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  • Hilltoppers split pair of games with Academy

    Looking to continue its strong start to District 2-5A play, the Los Alamos High School softball team played a doubleheader Saturday against Albuquerque Academy, losing the first game 8-7 and winning game two 10-8.

    The Hilltoppers had plenty of momentum going into the doubleheader, winning two games in a row, including the district opener against Del Norte 20-0 last week. 

    With senior Reyna Lucero on the mound for LAHS, things appeared to go smooth early on. Lucero allowed only 1 run through the first three innings as the Hilltoppers jumped on top 3-1. 

    However, things began to unravel in the fourth inning, as Lucero allowed 6 runs to score, putting Academy in front 7-3 midway through the game. 

    LAHS fought all the way back, though, picking up 2 runs in the fifth inning and another 2 runs in the seventh inning, tying the score 7-7 heading into the bottom of the seventh. 

    The Hilltoppers could not complete the comeback, however, as Academy scored 1 run in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn an 8-7 victory. 

  • Atomic City Update: District play offers chance for Hilltoppers to live up to potential

    With the non-district portion of baseball and softball season in the rearview mirror, it’s time to see what the teams at Los Alamos High School are really made of. 

    For both teams, it was a very up-and-down start to the season, as consistency was hard to come by. 

    I have watched both teams quite a bit, and they can be very exciting. It’s fun to see Arthur Steinkamp and Jacob Rutten pitch for the baseball team, and Reyna Lucero brings a ton of excitement to the mound for the softball team. 

    But with the baseball team standing at 7-7, and the softball team at 7-6, the hope is that they are able to string some wins together now that district play is underway. And if that’s possible in any district, it’s 2-5A. 

    This year is similar to previous years, where LAHS tries to challenge itself during non-district play, only to roll through the district schedule with relative ease. Last year, the softball team entered district play with a record of 6-6, and then went 11-1 to claim the district championship behind an explosive offensive attack that feasted on lesser pitching. 

  • High Flyers win state championships

    Five High Flyers gymnasts won state championship titles and 11 others placed either second or third in the New Mexico USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic Championships this month. The five first place winners included Lauren Evenhus, Level 2 uneven bars, floor exercise and all-around champion, River Irving, Level 3 vault champion, Anna Kirkland, Level 4 vault champion, Gianna Rolfe, Level 2 vault champion, and Siena Rolfe, Level 5 balance beam champion. In total, 34 gymnasts competed for High Flyers in the March state championships in Levels 2 through 6. Competing in Level 6, Gianna Benelli won third place on floor exercise. Sarah Worley placed fifth on floor exercise and seventh all-around.

    In Level 5 competition, Siena Rolfe placed second on uneven bars and was second all-around, Sarah Newman took second on balance beam, and Megan Martinez placed third on vault, balance beam, floor exercise, and all-around.  

    Elaina Irving placed fourth on balance beam and was fifth all-around, while Emily Smith finished in sixth place.

    Four gymnasts competed in the Level 4 championships. In addition to her first place win on vault, Anna Kirkland placed second on balance beam, third on uneven bars, and was second all-around. Mairen Hoch placed third on vault.  

  • LAHS softball dominates Del Norte

     If Wednesday’s District 2-5A opener is any indication, the Los Alamos High School softball team is in good shape to make a return to the state playoffs. 

    Facing Del Norte High School at Overlook Park, the Hilltoppers dominated, winning 20-0 and ending the game via the mercy rule after three innings. 

    Del Norte entered the game struggling, losing consecutive games to Albuquerque High And Valley, giving up 15 runs in both games and only managing to score one run combined. 

    Those struggles carried over for the Knights against LAHS, as the Hilltoppers jumped on top 6-0 in the first inning. 

    The first six batters of the game all reached for LAHS, including four walks, all of which came around to score. Jordan Jaramillo picked up the first big hit of the game for the Hilltoppers, as she doubled to score 3 runs. 

    Already holding a commanding lead entering the second inning, LAHS never took the foot off the gas.

    The first seven batters of the second inning all reached base and scored, including doubles by Jordan Jaramillo, Terri Jaramillo and Reyna Lucero. 

  • Hilltoppers win district opener over Knights

    Thanks to an outstanding pitching performance by Arthur Steinkmap and Antonio Gonzales, and production throughout the lineup, the Los Alamos High School baseball dominated its district opener, taking down Del Norte High School 15-5. 

    There was a slight delay at the beginning of Thursday’s game, as the Knights’ bus broke down on the way to Bomber Field. The game was originally scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., but Del Norte did not arrive until 3:55 p.m. 

    After an abbreviated warm-up period, the game got underway at 4:25 p.m. 

    Steinkamp mowed through the Knights’ order for the first three innings, allowing only one base runner while striking out four batters. 

    On offense, LAHS remained patient, while facing a pitcher who was dealing with control issues. 

    The Hilltoppers drew four walks in the first inning and scored 2 runs, and then repeated it in the second inning, drawing three walks and scoring 2 more runs to make the score 4-0 Hilltoppers. 

    LAHS busted the game open in the third inning, scoring 5 runs. 

  • Five LAHS basketball players named All-District

    Though basketball season may have been a disappointment for the teams at Los Alamos High School, several individuals on the teams have earned honors for being All-District performers.

