But she didn't meet any seeded players in the first three rounds there before losing to eventual champion Petra Kvitova in straight sets.

    This time, Peng, ranked 39th, will face 14th-seeded Lucie Safarova or 22nd-seeded Alize Cornet to try to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

    Ninth-seeded Jelena Jankovic also advanced by routing Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-0. The 96th-ranked Larsson had upset Sloane Stephens in the second round.

    The 31-year-old Vinci had made the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open the last two years but lost in the opening round at the first three major tournaments of 2014.

    With third-ranked Li Na sidelined by a knee injury, Peng's success is giving the fans in China something to cheer.

    On the men's side, 20th-seeded Gael Monfils beat Alejandro Gonzalez 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round.

  • Hilltoppers have a lot to prove

    There is no shortage of things to prove for the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team heading into the 2014 season.
    Los Alamos will have a new, solid district opponent this season, a revamped backfield and, most notably, a new signal-caller heading into the opener.
    The Hilltoppers open their season Friday night when they take on the Pojoaque Valley Elks at 7 p.m. at Sullivan Field.
    Along with all the issues so far, Los Alamos’ turnout for the opening day of football practice was skimpy. The number has improved over the course of the preseason — there are now 30 players on the team’s regular roster.
    Hilltopper head coach Garett Williams said that while it’s not a huge group, it’s one with some experience coming back, particularly at the line of scrimmage. Offensive line fixtures Jonathan Schueler, John Dermer and Zack Sturgeon should help make the transition on offense go a little more smoothly.
    Los Alamos features 17 seniors heading into the opener, almost all of which have played regularly at one time during their Hilltopper careers.

  • Sharapova survives after losing...

    NEW YORK (AP) — A year ago at this time, Maria Sharapova was sitting out the U.S. Open, getting checked by doctors and having tests on the surgically repaired right shoulder that has troubled her off and on.
    On Wednesday, Sharapova found herself down by a set and facing a break point early in the second at Flushing Meadows, bothered by the whipping wind, her own off-target strokes and an opponent who wasn’t backing down.
    As dusk fell and the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights came on, Sharapova came through the way she so often does in the crucible of a third set, beating 95th-ranked Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round of the tournament.
    Sharapova won in part because of her big shots, yes, but also because she had more in the tank when it mattered.
    “Overall I felt like in the end I was in much better shape than she was, and I could have played another few sets,” Sharapova said. “Mentally that helped me a lot.”
    It helped that Dulgheru had played one set over the past five weeks because of inflammation in her right wrist, which was operated on in May 2013 and flared up recently.
    Dulgheru, though, pointed to Sharapova’s grit as a key factor, too.

  • LA to meet Goddard in opening...

    There’s been a change of plans for the opening round of the Louie Cernicek Invitational.
    The Cernicek Invitational tournament is one of the big early-season tournaments around the state and his hosted annually by the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team.
    Due to some logistical challenges — five of the eight teams in this year’s field are traveling a long way to attend — the Goddard Rockets will be the first team up for the Hilltoppers Friday morning. Originally, the Hilltoppers were scheduled to face the Santa Fe Prep Blue Griffins to open the tournament.
    Games this year will be played at both Sullivan Field and at Los Alamos Middle School.
    The Hilltopper-Rocket contest will be a rematch of their first round Cernicek game in 2013. That game went right down to the wire before Los Alamos prevailed.
    “That game went into PKs (penalty kicks),” Los Alamos head coach Evan Gartz said. “I’m going to remind the boys about that. That game should’ve never gone into PKs.”
    After that tough contest, which Goddard led 2-1 until the final two minutes of regulation, Los Alamos topped Clovis in the semifinal round before getting hammered 6-2 in the championship game against Roswell.

  • Sports Briefs 08-27-14

    Gattiker is top predictor at Pace Race

    Katie Gattiker was the top predictor in this week’s Pace Race.
    The Pace Race, hosted by the Atomic City Roadrunners, was Tuesday night. It was held on the trail behind the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.
    Gattiker earned the win with her prediction error of just five seconds. That prediction beat Jessica Baumgaertel, who was second with a 48-second differential and Jackie Marr, who was off by 92 seconds.
    Marr was the top female finisher on the 1-mile paved course with her time of 14 minutes, 6 seconds. Diego Leonard, who is 4 years old, finished with a time of 12:29 on the paved course.
    On the 3-mile paved course, Nikol Strother was the fastest finisher (19:57). Ted Romero had the top finish on the 3.4-mile trail course and Bob Weeks was the fastest finisher on the 1-mile paved course (16:17).
    The next Pace Race will be Tuesday. The race will start at the Estante Way Trailhead in White Rock.
    For more information, call 672-1639 or visit the club’s website, atomicrunners.com.

    Isotopes drop another contest