LA girls beat top 5A squads

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Cross country> Boys finish second in home invite

By Cody Olivas

The Los Alamos boys’ and girls’ cross country teams saw their biggest competition for the Class 5A crowns Friday in their home meet.
The girls ran against Albuquerque Academy and St. Pius X while the boys got to take on Albuquerque Academy.
“It’s nice — you don’t go in blind,” senior Maddy Foley said. “You get a sense of what you’re running against.”
If Friday’s performance was any indication of how state will go, the girls have a great chance to defend their title, but the boys have an uphill battle to defend theirs.
The Hilltopper girls won the 14-team tournament with 53 points. Cleveland (53) took second, followed by Taos (73), St. Pius X (98) and Albuquerque Academy (100).
“We definitely want to win state,” Foley said. “We’ve won it every year I’ve been here, and it would be an awesome way to finish my high school career with a team win.”
Los Alamos had its five scorers all finish in the top-18 to win the team title. Sophia Galvez led Los Alamos with a third-place finish, which scored two team points because East Mountain’s Addison Rauch took second, but East Mountain didn’t have enough runners to post a team score. Galvez finished the race in 19 minutes, 31.80 seconds. Foley finished fifth (19:41.50) followed by Talia Dreicer (15th, 20:27.80), Zoe Hemez (17th, 20:43.20) and Nica Vasquez (18th, 20:49.80). Marin Kelly (24th, 21:09.00) and Paulina Burnside (38th, 21:55.40) also ran for the ’Toppers.
First-place finisher, Amanda Mayoral (18:56.90) led Cleveland, while her teammates crossed 10th, 13th, 18th and 21st.
Taos had three top-10 finishers and its No. 4 runner finished 15th, but its final scorer came in 41st.
St. Pius X runners finished fifth, sixth, 19th, 33rd and 35th.
Academy, meanwhile, had runners place 11th, 12th, 20th, 25th and 32nd.
Los Alamos’ average time was 20:14.82, .10 seconds faster than Cleveland and over 30 seconds faster than its Class 5A competition. Its one-through-five split (1:18) was also the fastest in the race.
The Hilltopper boys also had a strong race, but finished second behind Albuquerque Academy. Academy won the 15-team race with 43 points, followed by Los Alamos (88), Cleveland (103), Pecos (120) and East Mountain in fifth (144).
Hayden Walker finished 10th in 17:09.10 to lead Los Alamos. Victor Kim placed 12th in 17:13.30, followed by John Rees (17th, 17:34.80), Connor Bailey (25th, 17:55.30) and Chris Buntain (26th, 17:56.00).
Kyler Parkinson (32nd, 18:05), Kai Coblentz (45th, 18:16), Shawn Williams (46th, 18:17), Ryan Mielke (50th, 18:22) and Elijah Velasquez (60th, 18:43) also ran in the varsity race for Los Alamos.
Los Alamos’ one-through-five split was only 47 seconds, which was the best of any team.
Academy, however, proved it’s the team to beat in Class 5A with runners placing first, sixth, eighth, 13th and 15th while its non-scoring runners finished 16th and 22nd.
Academy’s Jordan Lesansee won the race in 16:26.40.
Academy’s average time was 17:03.90. Los Alamos has the second-fastest average —17:33.58.
The race was held at the Los Alamos Golf Course. “It’s pretty tough,” Foley said. “There’s a lot of gradual hills so it’s really mental.”
Lightning caused the start of the girls’ race to be delayed by over an hour. By the time the weather cleared, the decision was made to run the boys and the girls at the same time — the boys’ race started at 5:15 p.m., and the girls started 3 minutes later.
“I like having separate races,” Foley said, “but I didn’t really notice (the boys) once we started racing.”
The weather also forced the elementary mile to be postponed. It has been rescheduled for 4:30 p.m. today at the Los Alamos Middle School cross country course. Registered runners can just show up with their race number and be ready to go. Runners can also register for the race at 3:45 at the Los Alamos tent.
The high school runners will next compete Saturday in the District 2-5A championships at Del Norte. The first race is at 10 a.m.