• Golf teams dominate state championships

    After this week’s Class 4A state golf tournament in Farmington, Los Alamos High School is going to have to clear some room in its trophy case. Both the Hilltopper boys and girls earned the top prize in dominant fashion. For the boys, it is the second state championship in a row. For the girls, this is the first title since 2007. 

    The LAHS boys earned the title with a two-day team score of 630, easily defeating runner-up Albuquerque Academy, which finished with a score of 664. Lovington finished in third place with a score of 677.

    Though the final result was convincing, LAHS didn’t win the title with any dominant individual performances. In fact, the team didn’t place anyone in the overall top three. Instead, the team won with impressive consistency, placing three golfers in fourth, fifth and sixth places. 

    Davis Johnson finished in fourth place with a combined score of 153, Jacob Benelli was fifth was a combined score of 154 and Henry Poston was sixth with a combined score of 155. 

  • Girls’ track earns second place at state meet

    Over the last two years, the Los Alamos High School girls’ track and field team has been building momentum. The team hit its highest peak yet last weekend, finishing as the Class 4A runner-up at the 2019 State Track and Field Championships with a total of 64 team points. 

    Two years ago, the team also finished as the runner-up before slipping to third place last year. 

    One of the big reasons the Hilltoppers have been able to remain so consistent over the past three years is the performance of Becca Green, who once again impressed crowds at this year’s championship meet. 

    She earned the individual state championship in the shot put and discus. In the shot put, she threw 38 feet, 4.75 inches, which was less than a foot further than the second place finisher. 

    In the discus, she threw 134 feet, 6 inches, which was 10 feet further than the second place finisher. Her throw was also less than two feet away from the all-time state record. 

    She will have another chance to set the record next year as a senior. 

  • Boys’ track finishes as 4A runner-up

    Los Alamos High School is home to some of the top runners in the entire state, and the Hilltoppers proved that at this year’s Class 4A state track and field meet. A strong performance on the track propelled LAHS to a runner-up finish at the state meet and continues the positive momentum for the program. 

    The Hilltoppers finished with 68.5 team points, behind only Albuquerque Academy, which finished with 100 points. Artesia came in third place with 53 points. 

    The majority of LAHS’ points came in the running events, highlighted by the team’s strong performance in relays. Two relays, the 4x100-meter relay and the 1,600-meter sprint medley, earned first place for the Hilltoppers. 

    The 4x100-meter relay consisted of DeAndre Lawrence, Dima Tretiak, Tyler Weiss and James Beauparlant. The team won with a time of 43.30 seconds, just .14 seconds ahead of the second place team. 

    Weiss, Beauparlant, Tretiak and Elijah Velasquez ran the 1,600-meter sprint medley, which LAHS won with a time of 3:39.40, just .34 seconds ahead of the second place team. 

  • Atomic City Update: LAHS golf deserves recognition for outstanding seasons

    There is nothing easy about earning a state championship in any high school sport. The road is always long and treacherous, and challengers are waiting around every corner. So for one school to earn two state championships in one sport is quite the accomplishment. 

    Last week at the Class 4A state golf tournament, the Hilltopper boys and girls both earned their blue trophies, and there is no questioning that LAHS is the top golf school in the state. 

    Their roads to those titles were extremely different. The boys repeated as champions, taking home the Class 4A crown a year after winning in LAHS’ last year in Class 5A. 

    The girls went on an unlikely journey to win their title. A year ago, the Hilltopper girls barely had enough players to field a full team. Despite having great top-end talent, LAHS earned only fifth place at the 2018 state tournament. But this year, there was nothing stopping the Hilltopper girls.

  • Five baseball players earn first-team all-district honors

     The Los Alamos High School baseball team dominated district play this season, and was rewarded with postseason accolades this week, taking home more all-district honors than any other team. 

    Antonio Gonzales was named the District 2-4A player of the year, while coach Bryan Neal took home the coach of the year honors. 

    Gonzales was a steady force in the middle of the LAHS batting lineup, driving in key runs with the ability to hit the ball to all fields with power. He was also a fantastic pitcher for the Hilltoppers, and played good defense in the outfield. 

    His best moment on the mound came against Española Valley, when he pitched a no-hitter in the second game of a doubleheader on the road. 

    At the plate, one of Gonzales’ top moment came in his final game in a Hilltopper uniform. With his team trailing Los Lunas 4-2 in the sixth inning of a winner-take-all playoff game, Gonzales drove in two runs with a single, temporarily tying the score. 

