• UNM regents approve cutting four sports

    The Board of Regents at New Mexico's flagship university voted Thursday to eliminate four sports teams and make other changes to its troubled athletic department to address persistent budget problems and failures to meet federal gender equity requirements under Title IX.

    University President Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Eddie Nunez presented recommendations to cut men's soccer, along with the men's and women's skiing and beach volleyball programs, during a special meeting.

    This decision will have an impact locally on the Southwest Nordic Ski Club, which has had a relationship with the Lobo ski team since the 1980s. As the longest running Nordic ski club in the state, the Los Alamos-based group has worked closely with the athletes from UNM in the past, and the two groups have combined to run programs in the state.

  • Golf association awards scholarships to 6 seniors

    A month after graduating, the scholarships are still pouring in for a few lucky Los Alamos High School students. 

    Last week at the Los Alamos County Golf Course, the Northern New Mexico Senior Golf Association awarded $1,000 scholarships to six students, five of whom were in attendance for the ceremony. 

    The students honored were Sydney Ashford, Caleb Hatler, Radhika Iyer, Junseo Kim, Ben Rees and Tristan Semelsberger. 

    All of the students submitted applications about their involvement in extra-curricular activities and their goals following high school. Out of all the applications submitted, these six students were named some of the best in the state, and were rewarded by the association. 

    Despite the organization awarding the scholarships being about golf, being an avid golfer was not one of the key components of the decision-making process.

    Ashford was a member of key club and was part of the varsity debate club at LAHS, the Hilltalkers. She will attend Wellesley College in the fall to pursue a career in dentistry. Ashford describes herself as a casual golfer. 

  • Aquatomics dominate at VAST June Open

    As the season slowly begins to wind down for the Los Alamos Aquatomics swim team, the results continue to get more and more impressive. 

    At the team’s latest meet, the VAST June Open in Albuquerque, the Aquatomics won more than 25 races between prelims and finals, and had countless top-five finishes across all age groups. 

    As has been the case throughout the season, Ming Lo was one of the top competitors for the Aquatomics, collecting three first-place finishes in finals, and finishing in the top-five in each of his races. 

    He continues to improve throughout the season, dropping 49 seconds in the 400 individual medley. 

    Equally impressive was Fayrouz Mourad, who won two of her races in the finals, and also finished in the top-five of each of her races. 

    Allison Amrani won the 9-10 50-breaststroke and the 10-and-under 100-backstroke. She also finished in the top-five of five other races. 

    Duncan Henderson had seven top-three finishes, including a first-place finish in the 200-freestyle. 

  • McMillan wins Firecracker 5K Fun Run

    More than 200 people kicked off their Fourth of July celebrations at the Firecracker 5K Fun Run, which has become an annual tradition in Los Alamos County. 

    The run, organized by the YMCA, brought together people of all ages. Some were dressed in creative costumes, some ran with their dogs and others rolled strollers through the streets.

    The overall winner of the event was Erik McMillan, from the United Stated Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He finished the run in 17:17.27, and competed in the 18-22 age group. 

    Finishing second overall was Casey White of Los Alamos, who completed the race just six seconds after McMillan. White was competing in the 35-39 age group. 

    Steven Strevell, who finished second last year behind his brother Josh, earned third place at this year’s event with a time of 17:54.77. He ran with his dog Branson, who won the race with Joshua last year. 

    Strevell was joined in the race by several of his teammates on Los Alamos High School’s cross country and track and field teams, including Duncan Fuehne, Elijah Velasquez, Noah Bridgewater, Konstantin Nelson and Norissa Valdez. 

  • Alex Kirk Donates To UNM-LA Summer Program

    Pro basketball player Alex Kirk visited the UNM-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) campus on June 13 to make a $1,000 donation to UNM-LA Community Education’s Summer Program for Youth (SPY). UNM-LA Community Education Program Coordinator Mike Katko said, “With this support from Alex, we will be able to add a component about living a healthy lifestyle to our regular programming.”

    The donation was made from the Alex Kirk Foundation, whose mission is “To raise awareness in our communities, families, schools and local agencies to foster the recognition and growth of physical activity for boys and girls.” 

    A local success story, Alex played basketball for Los Alamos High School and The University of New Mexico Lobos prior to starting his professional career. 

    He has played with the NBA, and for teams in Italy, China and Turkey, and he will return to Alvark Tokyo in Japan for a second season in the fall.

    During the short time he is in his hometown this summer, Alex has awarded three scholarships, sponsored basketball camps in Los Alamos, Española, and Clayton, provided funds to support the local junior golf program and helped refinish the floor of the basketball court at the Española Teen Center.

  • Tough non-district schedule awaits LAHS girls soccer

    With a schedule full of potential playoff teams and rematches from a year ago, the road back to the state championship game will be more challenging than ever for the Los Alamos High School girls’ soccer team. 

