Girls track and field: Toppers look strong in opener

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE — To open the season, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls track and field team got a chance to take a long, hard look at its newcomers.Several of Los Alamos’ competitors were off for Saturday’s Albuquerque Public Schools meet, many of them at a state choral event, many of the squad’s younger and less-experienced athletes got a chance to compete in their first varsity event at Wilson Stadium.And, in the estimation of Hilltopper head coach Paul Anderson, the youngsters performed well.“I think they’ll figure it out,” he said. “They’re seeing how good they could be.”Los Alamos finished second in team competition Saturday, going up against the likes of Albuquerque Academy, La Cueva and Highland, among others.Los Alamos grabbed 98 team points, well behind La Cueva but well ahead of Academy, one of the teams that’s usually hanging out at the end of the Class AAAA state championship meet.The Hilltoppers also saw Holly Walker picking up right where she left off in the state cross country meet in the fall, as she earned a state meet qualifying mark.Walker earned an impressive time in the 3200 meters, finishing in 12:04.82, more than 13 seconds under the mark of 12:21.00. Walker finished in second place in the event, immediately ahead of teammate Shaina Riciputi, who was just .07 seconds from qualifying herself.Freshman Clare Charsley-Groffman was one of the Hilltoppers making her career debut Saturday. She took second in her heat in the 200 meters and ran the third leg in the 1600 relay, which finished third in its heat, as well as helping the 400 relay team to a win along with teammates Amanda Trujillo, Sarah Weeks and Emi Weeks.“It was really nerve-wracking,” she said. “I was so nervous...(but) I did pretty good. I did better than I thought I would.”Madison Ahler was another freshman getting her first taste of big club experience, and she made the most of her chance as well, finishing third in the 400 meters with a time of 1:04.44.In Saturday’s competition, the Hilltoppers earned first place finishes in four events, including Emi Weeks’ win the 100 meters. Weeks finished the sprint in 13.50.Los Alamos picked up first, second and fourth place in the 1600, with Jessica Mietz leading the way.Rebecca Boerigter won the shot put event and Alex Nichols took top honors in the javelin.So far, everything seems pretty encouraging for the Hilltoppers. Anderson said the key will be helping them live up to their athletic potential.“This is a really good group to work with,” Anderson said. “If they realize how good they could be, this is going to be one of those really special groups.”

Here are Los Alamos’ results from Saturday’s Albuquerque Public Schools Invitational:

Team scores1. La Cueva, 158; 2. Los Alamos, 98; 3. Albuquerque Academy, 56; 4. Highland, 24; 5. Capital, 7; 6. West Mesa, 1.3200 meters2. Holly Walker, 12:04.82; 3. Shaina Riciputi, 12:21.07; 5. Ariana Rowberry, 13:06.62.400 relay1. Los Alamos (Amanda Trujillo, Clare Charsley-Groffman, Sarah Weeks, Emi Weeks), 52.35.100 hurdles4. Michelle Earley, 20.47.100 meters1. Emi Weeks, 13.50.1600 meters1. Jessica Mietz, 5:48.15; 2. Victoria Honnell, 5:55.29; 4. Hannah Little, 6:07.85.800 relay4. Los Alamos (Kyra Roybal, Kristen Stokes, Lindsey Gonzales, Clare Charsley-Groffman), 2:00.00.400 meters3. Madison Ahler, 1:04.44.300 hurdles5. Sarah Weeks, 53.81; Michelle Earley, 56.62.800 meters2. Adrienne Larson, 2:42.88; 4. Victoria Trujillo, 2:51.39.1600 medley relay3. Los Alamos (Lindsey Gonzales, Brianne Fanning, Kristen Stokes, Grace Liu), 5:01.63.200 meters4. Clare Charsley-Groffman, 29.35; 5. Michelle Earley, 29.90.1600 relay3. Los Alamos (Sarah Weeks, Madison Ahler, Clare Charsley-Groffman, Emi Weeks), 4:26.59.Shot put1. Rebecca Boerigter, 28-3; 5. Nicole Moore, 23-10; Sarah Pollatt, 23-3/4.Discus3. Rebecca Boerigter, 68-10; Nicole Moore, 58-0; Sarah Pollatt, 57-9.Javelin1. Alex Nichols, 102-1.Triple jump3. Kyra Roybal, 29-1.Long jump2. Emi Weeks, 15-5; 3. Kyra Roybal, 13-9; Lindsey Gonzales, 13-1.High jump2. Sarah Weeks, 4-6.