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  • LAHS football releases 2018 schedule

    The Los Alamos High School varsity football team will play 10 games in the 2018 season, six of which are against teams that they faced in the 2017 season. Among these are Española Valley, Pojoaque, Gallup, Santa Fe, Capital and Del Norte. The new teams that the Hilltoppers will go against include Taos, Bloomfield, Hope Christian and Valencia.

    The Hilltoppers finished with a 6-4 record in the 2017 season. Twelve of the team’s 25 players were seniors who will not be returning, including running back Jack Stewart and quarterback Kayden Rivera. 

    The receiving corps and defensive secondary will need to be addressed with the losses of seniors such as Wyatt Saeger, Reyes Mendez and Leander Murphy.

    The offensive and defensive lines will retain most of its core of juniors, only losing seniors Devin Cantua and Arturo Rodriguez. 

    Fortunately for the Hilltoppers, in a year that may consist of a lot of regrouping and rebuilding, their schedule contains just two teams that had a winning record in the 2017 season: Taos, 8-4, and district rival Capital, 6-5.

  • Atencio, Rees named LAHS Athletes of the Year

    To be a great athlete requires more than just having skill on the playing field. It also requires a person to be a great teammate and to come to every practice and game ready to help their teammates at every opportunity. 

    Those are the attributes that make Ashley Atencio and Ben Rees stand out at Los Alamos High School and are a big reason they were named the Los Alamos Sports Association’s Athletes of the Year at Tuesday night’s Honors Convocation. 

    Atencio was the starting goalkeeper for the girls’ soccer team, which advanced all the way to the state championship game, finishing as the second-place team in Class 5A. She made 148 saves last season and played in 23 games for the Hilltoppers, recording one shutout. 

    What makes her season even more impressive is that she wasn’t originally scheduled to be the starting goalkeeper for the team, but stepped into the starter’s net when incumbent starter Anna Lemke was unable to play while she recovered from a knee injury suffered during the previous basketball season. 

    It was Atencio’s first action in goal since her sophomore season, when she played a total of 70 minutes without allowing a goal. 

  • Los Alamos basketball plays in NM Games

    In a Memorial Day weekend tradition, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team participated in the New Mexico Games in Albuquerque Saturday and Sunday. It is the beginning of a summer schedule that will prepare the players for the next high school season, and offers a chance to play games against some of the best teams in the state. 

    On Saturday, the team began the 4A/5A/6A boys’ tournament against Belen at Del Norte High School. Last high school season, the Eagles were the state champions in Class 5A, defeating LAHS’ district rival Española Valley in the state championship game. 

    Though Belen High School coach Andrew Dunnell does not coach the team during the summer, he was in attendance at Saturday morning’s contest. 

    When he walked into the gym, LAHS head coach Mike Kluk greeted him and gave him a handshake, saying, “I have to shake the hand of the champ.” He congratulated Dunnell on the fantastic season, and especially on the performance against the Sundevils, before allowing Dunnell to head to the stands to enjoy the game. 

  • Carter excited for new challenge at LAHS

    Lanse Carter, the new head coach of Los Alamos High School’s girls’ basketball team, has a history of revitalizing programs and taking teams to higher levels. Right now, that is exactly what the Hilltoppers need.

    In the 2016-17 season, Carter took over as the interim head coach of Santa Fe High School’s girls’ basketball team just two days before the team’s first game. In the previous year, the team finished with an 8-19 record and did not win a district game. 

    Under Carter, the team improved to an 11-17 record, won four district games and earned a spot in the state tournament. 

    Carter coached as an assistant for the women’s basketball teams at Western State and Adams State, two NCAA Division II schools in Colorado, before coming to northern New Mexico. Since 2002, Carter has coached girls’ basketball at Capital, Pojoaque, Santa Fe Indian School and Santa Fe High.

    Carter said that he has “always liked,” Los Alamos, and that he “always had tons of respect for Gerry Washburn from when I was at Capital and coaching against him.” 

  • Atomic City Update: Keeping active is even more important in the summer

    As the school year comes to a close and high school sports end until August, it is more important now than ever that young kids stay active and in shape during these down months in the sports calendar. 

    I know how tempting it can be for young kids to sit on the couch all summer and watch TV or play video games, especially with how busy the rest of year is. But these months should be used to remain active in some form, because sitting on the couch for two months isn’t productive, and certainly isn’t healthy. 

    This town is full of great things for kids to do over the summer, and there is no excuse for a lack of activity. If kids are looking for something fun to do that will keep them healthy, taking a hike on one of the countless trails around town is a great way to do that, and you could explore a different trail almost every day this summer. 

    Kids can also take advantage of the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center and get some laps in at the pool, which is one of the best workouts anyone can get. 

    One of the best summer activities in town, the Splash and Dash series, sponsored by the Los Alamos Triatomics, allows people of all ages to take a swim in the pool, and then go for a run, all for fun. 

