LA cross country runners take third at regionals

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Cross Country team, comprised of runners from the Hilltoppers’ 2012 boys state championship team, finished third in the Nike Cross Southwest Regional event Saturday.
Los Alamos placed three runners in the top 40 among team scorers to earn the third-place finish. The team finished with 215 points, earning a tiebreaker over Herriman, Utah, for third place when its sixth-place finisher, Mike Walker, outkicked a Herriman runner to the finish line.
The Nike Cross regional race was run in Mesa, Ariz.
The third-place finish by Los Alamos puts it in line for a potential Nike Cross National race at-large bid. At-large teams will be announced following the conclusion of regional races this weekend.
Utah teams took three of the top four spots, with Los Alamos finishing as the top team from New Mexico, even outpacing the Storm XC Club, which featured Luis Martinez, the third overall finisher and first among team-affiliated competitors. The Storm, from Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, was fifth overall.
Also at the southwest regional, Los Alamos’ girls cross country team finished 12th overall. Los Alamos had 298 points, also best among competing teams from New Mexico.
Individually, Los Alamos’ Sean Reardon was the top finisher for his team in the boys race. Reardon, who was in the lead pack but lost a shoe about halfway through the race, wound up in 57th place overall but 39th among team-affiliated runners.
Behind Reardon were teammates Colin Hemez and Nick Hill, the 39th and 40th finishers in the team competition.
The top individual finisher for Los Alamos in the girls regional race was Madison Foley. Foley was 57th overall and 33rd among team participants. Jennifer Mooday (69th overall, 42nd in team competition) was second among Los Alamos’ racers.
Foley had a time of 18 minutes, 30 seconds, while Mooday had a time of 18:40.
The other finishers for Los Alamos’ girls were Teresa Sandoval (72nd, 19:06), Amanda Mercer (75th, 19:07), Mikayla Pulliam (76th, 19:08), Talia Dreicer (80th, 19:09) and Nica Vasquez (83rd, 19:12).
For Los Alamos’ boys, Reardon finished in a time of 15:47, followed by Hemez’s 15:48 and Hill’s 15:49. Also placing for Los Alamos’ boys Saturday were Orion Staples (46th, 15:52), Zak Kennison (49th, 15:53), Walker (100, 16:16) and Aaron Bao (164th, 16:49).
The Nike Cross National race is scheduled for Dec. 1 in Portland, Ore.
In all, 33 boys teams and 24 girls teams took part. Nearly 500 individual runners competed in the two regional races.