Boys track and field: Toppers take sixth at Academy meet

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE — It’s been something of a uphill battle for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys track and field team this season, but the steep trek might be leveling off somewhat.


The team’s performance, however, seems to be on the rise.

Los Alamos had one of its better team performances of the season at this weekend’s Richard Harper Memorial Invitational. While Los Alamos wasn’t in the running for an overall team title — Class 5A goliath Cibola thumped another very good 5A team, Highland, to claim that victory — Los Alamos still had a very respectable showing.

The Hilltoppers finished the two-day event with 24 points, good enough for sixth place. Of note with that finish was that is was just one spot behind the current Class AAAA front-runner, Academy, which had 38 points on the weekend.

“We’ll do our best, that’s all you can ask for,” said Hilltopper Charles Rappe, one of Los Alamos’ biggest bright spots of the weekend. “That’s all you can get. The team is definitely coming together. It was good at the beginning and it’s definitely getting better. We’re accomplishing our potential.”

Rappe, a transfer student from Fort Collins, Colo., who is slated to be here just for the 2010 season, bounced back from a subpar preliminary showing in the 110 hurdles to finish second in Saturday’s final.

Rappe struggled to get out of the block in Friday’s prelim, just barely making the top eight and advancing to the final round, but posted a time of 15.30 in Saturday’s final, behind only Highland standout Charles Lewis’ finish of 14.64.

Rappe also cracked the top five in the 300 hurdles and helped the 1600-meter relay team to a top-five finish as well.

This weekend’s finish was a breath of fresh air for Los Alamos head coach Larry Baca, who has been waiting most of the season for the team to turn a corner.

“It was good for us to be that close to Academy and to compete like that,” Baca said. “That was better than I anticipated.”

Los Alamos actually was looking very closely at Belen, a possible Class AAAA sleeper, this weekend. Belen, however, was largely a non-factor at the meet, although it posted an impressive win two weeks ago at Los Alamos’ home quadrangular.

The Hilltoppers’ throwing corps, one of the big keys to the team’s success down the stretch, had a good showing this weekend. Despite being unable to qualify any of its three competitors for the final — two of the three of them had personal record throws and the third had a season best — Oliver Funsten and Austin Wolstein both scored in the discus. Funsten finished fourth overall with a toss of 139 feet, 10 inches, while Wolsten, the Class AAAA runner-up last season, guaranteed himself a return trip with his throw of 134-11, good enough for sixth place.

The other big key for Los Alamos, senior distance runner Kyle Pittman, was also solid this weekend.

Pittman held off Academy’s Pat Zacharias for a win in the 1,600 meters and took third in the 800 — he led the race for virtually the entire first lap, but impressive second laps by Bronson Duran of Sandia Prep and Alex Herring of Academy moved them ahead. Pittman also contributed the final leg of the 1600 relay, which posted a 3:28.90.

Los Alamos has just one regular season meet left before the 2AAAA championship meet, that coming at home Friday.

“I think our potential is far better than what I thought a couple of weeks ago,” Baca said. ‘It’s matter of gelling. We have to get healthy and we have to qualify. There are a lot of areas where we need to qualify.”

Here are the results from the Richard Harper Memorial Invitational. Athletes are from Los Alamos unless otherwise indicated.


Team scores

1. Cibola, 105; 2. Highland, 64; 3. La Cueva, 56; 4. Rio Rancho, 50; 5. Albuquerque Academy, 38; 6. Los Alamos, 24; 7. Sandia, 20; (tie) Eldorado, 20; 9. Santa Fe, 16; 10. Los Lunas, 15; 11. Sandia Prep, 13; 12. Volcano Vista, 11; 13. Manzano, 7; (tie) Valencia, 7; 15. Belen, 6; 16. Valley, 2.

400 relay

1. Cibola, 42.26; 2. Rio Rancho, 42.49; 3. La Cueva, 43.55; Los Alamos (Cody Vaughn, Spencer Schoonover, Ryan Erickson, Daniel Rodriguez), 45.06.

110 hurdles

1. Charles Lewis, Highland, 14.64; 2. Charles Rappe, 15.30; 3. Steven Lewis, Cibola, 15.40; Tom Day, 17.40 (prelim)

100 meters

1. Charles Lewis, Highland, 10.87; 2. Ronnie Daniels, La Cueva, 10.97; 3. Jerrell Warner, Los Lunas, 10.98; Spencer Schoonover, 11.52; Cody Vaughn, 11.55; Wade Archuleta, 12.42.

