• Ainsworth hired as LA's new boys golf coach

    The Los Alamos High School athletic office announced last week the hiring of a new boys golf coach.
    Anders “Andy” Ainsworth will take over the boys golf program from Ann Stewart, who was officially hired earlier this month as the head girls basketball coach.
    Ainsworth, who was a volunteer for the Los Alamos Hilltopper golf program during the 2012-13 season, is a math teacher at Los Alamos Middle School. He also has experience at the collegiate level, as he was an assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s program at Western New Mexico University in Silver City between 2008-2010.
    Along with his golf experience, he has coached boys and girls basketball at Coronado High School in Gallina and was also an assistant volleyball coach there.
    Last season, Los Alamos’ boys didn’t qualify for the state tournament. The team sent one representative, senior Raul Roybal, to state as an individual, where he placed 37th overall with a two-day score of 185.
    Ainsworth will be the third head coach for the boys team in three seasons.
    Prior to last season, girls coach Mike Lippiatt ran both programs. 

  • Kratzer is top predictor on 3-mile course

    David Kratzer had the best prediction in last week’s Pace Race.
    The Pace Race, hosted by the Atomic City Roadrunners, was May 14. The race started at Piñon Park in White Rock and featured a staggered start.
    Kratzer, running on the 3-mile course, finished with a prediction error of just 3 seconds. He needed an excellent prediction to hold off Bill Rice, who was off by just 7 seconds on the long course.
    The best prediction on the 1-mile course was Emilee Jones, who missed by 16 seconds.
    Other top predictions at the Pace Race included Makaeka Jones (17 seconds), Morgan Jones (18 seconds) and Georgia Pedicini (27 seconds).
    The next Pace Race will be Tuesday starting on West Jemez Road about three-quarters of a mile from the Back Gate. Two different courses will be available for runners and walkers.
    More information on the Pace Race and the Atomic City Roadrunners is available by calling 672-9243 or 672-1639. 

  • Event leaders for Class 4A state track and field meet

    Here are the top marks for the 2013 season for Class 4A competitors around the state. Athletes are from Los Alamos unless otherwise noted.


    100 meters

    1. Zhianna Flores, Piedra Vista, 11.96; 2. Cera Chavez, Los Lunas, 12.12; 3. Alexis LaFave, Los Lunas, 12.20; 8. Amy Neal, 12.53.

    200 meters

    1. Zhianna Flores, Piedra Vista, 24.96; 2. Jessica Scherrer, Del Norte, 25.62; 3. Cera Chavez, Los Lunas, 25.90; 9. Amy Neal, 26.36; 17. Cassidy Reeves, 27.91.

    400 meters

    1. Zhianna Flores, Piedra Vista, 58.76; 2. Sierra Martinez, Aztec, 59.19; 3. Tiffany Cano, Artesia, 59.34; 20. Amy Neal, 1:04.05.

    800 meters

    1. Britani Gonzalez, Santa Teresa, 2:16.49; 2. Jenna Thurman, Del Norte, 2:18.47; 3. Carisma Lovato, Valencia, 2:20.37; 10. Mikayla Pulliam, 2:25.95; 13. Katie Stockton, 2:31.71.

    1600 meters

    1. Jenna Thurman, Del Norte, 5:02.89; 2. Carisma Lovato, Valencia, 5:19.67; 3. Noel Prandoni, Santa Fe, 5:21.80; 9. Amanda Mercer, 5:26.69; 12. Mikayla Pulliam, 5:27.44; 13. Teresa Sandoval, 5:27.91; 14. Sophia Galvez, 5:20.40.

    3200 meters

  • LA girls shooting for 5th straight 4A championship

    This could be a meet for the ages for the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls track and field team, but this could also be the closest call for the Los Alamos in some time, too.
    The Hilltopper girls and boys will both compete in the Class 4A state championship meet this weekend.
    The state title meet, which will be at the University of New Mexico Track and Field Complex in Albuquerque, is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
    The Hilltopper girls have a chance to make history by earning their fifth consecutive state title. Only four teams in the history of New Mexico have won at least five straight — interestingly, it is only the second-longest current streak, however, as Fort Sumner has won seven in a row including last week’s small-school state meet.
    Los Alamos’ four current state titles matches with Class 4A record-holder Albuquerque Academy, one of the Hilltoppers’ main rivals.
    However, Academy doesn’t appear to be poised to pose a threat to the Hilltoppers’ dominance. Instead, the biggest challenger appears to be a team from the Four Corners area.

  • Mesa Smart Meter Project moves forward

    With council's denial of GEW's protest against the award of the Smart Meter contract to Landis + Gyr, the Mesa Smart Meter Project is again moving forward.

    Council reached a decision in a special meeting on Monday. Department of Public Utilities Manager John Arrowsmith signed the contract with Landis + Gyr on Wednesday. Arrowsmith made the announcement during Wednesday's Board of Public Utilities meeting.

  • Wendelberger set to finish career with a bang at state

    In 2013, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls track and field team has a chance to cement its place as one of the elite programs of all time.