    He showed a lot of gap power this year, and was a threat every time he stepped into the batter’s box. 

  • Four softball players named first-team all-district

    Though the season didn’t end the way the Los Alamos High School softball team hoped, the Hilltoppers still have a lot to be happy about. Earlier this week, four players were named first-team all-district performers, and four more were named to the second team. 

    Claire Bluhm, Alicia Gonzales, Janessa Gonzales and Katie Wimer were all named first-team performers for their efforts in leading the Hilltoppers to an overall record of 15-12 and a berth in the state tournament. 

    The team had a chance to win the district championship heading into the final day of the regular season, but ultimately fell short against Pojoaque Valley. 

    Wimer was the team leader offensively, hitting .535 for the season to go along with six home runs, 10 doubles and 40 runs batted in. 

    Alicia Gonzales continued to be outstanding in the batter’s box and in the field, hitting .494 this season while connecting on 19 extra base hits and driving in 25 runs. She made only two errors in the field and had six outfield assists. 

  • Hilltopper baseball dominates Española on the road

    With a convincing doubleheader sweep against Española Valley on Saturday, the Los Alamos High School softball team moved one step closer to clinching the District 2-4A championship. 

    LAHS won both games of the doubleheader in dominant fashion, taking the first game 13-0, and the second game 14-1. Both games ended via the mercy rule after five innings. 

    With the doubleheader sweep, LAHS improves to 16-7 overall and 8-1 in district play. 

    The team’s one district loss came in 11 innings in the first game of the doubleheader at Taos, the district’s second place team. 

    In the first game, Arthur Steinkamp continued his dominant season on the mound, pitching the first four innings for the Hilltoppers. He struck out seven batters and allowed only two hits. He did not walk a batter. 

    In the first inning, all nine batters reached base and scored for the Hilltoppers. 

    In total, the team drew six walks, had four hits and saw 10 runs cross the plate as the game got out of hand in a hurry. 

  • LAHS softball splits key doubleheader with Sundevils

    After splitting a doubleheader against Española Valley last weekend, the Los Alamos High School softball team finds itself in must-win territory if it hopes to make the Class 4A state tournament later this month. 

    LAHS lost the first game of the doubleheader 7-6, and rebounded with a 10-5 win to keep hopes of a district title alive. 

    The Hilltoppers are now 6-3 in district play, one game behind Pojoaque Valley heading into this weekend’s doubleheader against the Elkettes. 

    Early on in the doubleheader against the Sundevils on Saturday, it appeared the Hilltoppers would cruise to victory. LAHS struck for three runs in the top of the second inning thanks to many sloppy defensive plays by the Sundevils.

    Katie Wimer led off the inning with a solid single into the outfield, and advanced to second base on a passed ball. She advanced to third on a ground ball to the right side of the infield, and scored when Savana Luster’s ground ball to first base went between the fielder’s legs. 

  • LAHS golf puts on a show at Piñon Hills

    In preparation for next week’s district championships, the Los Alamos High School golf teams put together good rounds at the Piñon Hills Golf Course, as the girls won their side of the tournament and the boys came in second place. 

    The LAHS girls finished the round with a team score of 360 to earn the victory. The total was six strokes ahead of Hope Christian for the top spot. The Huskies were followed by St. Pius with a score of 388. 

    “The girls had to contend with rain, wind and approaching thunderstorms as the weather played a role in the later part of the tournament,” girls head coach Tim Hammock said. “There was one group that was not able to finish their round due to lighting in the area.”

    That group included Gabby Mowrer, one of the Hilltoppers’ top contributors. 

    Despite that setback, the Hilltoppers still finished with two of the top five individual scores at the event. Jessica Osden was the individual champion with a score of 80. Leah Mountain finished in fourth place overall with a score of 88. 

  • Atomic City Update: Wrestling changes should make the sport better for everyone

    Last week, several changes were made to the rules in high school wrestling that should make the sport safer and make the experience better for everyone. Watching wrestling is one of the most exciting things I have been able to do in my time here in New Mexico, as the competition is always fierce and the drama is second-to-none. 

    The one thing that has always concerned me has been the injury risk, which seems to be higher than in almost any other sport. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering the hand-to-hand combat nature of the sport. 

    But unlike other sports, where injuries are seen as an automatic end of competition, it seems that in the past wrestlers have pushed through serious injuries even when the risk is high.