• Sports Briefs 01-30-14

    Collegiate eligibility meeting is tonight

    Los Alamos High School will host a meeting for student-athletes and parents of student-athletes interested in learning more about requirements for NCAA and NAIA eligibility.
    The meeting is tonight in the LAHS speech theater starting at 6:30 p.m.
    For more information, call the LAHS athletic office at 663-2531.

    Isotopes’ job fair is returning

    The Albuquerque Isotopes Triple-A baseball club will host its 12th annual job fair Feb. 8.
    Anyone looking to secure a game-day, seasonal position with the Isotopes during the 2014 season is strongly encouraged to attend.
    Positions such as bat boys, cleaning crew, grounds crew and mascots will be interviewed for with the Isotopes. Food and beverage servers will also be interviewed by Ovations Food Services.
    Those interested should fill out an application before attending the Feb. 8 job fair. Applications, as well as more information on the fair, are available at abqisotopes.com.

    Parent meeting for spring sports is set

  • Wrestling heads to Las Vegas

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team will head into the final stretch of its regular season schedule Friday.
    The Hilltoppers will travel to Las Vegas to take part in the Robertson Invitational. That tournament continues through Saturday.
    Following this weekend’s tournament, the Hilltoppers will host their Bryan Sanchez Invitational tournament, their season finale.
    Robertson is one of the most successful Class 3A programs in state history. Along with the Cardinals, teams expected to compete this weekend include top Class 4A team Piedra Vista, as well as Taos, Aztec and all four of Los Alamos’ District 2-4A opponents.
    Los Alamos will go into this meet off arguably its best showing since the winter break. Los Alamos finished seventh at the Aztec Tiger Duals, topping Shiprock, Kirtland Central and Pagosa Springs, Colo., in head-to-head contests. Los Alamos had disappointing showings at a tournament at Albuquerque Academy and against Academy at a home duals meet Jan. 15.

  • LA's late comeback try vs. Española Valley falls short

    Had the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team kept even a little bit closer with the Española Valley Sundevils Wednesday night, the final minutes could’ve been very different.
    Los Alamos found its stroke from the floor and Española Valley couldn’t hang on to possession long enough to run any clock, making the game considerably tighter in the second half than it originally looked like it might be.
    But the big hole the Hilltoppers fell into in the first half was a deep one. The Hilltoppers trailed by 19 points after two quarters and Española Valley held on for a 57-48 win at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Los Alamos and Española Valley are believed to be the two teams that will duke it out for the No. 2 spot in the District 2-4A race this season, but with their win, the Sundevils have the early leg up over the Hilltoppers.
    In the first quarter, Los Alamos was held to just five points. Española Valley, which features one of the best running games in the state, had it going to full effect early on and Los Alamos struggled to keep up.
    “We got outhustled,” Hilltopper point guard Amber Logan said. “They got to every ball, every loose ball. We definitely came back in the second half and we ended up being the people that were getting to the ball.”

  • 'Toppers can't capitalize on their late chances Tuesday

    ESPAÑOLA — With under three minutes remaining, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team had a chance to pull off the upset of the season so far against its arch-rivals.
    But a pair of quick turnovers that translated into buckets and some missed chances on the offensive end would cost the Hilltoppers that opportunity.
    Los Alamos led 39-36, but Española Valley’s Jared Garduño forced a turnover under the Sundevils’ basket, then was the beneficiary of another turnover forced by his teammates to give his team the lead.
    Garduño also dropped in 6 of 6 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter as the Sundevils came from behind to win 47-43 at Edward Medina Gymnasium.
    It was a disappointing loss, not just for the fact Los Alamos (1-19 overall, 0-3 in 2-4A) had a shot to upend Española Valley, but how it lost.
    The Hilltoppers couldn’t covert a pair of open looks under the basket in the final four minutes of the game, then misfired on a pair of free throws that very likely would’ve made a difference late.
    And, with just over 10 seconds left and the Sundevils up by two, the Hilltoppers failed to inbound the ball on the Española Valley’s baseline, getting tagged instead with a 5-second violation that all but ended their upset bid.

