• Hilltoppers prepare for toughest test of season

    Of all the games the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team will play this season, there will likely be none tougher than the test the Hilltoppers face tonight in Española.

    The Española Valley High School Sundevils are the top-ranked team in Class 5A, and are viewed by many as the top team in the state of New Mexico, regardless of classification.

    This week, that stance has only grown stronger. Tuesday night in Española, the Sundevils faced District 2-5A rival, and No. 3 ranked 5A team, Capital High School in what has become one of the best rivalries in the state.

    And facing its toughest opponent so far this season, the Sundevils cruised to an 83-65 win. It was so decisive that the stands that were filled to capacity at tipoff were half empty by the middle of the fourth quarter.

    Capital, which came into the game giving up fewer than 55 points per game on average, gave up nearly that many in the second half alone.

    Española Valley is one of the most well balanced teams in the state, with the ability to defend every player on the floor, and score in a variety of ways.

  • Shorthanded Hilltoppers come up short on back-to-back days

    The recent rough stretch for the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team continued over the weekend, as the Hilltoppers lost to Goddard High School and Albuquerque Academy inside Griffith Gymnasium.

    With senior forward Troy Hammock in street clothes on the bench in both games, the Hilltoppers played with just eight players in uniform. According to LAHS head coach Mike Kluk, it is not yet known whether Hammock will be able to return to action this season.

    The impact of Hammock’s absence was immediately noticeable, as the Hilltoppers were forced to change the starting lineup, and often had a smaller group on the floor during Friday’s game against Goddard.

    Though the offense got off to a good start in the game, repeatedly getting close to the basket for easy baskets, Goddard’s offense was even more impressive. The Rockets knocked down four 3-pointers in the first quarter, and appeared comfortable setting up beyond the arc and waiting for an open shot.

    With the help of those deep shots, Goddard led 18-14 after the first quarter.

    In the second quarter, Ramon Roybal got on a roll for the Hilltoppers, and knocked down three 3-pointers. His strong quarter helped propel LAHS to a halftime lead, 36-32.

  • Registration for fencing class at YMCA begins next month

    The Family YMCA will open registration for the Intro to Fencing for Beginners class on Feb 1.

    Class begins on March 6 and runs for three months. Class size is limited to 10 each year, so those interested will need to act fast to make sure they secure a spot.

    The cost for the three-month program is $120, or $90 for YMCA members.

    The beginning class for students (ages 10 or older) with no previous fencing experience meets each Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the YMCA gym.

    The class will focus on basic footwork and blade skills, in both foil and epee, leading into actual fencing bouts.

    The season will finish May 29 with a tournament.

    The YMCA provides all necessary equipment.

    The YMCA also has a fencing program for those that have completed the beginner course or have other previous fencing experience. Participants may start at the beginning of any month.

    The YMCA provides instruction and equipment.

    Class meets at the YMCA gym on Tuesdays  from 7-8 p.m.

    The monthly cost is $32, or $16 for YMCA members.

    Register now at The Family YMCA, located at 1450 Iris St. in Los Alamos, call 662-3100 or go to laymca.org.

    For additional information, contact Tom Hill at 672-1058.

  • Ski club succeeds at junior national qualifier

    What a difference a year and more experience makes. That was evident for the kids on the Southwest Nordic Ski Club (SWNSC) team who traveled to the Rocky Mountain Nordic Junior National Qualifier Jan. 13-15 in Crested Butte, Colorado.

    Being up against all of the big teams from Colorado, such as the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, Aspen Valley Nordic, Summit County Nordic Club, Boulder Nordic Club, Durango Nordic Club, Winter Park Nordic Club, Crested Butte Nordic and Gunnison Nordic Clubs, the kids from Los Alamos definitely had their work cut out for them.

    Last season was the local club’s first taste of the highest level of competition for juniors in the Junior National Qualifier series, which is part of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association sanctioned regional races for kids looking to advance to the national and international levels.

    It starts with racing at the Rocky Mountain region qualifiers, then based on results there, up to the national level.

  • LAHS wrestling wins district trials

    The Los Alamos High School wrestling team was named the winners of the District 2-5A Trials, held Wednesday at LAHS.

    To win the event, the Hilltoppers had to defeat opponents from Del Norte High School and Española Valley High School.

    Defeating Española Valley proved to be no problem for LAHS, as the Hilltoppers took down the Knights 66-15.

    However, the Del Norte Knights proved to be much more of a challenge, as it took a great effort from LAHS junior Dylan Irish to finish off the match.

    With the teams evenly matched on the scoreboard, Irish was able to pin his opponent in the 182-pound weight class, sealing the 36-30 victory for the Hilltoppers, and sending his team and the supporters into an uproar.

    Also collecting pins for the Hilltoppers were Damian Gonzalez, who pinned his opponent from Del Norte in the 120-pound weight class, Trevor Brown, who pinned his opponent from Española Valley in the 145-pound weight class and Lewis Harvey, who pinned his opponent from Del Norte in the 170-pound weight class.

    Next up for the Hilltoppers is a road meet against Robertson High School on Tuesday afternoon. The meet will begin at 5 p.m.

    This season, the Hilltoppers are undefeated in head-to-head meets,  with wins against Pojoaque Valley and Hobbs.

  • Atomic City Update: Time running out to check out LAHS winter sports

    For anyone who has not had the opportunity to check out Los Alamos High School’s winter sports, time is quickly running out.