  • 7 Hilltopper baseball players named All-District

     Following a season that saw the Los Alamos High School baseball team return to the state tournament, seven Hilltoppers have been named District 2-5A All-District performers. 

    LAHS went 16-12 this season, and 9-3 in district play, finishing as the runners-up behind Albuquerque Academy. The Hilltoppers boasted a balanced, potent offense, and a pitching staff that could compete with any team. 

    Three Hilltoppers have been named First-Team All-District: Vincent Marciano, James Neal and Arthur Steinkamp. 

    Marciano was a fixture in the middle of the LAHS lineup, and showed a great ability to drive in runners in scoring position, driving balls into the gap for doubles with ease. As one of only three seniors on the team, Marciano played an important leadership role as well. 

    Neal was a strong defender for LAHS, and also played a key role at the top of the lineup, often leading off for the Hilltoppers. He did a great job of getting on base all season, and made defenses uncomfortable with his activity on the base paths. He will be returning next season for his senior year, and will play an even bigger role on the team. 

  • LAHS softball earns 2-5A coach and player of year

    It was another fantastic season for the Los Alamos High School softball team, as the Hilltoppers went 11-1 in district play and advanced to the state tournament for the fifth year in a row. 

    Now, the team is being properly honored, as senior catcher Jayde Tucker has been named District 2-5A player of the year, and head coach Randy Burditt has been named district coach of the year. Five Hilltoppers were named First-Team All-District performers, and four others were named Second-Team All-District performers. 

    The five Hilltoppers named First-Team All-District were: Alicia Gonzales, Jordan Jaramillo, Lauren Harris, Reyna Lucero and Tucker. 

    As a leader on and off the field, Tucker was a clear choice for first-team honors and for player of the year. At the plate, she batted .545 this season, with four home runs and 28 RBI. She also scored 32 runs. Behind the plate, she guided a talented pitching staff and was a steady defender. She also played a key leadership role on a team packed with seniors. 

  • Aquatomics set personal bests at Early Bird Open

    With a new head coach and renewed energy, the Los Alamos Aquatomics swim team has improved greatly in recent months, and showed off that improvement at the VAST Early Bird Open in Albuquerque, where nearly every swimmer picked up personal best times and impressed everyone in attendance. 

    Mark Scott, who is in his first year coaching the Aquatomics, said that he has been impressed with how hard the swimmers are willing to work, and it showed in the results. 

    “We were well over 80 percent personal bests in the first meet of the year,” Scott said. 

    He added that the Aquatomics are beginning to keep up with some of the top teams in the state, and that the positive culture change in the locker room among the swimmers has been noticeable. 

    “They don’t even look like the same people in the water anymore,” Scott said. “They are beginning to look pretty impressive.”

    Some of the best swims of the meet came from Ming Lo, who finished in first place in the mixed 11-and-over 200 breaststroke, with a time of 2:38.06. With that time, he qualified for sectionals at 13 years old, the youngest he can attend the meet. 

  • Boys tennis finishes as state runners-up, girls reach semifinals

     After struggling in the individual portion of the state championships, the Los Alamos High School tennis teams rebounded in the team portion of the competition, with the girls advancing to the semifinals, and the boys going all the way to the championship match. 

    It was an unexpected trip to the semifinals for the girls’ team, which matched last year’s results despite having only one senior on the roster, compared to having nine last year. 

    After earning the No. 5 seed in the team tournament, the Hilltoppers began against No. 4 seed St. Pius X Friday afternoon. In a tight contest, LAHS pulled off the minor upset, defeating the Sartans 5-4 to advance to the semifinals. 

    In the semifinals, the Hilltoppers were simply outmatched against No. 1 seed Farmington, which dominated en route to a 5-0 victory. Farmington went on to defeat Albuquerque Academy in the finals to claim the team championship. 

    For the boys, seeded No. 3, the tournament began easier, as the Hilltoppers took down No. 6 seed Alamogordo 9-0 in the first round, advancing to the semifinals. 

  • School of Gymnastics wins state title

    The Los Alamos School of Gymnastics traveled to the Albuquerque School of Gymnastics last weekend to compete in the New Mexico Xcel State Championships against 11 other New Mexico teams. 

    In the highest level of competition, Diamond Division, Los Alamos won the banner for first place team.  In the second highest division, Platinum, Los Alamos was the second place team and in the Gold division they placed third as a team.

    Four Los Alamos Gymnasts won their age division by taking a gold medal in the all-around competition. Anika Lovato won in the Platinum division with a clean sweep, taking all five gold medals. Her total was 37.50, with her gold medal half twist on, half twist off vault scoring a 9.35.  

    Layla Warner claimed an all-around gold medal for first place in the Gold division competition with 36.45. She also won a gold medal for her 9.325 beam routine. Holly Martinez won an all-around gold medal for first place in the silver division with 37.475.  She also took gold medals in vault  (9.275), beam (9.40), and floor exercise (9.45).