    Leading up to this season, that move was led by one of the most charismatic athletes the program had ever seen, Chase Ealey. But now, the responsibility of leading the charge toward state-level immortality falls on a much more low-key team captain.

    The Hilltoppers’ efforts heading into the final two weeks of the season are being guided by senior Laura Wendelberger. Wendelberger has carved her own niche in Hilltopper history, but unlike her predecessor, has done so with considerably less flair and with good ol’ fashioned sweat.

    But even though Wendelberger is set to make her fourth appearance at the state meet for Los Alamos, the pre-championship jitters have already begun to set in.

    “It’s kind of nerve-wracking,” she said. “But all I can do is run my best. I won’t let people’s expectations change my mindset.”

    With Ealey, the two-time high-point athlete at the state meet now having a standout freshman year for Oklahoma State University, those looking to see if Los Alamos can pull off the 5-peat will have their eyes set squarely on Wendelberger.

    History has shown, however, that she should be up to the challenge.

  • 'Toppers face No. 1 seed in playoffs

    In the opening round of the Class 4A baseball tournament last weekend, the Los Alamos Hilltoppers seemed to have a tough draw when they faced off against the Aztec Tigers.
    Thursday, the Hilltoppers seem to have a tough draw as well, but the Hilltoppers are hoping they rise to that challenge the same way they rose to the challenge against the Tigers.
    Los Alamos, the No. 8 seed in the 4A playoffs, advances to play the No. 1 seed, the Piedra Vista Panthers, in Thursday’s quarterfinal round. The Los Alamos-Piedra Vista contest is scheduled for noon at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque.
    That Los Alamos (19-9) is squaring off against Piedra Vista should come as no surprise. The Panthers (19-9) have been the top 4A team in the state all season and are the three-time defending state champions.
    Los Alamos got to see Piedra Vista first hand in the first two games of the 2013 regular season. At Ricketts Park, one of the top venues in the state for baseball, the Panthers thumped the Hilltoppers in a doubleheader, 12-0 and 9-1. The Hilltoppers managed just one hit in the first game and four more in the nightcap.
    The season-opening losses were part of a rough stretch for the Hilltoppers to start.

  • Elkins wins at the Pace Race

    Paul Elkins was the top predictor in the Atomic City Roadrunners’ pace race last week.
    The Pace Race was run at the Ponderosa Campground Trail in Bandelier National Monument.
    Elkins finished 27 seconds off his predicted finish time Tuesday, 20 seconds better than runner-up Ted Williams. No other participant came closer than 108 seconds to their actual finish time.
    The fastest finisher on the 1-mile course was Tom Sandford, who finished in 13:13. Sue Elkins came in at 16:45.
    On the 3-mile course, Ted Romero was once again the fastest finisher, posting a time of 18:54.
    Also on the long course, Roxanna Candia finished in 28:00.
    The next Pace Race, the Roadrunners’ annual staggered start run, will be tonight starting at Piñon Park in White Rock. Race time is 6 p.m.
    Interested participants can find more information about the Atomic City Roadrunners by calling 672-1639 or visiting the club’s website, atomicrunners.com. 

  • LA wins big again at district

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls and boys track and field teams both kept their undefeated streaks alive at Saturday’s District 2-4A meet.
    This year’s meet was hosted by the Santa Fe Demons.
    Los Alamos’ girls, who are again the team to beat heading into the state Class 4A meet this weekend, won a comfortable victory, scoring 196 points to defeat runner-up Santa Fe by 72 points in the final standings.
    The Hilltopper boys, meanwhile, crushed all comers, outscoring the Nos. 2 and 3 finishers, Capital and Santa Fe, put together. They finished with 192 points.
    Los Alamos hasn’t lost — or even been seriously challenged — at the 2-4A meet since the district was formed in 2001.
    At the meet, Laura Wendelberger won all four of her individual events, including the high jump, long jump, 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles.
    Hilltopper head coach Paul Anderson, who has never had a team finish worse than third in his 14 years of leading the girls program, said he was glad to see several of his athletes qualify at the district meet — the top two district finishers move on to state regardless of their finishing marks — but knows there are bigger fish to fry this week.

  • LA downs Farmington 5-4 to win 4A crown

    ALBUQUERQUE – Bruce Cottrell didn’t even pretend he didn’t know where his program stood historically.
    “This is our eighth victory, one more than Academy,” he said immediately after watching his Los Alamos Hilltopper girls win the Class 4A state tennis title Saturday night.

    But Cottrell, the longtime head coach of the team, had to sweat out its championship match against the four-time defending champion Farmington Scorpions.

    Los Alamos seemed to have the match well in-hand after going 4-2 in the singles competition, but dropped two of the first three doubles contests to Farmington, leaving the No. 2 doubles teams to battle it out for the state title.

    But in the late evening – the singles matches were interrupted by a rain delay of about 33 minutes – the team of Susanna Lucido/Colleen Fitzsimmons finished off Farmington’s Allie Linville/Sydney Schumacher in straight sets to upset the Scorpions and claim the Hilltoppers’ first team title since 2008.

    Even though Los Alamos won the No. 2 doubles title in straight sets, even the second set win didn’t come easily.