    With district play already underway for the basketball teams, just one home wrestling meet remaining and one more weekend to head to the ice rink to watch the hockey team play, it’s a great time to watch your local teams in action.

    The boys’ basketball team will host all four of its district opponents between now and the middle of February, including a pair of state championship contenders in Capital High School on Jan. 31, and Española Valley High School on Feb. 14.

    These games will be a great opportunity to see how well the Hilltoppers match up against some of the best teams in the state, and might provide a preview for matchups that could come later, in postseason play.

    The girls’ basketball team will also host its three remaining district opponents, Española Valley on Jan. 27, Albuquerque Academy on Feb. 7 and Capital on Feb. 16. With the district wide-open this season and no team putting good games together consistently, every one of these games could be important down the stretch. I’m sure the Hilltopper girls would greatly appreciate strong crowd support for these exciting games.

  • High Flyers win Winter Invitational

    The High Flyers Level 2 gymnastics team won first place team last weekend at the Winter Invitational held at Eagle Ridge Gymnastics in Rio Rancho.

    The 11 girls on the team, who range in age from 6 to 10, were competing in their second-ever meet.

    In individual awards, Lauren Evenhus placed first all-around with a score of 36.025 and also took home first place medals on uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.

    Cora Perkins place second on uneven bars and balance beam, while Emily Dolence tied for second on floor and placed third on uneven bars.

    In the older age division, Toby Gelfand took first place on uneven bars.

    Vivian Sintay placed second on uneven bars and balance beam, and third on vault, while Sonya Pakin took third place on both uneven bars and floor exercise. 

    Other gymnasts who competed last weekend on the High Flyers Level 2 team include Gianna Rolfe, Caterina Mereghetti, Ciara Colgan, Abigail Campbell and Maya Seet.

    In Level 3 competition, Elizabeth Hatch placed second all-around with a second place finish on uneven bars and a third place finish on vault.

    In the younger age division, Mia Gallegos placed third on vault and uneven bars, while in the older age division, her sister Elena Gallegos placed third on uneven bars and floor exercise.

  • Hilltoppers lose district opener against Knights

    The inconsistency that has haunted the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team throughout the season continued Wednesday, as the Hilltoppers fell 64-51 to Del Norte High School on the road in the team’s District 2-5A opener.

    Coming into the game, LAHS was looking to get back on track after a home loss to Lovington High School Saturday afternoon in which the team struggled on both ends of the floor.

    In the early part of the first quarter against Del Norte, it appeared the same struggles would continue for the Hilltoppers.

    The Knights jumped out to a 10-2 lead midway through the quarter, forcing LAHS head coach Mike Kluk to take an early timeout.

    One of the major early issues for the Hilltoppers was foul trouble on sophomore Gavin Campos.

    On two straight possessions, Campos drove toward the basket to attempt a layup but was called for an offensive foul.

    The two quick fouls forced him out of the game, and changed the offensive strategy for LAHS.

    After the timeout, senior Ramon Roybal caught fire, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers to get the Hilltoppers back in the game.

    As the quarter drew to a close, Roybal also connected on a running midrange shot.

    Thanks to a 7-point run to end the quarter by LAHS, the score was tied 12-12 after the first quarter.

  • Boys U14 win, U11 split in youth soccer action

    In Duke City Soccer League action at the New Mexico State Soccer Complex in Bernalillo, the Boys U14 LAFC Lasers played Real Azteca with only 13 players and were able to pull out a 2-1 win.
    The Lasers played with the wind in the first half and were able to score two goals, both by Aaron Philip, a new player on the team this year.
    In the second half, the Lasers played against the wind and found it difficult to move the ball up the field.
    With solid defense and excellent goalkeeping by Daniel Chertkov, Real Azteca only scored one goal. The Lasers move to 2-1 on the season.
    The boys U11 LAFC Krypton Lasers lost 5-4 to the NM Rush Blue, and beat the Clovis White 8-3.
    Against the Rush, the Lasers went down early 4-1, but battled back, narrowly losing 5-4.
    Dhruv Thulasidasan scored two medium range goals, while Brendan French and Taelin Stanfield had one apiece.
    In the team’s second match, the Lasers controlled the game against Clovis from the start, going up 3-0 in the first 20 minutes.
    James Ito was player of the match with two goals and two assists. Other goal scorers included Hayden Watkins, French, Sammy Brown-Salazar, Stanfield and Liam Cunningham.

  • LAHS XC among leaders at home meet

    For the first, and only, time in 2017, the Los Alamos High School cross country teams had the opportunity to run in front of a hometown crowd, and the runners did not disappoint, finishing among the leaders in every race.
    More than 400 runners and 15 teams came together at the Los Alamos County Golf Course for the annual Los Alamos Invitational, which marks the end of the regular season for the Hilltoppers.
    The varsity boys finished third, and the girls finished in fourth place. More importantly, though, is that among Class 5A schools, LAHS finished second in both races, behind only Albuquerque Academy.
    LAHS head coaches Rob and Kathy Hipwood are encouraged by how well their team performed, and feel that the runners continue to improve at every meet.
    “I think we feel good about the direction we are going,” Kathy Hipwood said.
    Academy topped the Hilltopper boys by 12 points, and the girls by 15 points, setting up interesting matchups at the district meet this weekend, and the state meet at the beginning of November.
    Rob Hipwood believes the Hilltopper boys will be one of the top three teams at the state competition, along with Albuquerque Academy and Kirtland Central, and that all three have proved to be capable of winning the championship.