• LAHS boy’s soccer tops Chaparral, advances to semis

    It was going to take a strong defensive effort and clinical finishing for the Los Alamos boy’s soccer team to upend No. 4 Chaparral.
    And that’s exactly what the fifth-seeded Hilltoppers did in their 1-0 Class 5A quarterfinal win against Chaparral on Thursday at a windy Bernalillo Soccer Complex. Los Alamos advanced to the semifinals where it will face No. 1 Albuquerque Academy at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

    "It was outstanding," Los Alamos coach Ron Blue said. "Defensively we were really good. We found space and found gaps. We didn't make mistakes. It was windy which made the game a bit sloppy. But I was proud of how we played."

  • Prep football: Last-second heave lifts Los Alamos over Española Valley

    A double-digit fourth-quarter lead wasn’t enough for Española Valley to quarrel with history.
    With seven seconds left in the game, Los Alamos trailed 34-29 until quarterback Nick Quartieri rolled out to his left found receiver Kevin Maresca for a 34-yard touchdown pass as time expired to give the Hilltoppers a 35-34 win against the Sundevils on Friday in Española.
    “It feels like a dream,” an elated Quartieri said. “We had a lot of emotions. We were just so pumped. I feel like crying right now. I’m just so happy... tears of joy.”
    The fourth-quarter comeback started when Quarteri and Maresca connected on a 29-yard touchdown pass to cut the Sundevils lead to 28-22 with 10:27 left to play.
    Española answered when its following drive was kept alive by a roughing the punter penalty called on Los Alamos. A 74-yard pass set up a one-yard Joerey Manzanares touchdown with 6:36 remaining to give Española a 34-22 lead. Quartieri ran for a 10-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 34-29 with 1:46 left. The final game-winning drive was set up after the Hilltoppers defense forced an Española three-and-out.

  • ’Toppers girl’s soccer set for quarterfinals

    Los Alamos girl’s soccer coach Gary Ahlers said he typically likes playing a first round game instead of having a bye.
    But this year is different.
    The fourth-seeded Hilltoppers, who have been plagued with a series of injuries, will face No. 5 Goddard at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the Class 5A state tournament quarterfinals at the Bernalillo Soccer Complex in Bernalillo.
    “I don’t like to have a bye week but with the injuries we’ve had, it gave us some time,” Gary Ahlers said. “We have a full contention now.”
    Among the major injuries that Los Alamos suffered during the tail end of the season, was sophomore Katie Hopkins, who suffered a concussion on Oct. 8. Hopkins will start on Thursday but will likely be limited, according to Gary Ahlers.
    “She (Hopkins) is going to be available,” Gary Ahlers said. “(Monday) was the first day where she was able to do any type of physical contact. But come Thursday she’ll be good.”
    The Hilltoppers go into the contest with 14 days of rest and finished the regular season 15-5 overall and second in District 2-5A, behind No. 2 Albuquerque Academy.

  • LAHS cross country places 2nd in district

    The Los Alamos cross country teams fell short of the District 2-5A title on Friday at the Los Alamos Municipal Golf Course.
    Both Albuquerque Academy teams topped the Hilltoppers to claim the top spot in one of Class 5A’s toughest districts. The Los Alamos teams finished second, respectively. Both the Chargers and Hilltoppers received automatic bids to Saturday’s Class 5A state meet in Rio Rancho.  
    On the girl’s side, Academy’s Celeste Martinez and Carly Walll were the top two finishers.
    Zoe Hemez and Lidia Appell of Los Alamos were next two finishers. Hemez ran a 20:17, while Appell finished in 20:21.
    The next five were Academy runners, who rounded out the 21-point performance for the Chargers.
    Hannah Gartz, Marin Kelly and Paulina Burnside helped Los Alamos to its 40 points.
    Española Valley finished third as team, while Del Norte was fourth and Capital fifth in the girl’s meet.
    The Academy boys had the top three finishers in Jordan Lesansee, A.J. Kedge and Mark Harrington.
    Rafael Sanchez ran a 17:02 to place in fourth, while Chris Buntain finished in 10th with a time of 17:41. Josh Strevell rounded out the top three for Los Alamos with a 17:50 performance.

  • Prep boy's soccer: ’Toppers get past Goddard in first round

    The Los Alamos boy’s soccer team picked the right time to play one of its best halves of the season.
    The No. 5 Hilltoppers advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state tournament after defeating 12th-seeded Goddard 4-1 in the first round on Saturday at Sullivan Field. Los Alamos will face No. 4 Chaparral at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Bernalillo Soccer Complex in Bernalillo.
    “I was really proud them,” Los Alamos coach Ron Blue said. “They came together, they talked, they figured out what they needed and they just needed more energy.”
    After struggling in the first half and letting in a goal that tied the game 1-1, Los Alamos began the second half with Andreas Runde finding Christopher Blue, who drilled a left-footed shot to put the Hilltoppers ahead 2-1 in the 45th minute.
    Los Alamos added an insurance goal in the 59th minute when Arthur Steinkamp slipped through the Goddard backline and tucked away the first-time finish. Sophomore Cade Cummins assisted the Hilltoppers third goal. Senior Jonathan Coons sealed Los Alamos’ first state first round win since 2013 with a 75th-minute goal.
     “We just kept telling each other to play for each other,” Hilltoppers senior midfielder George Steinkamp said. “We needed to make it a team effort and wrap it up.”

