• Atomic City Update: Adaptive Sports Program helps make dreams come true

    This week, I had the privilege of spending some time with the Adaptive Sports Program of New Mexico as they invited individuals with disabilities from Aspen Elementary School to the YMCA to have some fun at the climbing wall. 

    For many of these kids, having access to the harness chair attached to the wall is the only way they will be able to climb up and experience that type of adrenaline rush, and it is amazing to see them experience that. 

    For more than two hours, those kids got to have an amazing time, either going up the wall in the chair, or on their own with the help of one of the amazing leaders. Douglas Lewis, Jason Cline and Camille Romero were on hand Tuesday morning to help the kids in any way they could. It is clear that this is a life passion for all of them, and they were having just as much fun as the kids were having. 

  • Golf claims fifth straight district championship

    With a dominant showing in the District 2-5A golf championships, the Los Alamos High School boys’ golf team claimed a district championship, and four golfers were named All-District performers. 

    As a team, the Hilltoppers recorded a score of 315 at the championships, defeating second place Albuquerque Academy by 25 strokes. Española Valley followed in third place with a score of 435, Del Norte came in fourth place with a score of 446 and Capital finished in fifth place with a score of 457. 

    This is the fifth consecutive district championship for the Hilltoppers, dating back to 2014.

    After struggling a bit the previous two weeks, Henry Poston bounced back in a big way for LAHS, posting the best score at the event with a 74. His score was five strokes better than the second place finisher, his teammate Jacob Benelli, who scored a 79. The teammates were the only golfers to post scores under 80 for the day. 

    Hilltoppers Sean Rau and Davis Johnson finished tied for fourth place with scores of 81 to round out the team score for LAHS. 

  • Bulldogs offer tough test for LAHS in playoffs

     Following a successful regular season, the Los Alamos baseball team begins the 2018 State Baseball Championships today against an Artesia High School team that will provide a great challenge to the Hilltoppers. 

    Artesia, the No. 5 seed in the playoffs, went 16-10 this season overall and 9-3 in District 4-5A. After a tight district race against Goddard, Artesia finished as the runners-up, as Goddard went 10-2 in district play to claim the title and earn the No. 1 seed in the State Baseball Championships. 

    In head-to-head match-ups, Artesia went 2-3 against Goddard. 

    The teams split the four games in district play, with Goddard also winning 3-2 in the Rio Rancho Tournament in late March. 

    Like most good teams, Artesia is full of good players, and does not rely on a particular player to win. As a team, the Bulldogs bat .329, and have pitched to a 3.78 ERA. 

    Throughout the season, the team’s best batter has been Taylor Null, who batted .560 this season, with 42 hits and 24 RBI’s. 

    He hit nine doubles, two triples and two home runs this season, scoring 26 runs. 

  • Hilltoppers end district play with sweep

    Heading into Saturday’s doubleheader against Capital, the Los Alamos High School softball team had already clinched the District 2-5A championship, and was only playing for positioning in next week’s state championship playoffs. 

    With a sweep over the Jaguars, the Hilltoppers did what they could to improve positioning, and now wait to see who they will be facing in the first round of the tournament. 

    Both games were tight, tense contests that came down to the final inning, but the Hilltoppers found a way to escape with an 8-7 win in the first game, and a 16-13 win in the second game. 

    The LAHS offense started out hot in the first game, striking for 5 runs in the first two innings to take a commanding lead. 

    However, starting pitcher Savana Luster, who pitched very well over the first three innings, started to run out of gas in the fourth inning and lost some of her control, putting multiple runners on base. The Jaguars took full advantage, striking for 4 runs in the inning to tie the score 5-5 and force LAHS head coach Randy Burditt to make a pitching change, bringing Reyna Lucero into the game. 

  • Baseball earns No. 12 seed in playoffs

    After finishing the regular season with a doubleheader sweep over Capital, the Los Alamos High School baseball team heads into the State Baseball Championships as the No. 12 seed. This marks the team’s first trip to the playoffs since 2016, when the Hilltoppers advanced to the quarterfinals. 

    Heading into the weekend, it appeared LAHS had a good chance to make the tournament, but losses against Capital would have hurt those chances. After struggling in the early part of the first game, the Hilltopper offense came to life, winning the first game 12-2 and the second game 10-0. 

    LAHS struck first in the first game of the day, as James Neal led off the game with a walk, advanced on an error by the shortstop and scored on a sacrifice fly by Vincent Marciano, staking Hilltopper starting pitcher Luke Kirkland to an early 1-0 lead. 

    The lead increased to 3-0 in the second inning as Walker Eaton and Hunter Swavely scored on a groundout by Kirkland and a triple by Luis Bojorquez. 

    After Capital scored a run to cut the lead to 3-1, LAHS struck for 4 runs in the bottom of the third inning, putting the game nearly out of reach at 7-1. 

