• LAHS football hosts Capital in regular season finale

    Los Alamos head football coach Garett Williams said his team is mentally prepared for what could be a season-defining game.
    The Hilltoppers will host Capital at 7 p.m. tonight at Sullivan Field in the regular season finale for both teams.  
    “We’re prepared for this just like everything else,” Williams said. “We normally start with something to get these guys jacked up and try to get them focused. The way we practice and our preparation is still the same.”
    Los Alamos, which is 5-4 overall and 2-1 in District 2-5A, could be playing for its postseason life tonight. A win could potentially make the Hilltoppers one of 11 Class 5A teams with a winning record going into Saturday’s state selection show. A loss would make the Hilltoppers state playoffs case even more difficult.
    “They talk about it and they know about the importance of playing good,” Williams said. “Whether the (selection) committee sees it the way we want them to see it, we don’t have any control over that. All we can do is take care of us. We don’t want to change anything. We want these guys to be comfortable in what they’re doing.”

  • Prep volleyball: ’Toppers survive Capital in 5

    It was fitting that the Los Alamos volleyball team would survive a five-set scare with its season on the line.
    The Hilltoppers defeated Capital (19-25, 25-22, 25-23, 12-25, 15-9) on Tuesday at Griffith Gym to advance to the semifinals of the District 2-5A tournament. Los Alamos traveled to face Del Norte on Thursday (after the Monitor’s print deadline).
    “When it comes to the fifth game they just get a lot of reps,” Los Alamos coach Diana Stokes said. “They did some really good things. And the two games that Capital won... they were solid. It was just a matter of which team can stay up the longest.”
    Both teams began the final set tied 5-5. After a long stoppage from the officials, the Hilltoppers took a 10-7 lead. That lead was charged by freshman Natalie Gallegos who finished with four kills in the fifth set. An Elodie Thelliez kill sealed the win for Los Alamos. 

  • LA cross country set for state

    The Los Alamos girl’s cross country team will need to have its best performance of the season to extend its state title streak.
    The Hilltoppers travel to Rio Rancho on Saturday to compete in a meet where they’ve had loads of success - the Class 5A state meet. The Los Alamos girls will run at noon on the campus of Rio Rancho High School.
    The Hilltoppers go into the meet winning seven-consecutive state titles. But this year, Los Alamos has yet to finish first in a meet. Class 5A favorite Albuquerque Academy is likely the reason for that. The Hilltoppers have faced the Chargers in their last two meets and Academy got the best of Los Alamos both times.   
    Class 5A could very likely come down to both of these teams.
    Celeste Martinez and Carly Wall, who were the top two finishers in the District 2-5A meet, will look to lead the Chargers to their first state title since 2008.
    For Los Alamos, the return of junior Zoe Hemez has made the Hilltoppers a real danger to upset Academy on Saturday. Hemez adds more depth to a Los Alamos line up that was led by eighth-grader Lidia Appell for the majority of the season.

  • 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.