  • LAHS volleyball tops Capital in regular season finale

    The Los Alamos volleyball team finished the regular season with a four-set (25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23) win against Capital on Saturday at Griffith Gym.
    The Hilltoppers evened their overall record to 10-10 and improved to 5-3 in District 2-5A. With the win, Los Alamos received the No. 3 seed for the District 2-5A tournament and hosted Capital on Tuesday (after the Monitor’s print deadline).  
    On Saturday, the Hilltoppers got off to a quick start leading 5-0 in the first set. Los Alamos extended its lead to 13-7, before Capital inched closer and cut the Hilltopper lead to 23-20. Los Alamos did enough to close out the set after a Jessica Moore kill.
    After a 14-8 start in set two, the Jaguars were able to hold off a Los Alamos comeback and tie the match.
    The third set began 10-10, before Los Alamos went on an 8-1 run. Capital went on a run of its own to cut the Hilltoppers lead to 21-19. But Los Alamos closed out the set with a Mackenzie Alexander kill.
    A highly competitive fourth set saw both teams tied at 10-10, then trade points until the teams were tied 23-23. After that, the Hilltoppers fed Kaitlin Bennett twice and the senior sealed the match with back-to-back kills.

  • Prep volleyball: Sundevils top LA, clinch regular season title

    It was going to take a typical resilient effort from the Los Alamos volleyball team to keep Española Valley from clinching the district regular season title.
    But the resiliency wasn’t there for the Hilltoppers in the Sundevils straight-set (25-22, 25-23, 25-19) victory on Wednesday in Española. The Sundevils, who improved to 14-5 overall and 6-1 in district play, clinched the District 2-5A regular season title and will host the district tournament championship.
    “I think (Española) played better than we did today,” Los Alamos coach Diana Stokes said. “Our passes were off today. And they were playing a quicker game and our girls had a hard time keeping up with them.”
    After Española Valley took a one-set lead, the Sundevils jumped out to a 15-11 lead in the second set. Los Alamos (9-10 overall, 4-3 District 2-5A) then scored seven-straight-points to take an 18-15 lead. With a 20-18 lead, it appeared that Los Alamos was on its way to a set-victory victory. But, the Sundevils ended up evening the set 20-20, before close it out on a 5-1 run.

  • Prep cross country: ’Toppers host district meet today

    Today’s District 2-5A meet will likely come down to two opponents who know each other very well.
    The Los Alamos and Albuquerque Academy cross country teams will face off at the Los Alamos Municipal Golf Course to decide this year’s District 2-5A champion. The boy’s race is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m., while the girl’s race is expected to follow and has a tentative 4:05 p.m. start time.
    The top two finishers will receive automatic bids to the Nov. 5 Class 5A state meet. The Hilltoppers and Chargers are heavy favorites to claim those spots, forcing Capital, Española Valley or Del Norte to complete an upset in order to take a complete team to the state meet.
    Los Alamos and Academy have met in four different meets this season. Both Charger teams have finished ahead of the Hilltoppers in each of those meets.
    Their latest mutual meet was last week’s Los Alamos Invitational. The Academy boys finished first and the girls placed second. Both Los Alamos teams finished fourth, respectively.
    Eighth-grader Rafael Sanchez and seniors Chris Buntain and Kai Coblentz lead Los Alamos into the anticipated district meet.
    Jordan Lesansee and A.J. Kedge are expected once again lead the Academy boys.

  • LAHS boy’s soccer hosts Goddard in first round

    The Los Alamos boy’s soccer team begins its state tournament run on Saturday.
    The fifth-seeded Hilltoppers will host No. 12 Goddard at 10 a.m. at Sullivan Field in the first round of the Class 5A state tournament.
    “We’re going to come out and play hard,” Los Alamos senior defender Tristen Roach said. “We’re going to try to get up in the first half. We’re not going to stand back on watch, we’re going to play all the way through.”
    Los Alamos goes into the first-round matchup at 13-5-2 overall, and closed the regular season with a 1-0 win at No. 1 Albuquerque Academy and a 0-0 tie at No. 3 Capital.
    Defensively, the Hilltoppers have been solid and tallied 11 shutouts during the regular season. The defensive success this season is due to the solid play of Roach, senior goalkeeper Seth Hailey and junior defenders Kye Jones and Adam Listwan. Los Alamos has outscored its opponents 53-15 this season.
    “It’s been phenomenal with our goalkeeper Seth (Hailey) communicating with us and helping us press forward,” Roach said. “That’s where part of our success came from... Holding the backline and doing our job.”    

  • Prep football: ’Toppers face Sundevils Friday night

    Despite having decades of success against Española Valley, the Los Alamos football team still finds motivation in facing its area rival.
    The Hilltoppers will look to continue that success against the Sundevils when both teams face off at 7 p.m. tonight in Española.
    “This game is the same as every week,” Los Alamos coach Garett Williams said. “We have our process that we go through every week to prepare. It’s always fun to prepare for these guys. It’s always a good rivalry game.”
    Los Alamos is coming off an open week and goes into the contest at 4-4 overall and 1-1 in District 2-5A, after a 44-7 win against Albuquerque Academy on Oct. 14.
    During district play, the Hilltoppers have amassed 717 yards of total offense (402 rushing, 315 passing). Against Academy, Los Alamos had its biggest passing of the season with quarterback Nick Quartieri throwing for a career-high 245 passing yards. Using Quartieri’s arm could be key against a lowly Española secondary that’s allowed numerous big plays.