800 meters

1. Bronson Duran, Sandia Prep, 1:55.66; 2. Alex Herring, Academy, 1:56.25; 3. Kyle Pittman, 1:58.00; Zach Breshears, 2:04.40; Ian Pulliam, 2:10.72.

400 meters

1. Warrick Campbell, Highland, 49.17; 2. Bronson Duran, Sandia Prep, 49.86; 3. Weston Mathis, La Cueva, 50.11; David Brock, 56.40; Wade Archuleta, 1:00.36.

300 hurdles

1. Charles Lewis, Highland, 37.96; 2. Bryce Mitchell, Cibola, 39.58; 3. Morgan Redmond, Santa Fe, 39.86; 5. Charles Rappe, 41.11; Tom Day, 47.06.

200 meters

1. Gizeh Ibanez, Rio Rancho, 22.00; 2. Wynton El, Cibola, 22.21; 3. Jerrell Warner, Los Lunas, 22.33; Ryan Erickson, 24.05; Cody Vaughn, 24.64.

3200 meters

1. Pat Zacharias, Academy, 9:38.66; 2. Vincent Montoya, Cibola, 9:42.78; 3. Christopher Montoya, 9:50.53; Tim Wermer, 10:25.84; Adam Lang, 10:54.59; Josh Bowman, 10:55.93.

1600 meters

1. Kyle Pittman, 4:18.28; 2. Pat Zacharias, Academy, 4:19.88; 3. Alex Herring, Academy, 4:20.78; Ian Pulliam, 4:43.28; Daniel Roybal, 4:53.72.

800 relay

1. La Cueva, 1:28.64; 2. Cibola, 1:28.90; 3. Rio Rancho, 1:29.36; Los Alamos (Cody Vaughn, Ryan Erickson, Spencer Schoonover, Daniel Rodriguez), 1:36.02.

1600 sprint relay

1. Cibola, 3:33.08; 2. Santa Fe, 3:38.55; 3. La Cueva, 3:39.05; Los Alamos (Ryan Erickson, Mike Sanchez, David Brock, Tim Wermer), 3:52.83.

1600 relay

1. Cibola, 3:21.92; 2. Highland, 3:24.46; 3. Manzano, 3:28.49; 5. Los Alamos (Tom Day, Charles Rappe, Daniel Rodriguez, Kyle Pittman), 3:28.90.

Triple jump

1. Warrick Campbell, Highland, 48-6; 2. Brandon Branch, Academy, 43-11; 3. Larry Dupree, Rio Rancho, 43-10; Dan Christensen, 41-7; Niko Mendez, 37-2.

Pole vault

1. Daniel Fant, Rio Rancho, 15-0; 2. David Feddema, Academy, 13-6; 3. Dane Bevins, Rio Rancho, 14-3; Chris Ryan, 10-6.

High jump

1. Warrick Campbell, Highland, 6-4; 2. Javon Brown, Sandia, 6-0; 3. Emilio Mena, Santa Fe, 5-10; Mike Sanchez, 5-8.

Shot put

1. Hayden Schaap, Cibola, 52-8 1/2; 2. Ralph Romero, Cibola, 51-10; 3. Adrian Trujillo, Volcano Vista, 49-9; Oliver Funsten, 43-11; Austin Wolstein, 40-6 1/2; Nate Robbins, 39-1/2.


1. Willie Pounds, Eldorado, 162-7; 2. Hayden Schaap, Cibola, 142-9; 3. Josh DeReu, Rio Rancho, 140-8; 4. Oliver Funsten, 139-10; 6. Austin Wolstein, 134-11; Nate Robbins, 105-1.

Long jump

1. Larry Dupree, Rio Rancho, 22-4 1/4; 2. Jason Fang, Sandia, 22-2 1/4; 3. Warrick Campbell, Highland, 21-10 1/4; Dan Christensen, 19-1 3/4; Daniel Rodriguez, 17-11.


1. Matt Greer, La Cueva, 183-2; 2. Jeffery Smith, Los Lunas, 180-8; 3. Hayden Schaap, Cibola, 180-7; Spencer Schoonover, 142-2; David Brock, 136-7.