    Two girls and three boys from LAHS earned All-District honors in District 2-5A. A total of 18 girls and 17 boys were honored across the district, which includes Española Valley, Capital, Del Norte and Albuquerque Academy.

    For the girls, Becca Green and Natalie Gallegos were named first team all-district performers. The duo provided a mismatch for the Hilltoppers in nearly every game throughout the season, and continued to improve as the season moved along.

    At times, both showed an ability to overpower opponents on the offensive end of the floor, and an ability to shut down inside scoring threats on defense, picking up blocks and defensive rebounds.

    Green and Gallegos are both only sophomores this year and should continue to improve as they move through high school.

    The boys were honored with three second-team all-district recipients: Michael Naranjo, Ramon Roybal and Antonio Trujillo. All three were seniors this season.

  • Hilltoppers put on a show at LAHS invite

    Hosting its first home meet of the year, the Los Alamos High School track and field teams put together strong performances, leading to a pair of runner-up finishes.

    Eight teams came to Los Alamos Friday afternoon from around the state: Capital, Cleveland, Española Valley, Hope Christian, Los Lunas, McCurdy, Pecos and Pojoaque Valley.

    Cleveland took home first place in the boys and girls competitions. On the boys’ side, Cleveland earned 173.5 points, while on the girls side the team earned 195 points.

    Los Alamos earned second place in both competitions, as the boys earned 95 points and the girls earned 122 points.

    The boys put together one of their strongest meets of the season, as 16 Hilltoppers set new personal records and three of the relays had their best times of the season.

    One of the big winners of the day for LAHS was Arturo Rodriguez, who qualified for the state meet in the shot put and increased his state qualifying mark in the discus. He earned first place with his efforts in the discus and second place in the shot put.

  • School of Gymnastics hosts Snowflake Invite

    Los Alamos School of Gymnastics played host to seven New Mexico teams in their annual Snowflake Invitational.  Los Alamos won the Gold, Platinum, and Diamond competition. The Los Alamos Silver team took third and the Los Alamos Bronze team was also third.

    Anika Lovato was Los Alamos' high scorer of the day, winning the Platinum individual competition with a score of 37.05. Lovato took gold on bars (9.40), beam (9.30) and floor (9.35). Team mate Megan Brown took silver on vault (9.20) and bars (9.10).  Colette Bibeault took silver on beam (9.20) and Sara Gardner took silver on floor (9.25). Dani Trellue's high finish was fourth on vault (9.10). 

    In the Gold juniors competition Layla Warner captured the gold in the all around with 36.70.  Layla also took gold on bars (9.65) and floor (9.35).  Her vault was an 8.60 for the silver medal and beam was a 9.10 for bronze. Also competing in the gold juniors division was Kylee Lovato, who totaled 34.95 for the bronze medal. Kylee also medaled silver on the beam (8.65) and bronze on bars (9.20).  Caris Hatler took silver on floor (8.75) and bronze on vault (8.70).  Ellie Reass, who moved up to gold mid season, was fifth in the all around.

  • LAHS baseball picks up big non-district win

    Heading into Thursday’s game against Belen High School, the Los Alamos High School baseball team appeared to be stuck in neutral and searching for an identity. By defeating one of Class 5A’s top teams 8-3, the Hilltoppers may have found it: strong pitching and timely hitting.

    Belen came into the game against the Hilltoppers with an 11-3 record, and was ranked as one of the top five teams in Class 5A. LAHS, on the other hand, had lost three games in a row and was ranked outside of Class 5A’s top 10.
    And early on, it appeared those trends were going to continue.

    Belen worked a pair of walks in the first inning against LAHS starting pitcher Arthur Steinkamp, and took a 1-0 lead on an RBI double by Carlos Espinoza.

    But LAHS escaped without further damage as the next batter smashed a hard line drive right back to Steinkamp, who grabbed the ball out of midair to end the inning.

    After being retired in order in the bottom of the first inning, the Hilltopper offense came to life in the second inning.

    Antonio Gonzales and Walker Eaton reached base with a walk and a single, and both scored when Luke Kirkland smashed a double into the outfield.

    Kirkland came around to score when James Neal reached base on an error by the shortstop, giving LAHS a 3-1 lead heading into the third inning.

  • Atomic City Update: Gimmicks and promotions make Minor League Baseball more fun

    This week, the Albuquerque Isotopes announced plans to participate in the “Copa de la Diversión,” Minor League Baseball’s way of celebrating Hispanic culture this baseball season.

    In select games throughout the season, the Isotopes will transform into the “Mariachis de Nuevo México” and Isotopes Park will become “The Plaza.”

    Sure, this is a huge gimmick. But it’s also a lot of fun. It will be great to see this idea play out, and see other teams participate. For example, the Memphis Redbirds will become the “Memphis Música” and the Oklahoma City Dodgers will be come the “Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City.”

    A total of 33 teams are participating across all levels of Minor League Baseball, and there are 165 games scheduled as part of the “Copa de la Diversión.

    While some people may think adding gimmicks like this to Minor League Baseball is meaningless, I actually disagree. The minor leagues should be a place where the teams can have some fun and do crazy things. The stakes aren’t nearly as high as they are at the major league level, and other draws besides the play on the field are needed to get people to the ballpark.