  • Lacrosse falls to Sandia Prep in OT

     Battling Sandia Prep was the least of the Los Alamos High School boys’ lacrosse team’s problems Thursday night at Dara Jones Field, as high-powered wind gusts wreaked havoc on the players, the fans and especially the ball. The elements made the game unpredictable and exciting, though the home fans went home unhappy as the Hilltoppers lost 8-7 in overtime. 

    It was a back-and-forth contest from the opening face-off, as neither team was able to create separation. Offense was made difficult by the wind, as every pass had to be made carefully, and long passes were nearly impossible to complete. 

    The Hilltoppers took the early lead, as Peter Janke got LAHS on the board with the first goal of the game. 

    After Sandia answered back with a goal, Jacob Dunwoody gave the Hilltoppers a 2-1 lead with a goal of his own before the end of the first quarter. 

    Sandia once again answered back with a goal, and Ryder Davenhall came right back with his first goal of the game to give LAHS a 3-2 lead. 

    The back-and-forth game continued as Sandia tied the score 3-3 before Janke gave LAHS the lead back.

  • Atomic City Update: Cutting men’s soccer would be a mistake for UNM

    This week, the University of New Mexico Board of Regents voted 6-1 in favor of a budget that will require the university to cut sports programs in the near future. As someone who believes sports are an important part of society, especially on college campuses, this is not the kind of news I like to hear. 

    Particularly concerning is that one of the main sports being considered for the cuts is the men’s soccer program, which has been one of UNM’s most successful programs since the turn of the century. If a program had a long history of losing, and was making the school very little money I think it would be fair to consider letting it go, but that’s far from the case here. 

    The team has played in two Final Fours, one national championship game and has been a conference champion seven times since 2001. That is more success than many programs around the country could expect to have in 50 years of competition. 

  • LAHS softball keeps win streak alive

    In Major League Baseball, the talk of the world is about Shohei Otani, the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way star that is dominating on the mound and at the plate in his first season in America. Locally, it turns out Los Alamos High School has a two-way threat of its own on the softball team. Katie Wimer, a sophomore, continued her outstanding season Wednesday afternoon against Albuquerque Academy, picking up a win on the mound with a complete game, and driving in 7 runs at the plate in a 15-5 victory. 

    This season, Wimer has pitched 30.1 innings on the mound, collecting a record of 4-1 while striking out 27 batters. At the plate, she has been even more impressive, batting .492 while driving in 35 RBI’s and knocking three home runs out of the park. 

    In an important district game against the Chargers, the Hilltoppers needed every part of Wimer’s game to pull out the victory. 

    After the pitchers dominated for the first two innings of Wednesday’s game, posting clean innings, Academy took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning. 

    That’s when the LAHS offense woke up and returned to the form that it has shown throughout district play. 

  • Baseball drops heartbreaker at home to Academy

     All season, the Los Alamos High School baseball team has relied on strong pitching and timely hitting. Wednesday afternoon, the timely hitting was nowhere to be found as the Hilltoppers lost to Albuquerque Academy 5-4 at Bomber Field. 

    This was an important district game for both teams, as Academy entered the contest with a record of 7-1 in District 2-5A, one game ahead of the Hilltoppers, who entered the game at 6-2. A win would have pulled the Hilltoppers into a tie for first place in the district. Instead, the team is now left to wonder if it has done enough to earn an at-large bid to next month’s state championship tournament. 

    The opportunities were there for LAHS to take control of the game, and yet the big hit wouldn’t come to put the contest out of reach. 

    The Hilltoppers’ first opportunity came in the first inning, when the team loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a walk before Walker Eaton flew out to the left fielder to end the inning. 

    Academy also wasted early opportunities, leaving a man stranded on third base in the first inning, and two runners in scoring position in the second inning. 

  • Hilltoppers fall to Duke City at home

    Facing Duke City at Dara Jones Field Saturday afternoon, the young Los Alamos High School boys’ lacrosse team showed it still has a lot to learn about competing at the highest level, falling 17-3. 

    Duke City dominated possession of the ball from the very beginning, going up 5-0 before the Hilltoppers got the ball across midfield. 

    After switching sides for the second quarter, the Hilltoppers seemed to gain a little bit of momentum and went on the attack. Kevin Dors got LAHS on the board with a beautiful shot from close range, making the score 5-1. 

    However, Duke City, which is made up of some of the best lacrosse players in all of Albuquerque from multiple schools, continued to attack and quickly put the game out of reach. 

    Long after the outcome had been decided, Caleb Key and Jack Vandenkieboom scored goals for the Hilltoppers, temporarily sending cheers throughout the home crowd. 

    As the final whistle blew, however, Duke City emerged with a 17-3 victory.