  • Membership considers moving ski area ownership to county

    Mother Nature has not been kind to the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in recent years.
    A lack of snow has made it difficult for the ski area to make ends meet.
    This year has been no exception as the beginners’ area was only open for a couple days over the holidays. Since then, the area has suspended operations until further snowfall.
    Then on Monday, there was this announcement posted on the Pajarito Mountain website.
    “The Board of Los Alamos Ski Club (LASC) announces a Special Membership Meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Crossroads Bible Church on East Road, to present to the Membership a path forward that the Board unanimously believes will secure and improve the future of skiing in Los Alamos County.
    “We propose to dissolve Los Alamos Ski Club and transition all assets to Los Alamos County, which, subject to Council approval, will then take over operation of the Ski Area. The reasons why the Board believes that this is the best course of action will be presented, and a discussion and vote on the proposal will follow. This meeting will be open to all Members of LASC.
    These proposals for the future of the ski area will not affect operations this winter — the ski area will reopen for skiing when snow conditions permit.”

  • LA finishes seventh at Aztec Tiger Duals

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team finished in seventh place in the Aztec Tiger Duals Saturday.
    Los Alamos was third coming out of its pool Saturday at Aztec, which is among the top-performing schools in state history, and finished 3-2 in head-to-head competition.
    The performance there was one of the better showings the Hilltoppers have had since coming back from the winter break.
    Now, with just two regular season contests remaining – including the Feb. 8 Bryan Sanchez tournament in Los Alamos – the Hilltoppers know exactly what they’re going to have to accomplish to make a run at the district tournament next month.
    “We left two varsity kids at home this weekend,” Los Alamos head coach Bob Geyer said. “They’re going to have to step it up. There’s a chance we can win, but the lower weights are going to have to step it up.”
    At the duals, Los Alamos topped Kirtland Central, Shiprock and Pagosa Springs, Colo. One of the highlights of the meet was heavyweight Jonathan Schueler topping a previously undefeated heavyweight from Pagosa Springs.
    Schueler, who it looks like may be geared up for a good run in the Class 4A tournament this season, went 5-0 at Aztec.

  • 'Topper comeback effort falls short

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team may have had its best chance to break its current losing streak Saturday night, but wasn’t able to do so.
    The Hilltoppers, sitting at 1-17 heading into the game, took on the 2-15 Santa Fe Demons in a District 2-4A contest at Griffith Gymnasium.
    For the Hilltoppers, it was not only a chance to snap a 12-game slide, but also to avoid falling to 0-2 in the district race, which could be a tight affair.
    But Los Alamos fell into a big early hole from which it never escaped. Los Alamos was outscored by 15 points in the first quarter and, despite coming all the way back to make it a 1- or 2-possession game several times in the second half, couldn’t get some open shots to fall and Santa Fe ultimately prevailed 55-44.
    Getting their district season on track may mean the Hilltoppers will have to find a way to upset 2-4A favorite Española Valley tonight in the valley.
    While the Hilltoppers didn’t do themselves any favors on the offensive end – head coach Mike Kluk estimated his team missed 5 or 6 very makeable shots in the first half alone and saw his team miss 9 times from the foul line – the game’s officials were all over the place in the third quarter.

  • Girls soccer coach Kubicek leaving

    The longest-tenured coach at Los Alamos High School has decided to leave his position.
    Jiri Kubicek, who has been involved with Los Alamos soccer for more than 30 years, turned in his resignation Monday. Kubicek’s resignation is effective Feb. 1.
    Kubicek took over the girls soccer program in 1991. In 22 seasons leading the team, he amassed a record of 332-143 (a .699 winning percentage) and led Los Alamos to a pair of state championships.
    But the coach, who is among the longest-tenured active coaches in New Mexico, said it was simply time for him to move on.
    “I’ve been doing this for over 30 years,” he said. “I knew one of these days I was gong to have to end it. This is a good time for a change.”
    According to Kubicek’s resignation letter, he is leaving both for health concerns and to spend more time with his family. Kubicek, who is 62 and is retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory, said he would like to visit with his grandchildren more often in his extra time.

  • Baca named track coaches' Hall of Famer

    Larry Baca, the longtime boys track and field coach at Los Alamos High School, was inducted into the New Mexico Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame this weekend.
    Baca, who stepped away from the team for three seasons but returns for the spring season, was honored at a ceremony by the NMTCCCA Saturday.

  • Kubicek leaving girls soccer program

    Longtime Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer coach Jiri Kubicek has announced his resignation effective next month.
    Kubicek, one of the longest serving coaches in any sport in the state, cited health and family reasons for his resignation.
    He officially steps down from his post Feb. 1.
    More information will be in Tuesday’s Los Alamos Monitor.