    The Hilltoppers will now be competing in District 2-4A, alongside Moriarty, Pojoaque Valley and Taos. 

    None of the teams in LAHS’ previous district, Albuquerque Academy, Capital or Del Norte, are on this year’s schedule, though LAHS and Academy could meet in September at the Albuquerque Academy Tournament. 

    In total, 10 teams on this year’s schedule finished last season with a winning record, and nine teams made the state playoffs. 

    Eight of the games on the schedule are rematches from a year ago, including games against two of the teams LAHS beat in the playoffs in 2017. 

    The season kicks off Aug. 25 at home against Santa Fe Prep, a team that went 15-1-1 last year, with its only loss coming in the Class 4A semifinals, offering an immediate test for the Hilltoppers. 

  • Young basketball players gain experience at Jr. Topper camp

    By Isaac Fason

    The Jr. Topper Basketball Summer Camp returned to Los Alamos this week and continues June 12 through June 14. The camp is sponsored by the Hilltopper Basketball Academy and the Alex Kirk foundation.

    The camp is offered to three different age groups; the Mini Toppers (Kindergarten through third grade), the Mid Toppers (fourth grade through sixth grade), and the Advanced Toppers (seventh grade and eighth grade).

    Registration for the camp costs $75 per camper and includes an Alex Kirk Foundation basketball, water bottle and t-shirt.

    Head coach of the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team Mike Kluk has been running the Jr. Topper summer camps for the past several years with the assistance of current Hilltoppers and returning alumni. 

    One alumni helping run the camp this year is former Hilltopper Isaiah Espinosa.

    ”A lot of the kids there don’t go to get better, but they go to have fun,” Espinosa said. On his reason for helping with the camp, Espinosa said, “I found basketball was a good release growing up. I feel like if I can find a way to help kids then I am doing my job, and it’s great to put a smile on a kids face.”

  • Atomic City Update: Title IX violations a bad start to an important summer for UNM

    More than any year before, this summer will determine the future of University of New Mexico athletics, for better or worse. Due to a mountain of debt accumulated under the previous school and athletic administrations, drastic measures will be taken, including the elimination of one or more sports, to be announced July 1 or earlier. 

    The first step in that process was a Title IX assessment of the school’s athletic department, released last week. The assessment showed a variety of serious problems that need to be addressed, something that won’t be easy at all with the financial troubles facing the school.

    Among the top problems are the disparity between athletic opportunities for men and women and the difference in locker rooms and training facilities between men and women’s sports. 

    To me, the most disturbing thing to come out of the Title IX assessment was the description of how the softball locker room differs from the baseball locker room, as well as the conditions that the volleyball teams are forced to endure. 

  • Camps available all summer long for young athletes

    Coaches and student athletes from Los Alamos High School are hosting a variety of sports camps over the summer, so be sure to register for a spot. Below is information about a few of the camps available. For more information about registration, dates, times, etc., please visit lahstoppers.com and select the desired sport.


    Los Alamos High School volleyball coaches and players are offering volleyball camps for elementary and middle school aged students who are interested in learning about the fundamentals of volleyball in a fun and positive environment. Here, students will be able to develop and improve serving, passing, hitting, setting and defensive skills.

    The elementary camp is open to all children entering grades 1st-5th in fall 2018, and the middle school camp is open to students entering 6th-8th grade. The camps will be in held in Griffith Gym from Monday-Thursday, June 18-21, and June 25-28. 

    Camps are facilitated by the experienced high school coaches and players, and are individually tailored to the experience level of each player. Campers are required to have parental authorization to participate in camp activities and can sign up the day of the event.

  • Aquatomics find success at Cactus Classic

    The strong start to the long course season continued for the Los Alamos Aquatomics at the Cactus Classic in Scottsdale, Arizona, as many swimmers came home with personal victories and personalbest times. 

    This was the first long trip of the season for the Aquatomics, and the first with the team for head coach Mark Scott, who said, “we travel well, had a lot of fun and swam fast.”

    Though the team posted strong performances consistently, it had to battle extremely hot temperatures all weekend as the temperature on the deck reached a sweltering 112 degrees on Sunday afternoon. 

    Despite the heat, Scott said the swimmers “adapted well and fast.”

    One of the Aquatomics’ most impressive swimmers at the meet was Allison Amrani, who posted five top-10 finishes. In the 10-and-under 400-freestyle, she finished in third place with a time of 6:04.19, a 41-second improvement over her previous personal best. That time was good enough to earn her another Western Zone qualifying time, a meet she will compete in at the end of the season. 

    Orion Henderson had a great meet, finishing in the top-10 in all of his events, including a second-place finish in the 200-backstroke.