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  • 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.

  • LAFC continues strong start

    The Boys U12 LAFC Pumas have gone 3-0 in Duke City Soccer League this spring, winning 4-2 against the AYSO United Vipers, 5-0 over the Rio Rapids Silver, and 2-0 against the Albuquerque United Red. They play the Amarillo Lightning - also undefeated - this Saturday in Bernalillo at the NM State Soccer Complex.

    The Boys U11 LAFC Krypton Lasers defeated the Westside United Bears 3-1 in a hard fought match for their third win in three games.  Dhruv Thulasidasan initiated the Lasers first goal by stealing the ball from a Bears midfielder and passing to James Ito who dribbled down the right side of the field and drilled a shot to the far post past the goalie into the side netting.

    In the second half, Taelin Stanfield intercepted a Bears goal kick off his chest, dribbled around two defenders, and placed the ball calmly into the back of the net to put the Lasers up 2-0.  

    The Bears then stepped up their intensity with a half dozen shots on goal. Goalie Liam Cunningham made several key saves, and central defender Michael Witkowski sacrificed his body on several occasions to stop shots on goal.  

  • Lacrosse loses home opener to Rio Rancho

    The Los Alamos High School girls’ lacrosse team played its first home game of the season Tuesday night against Rio Rancho, falling 15-2 against the high-powered offensive attack of the Rams.

    LAHS fell behind early in the contest, and struggled to gain control of the ball in the early minutes.

    Taking advantage, Rio Rancho sprinted out to a 7-0 lead before the Hilltoppers had time to react.

    After slowing the pace down and gaining control of the ball, LAHS got on the scoreboard as Allina Bergemann sprinted down the field and snuck a shot past the goalkeeper to make the score 7-1.

    Minutes later, Marie Lee added another tally for the Hilltoppers, as she earned a penalty shot after being fouled attempting to put a shot on net.

    Her shot from eight yards out was perfect, sneaking right past the goalkeeper into the back of the net to make the score 7-2.

    However, LAHS got no closer. Rio Rancho added another goal before halftime to go up 8-2, and scored 7 unanswered goals in the second half to claim a 15-2 victory.

    The Hilltoppers will return home to Dara Jones Field in White Rock April 3 to take on Bosque at 5 p.m.

    The boys’ team will make its home debut the next day, taking on Cibola/Bosque at 5 p.m. April 4.

     

  • LAHS soccer player signs with Colorado School of Mines

    For four years, Tristan Semelsberger dazzled onlookers with his impressive ball-handling skills and highlight-reel goals on the soccer field for Los Alamos High School. Now he will get a chance to do it at the collegiate level, signing with the Colorado School of Mines to join the team in the fall.

    Colorado School of Mines is an NCAA Division II school located in Golden, Colorado, that plays in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. In 2017, it dominated the RMAC, finishing 17-4-1 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

    Mines has been to the NCAA Tournament in two of the past three seasons, and has finished with a winning record every season since 2009.

    Semelsberger said he is excited to join such a talented team, and is happy to have the opportunity to continue playing the game he loves. He also said there is a certain amount of pressure joining such a talented team, but that he is ready for the challenge.

    “It’s great, because I get to continue my journey as a soccer player and the way I see it, the sky’s the limit,” Semelsberger said. “So I just want to keep playing, keep working my hardest.”

    When deciding on a school, Colorado School of Mines checked off all the boxes Semelsberger had in mind.

  • Belen dominates LAHS softball

    After three games in a row where nearly everything went right for the Los Alamos High School softball team, the opposite was true Friday night against Belen High School, as the Hilltoppers fell 16-2.

    LAHS came into the game riding a streak of outstanding pitching, allowing 1 or fewer runs three games in a row, highlighted by the no-hitter thrown by Reyna Lucero against St. Pius X High School.

    However, that streak came to an end in a hurry against the Eagles, again with Lucero in the pitching circle.

    Control issues plagued Lucero throughout the game, starting in the first inning.

    After striking out the leadoff batter, she walked a batter and hit two more with a pitch. With the bases loaded, a pitch got away from Jayde Tucker, the LAHS catcher, allowing a run to score, putting Belen up 1-0 without getting a hit.

    The Hilltoppers answered right back in the bottom of the first inning, as Alicia Gonzales led off the game with a long home run to left field, tying the score 1-1.

    She drove in both of LAHS’ runs in the game, adding an RBI double in the second inning.

    The Eagles took the lead for good in the second inning, as three walks and a hit batter loaded the bases and scored a run, and a double scored 2 more runs, making the score 4-1.

  • Tennis teams struggle in first home matches

    Playing in their first home matches of the season, the Los Alamos High School tennis teams struggled, with the boys and the girls going 0-2 facing off against Eldorado and La Cueva.

    Friday afternoon, the Hilltoppers took on Eldorado at LAHS, with the boys falling 9-0 and the girls falling 8-1. The Lone victory for the girls came from junior Alina Bulthuis, who defeated Eldorado’s Emily Sims 7-5 and 6-3.

    Saturday, La Cueva visited the Hilltoppers and came away with identical results, with the boys losing 9-0 and the girls losing 8-1. This time, the girls’ victory came from freshman Ella Hailey, who defeated La Cueva’s Neha Rajput 6-3 and 6-3.

    The boys will be back in action March 23 at the Taos Round Robin, which will take place over two days.

    The girls will return to the court for the Los Alamos Invite March 30, along with the boys. Matches will begin at 10 a.m.
     

  • Track teams set personal bests in Alamogordo

    Making the four-hour trip to the southern part of the state, the Los Alamos High School Track and Field teams enjoyed a successful weekend in Alamogordo, with the girls taking second place and the boys taking fourth place in the eight-team event.

    The girls had a number of standout performances, led by Becca Green, who came away victorious in the shot put and the discus events.

    Green threw the discus 120 feet, six feet further than the second place competitor, Victoria Hernandez, of El Paso Irvin.

    Green’s dominance in the shot put also continued, as her throw of 38 feet-9.5 inches was nearly a foot farther than the next closest competitor, Asia Salas of Silver High School.

    Green has been among the leaders in both events at every meet so far this season and appears likely to contend for state championships.

    Bailey Yost also had a great meet for the Hilltoppers, earning first place in the high jump by clearing 5 feet-4 inches.
    She also earned sixth place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 17.94 seconds.

    LAHS dominated in the 3,200-meter run, as Lidia Appell won with a time of 12:02.20 and Mabel Pyle earned second place with a time of 12:03.40. No other runner was within nine seconds of the Hilltopper girls.

  • LAFC U11 teams start spring seasons strong

    The Los Alamos Football Club is off to a strong start this season, with the boys U11 club winning its first two games, and the girls U11 club earning a promotion to the Duke City Soccer League Premiere Division.

    The U11 girls earned the promotion by defeating the Rio Rapids Northern SC Black Widows 3-1 in the first game of the season March 10.

    Margaret Steinkamp, Estella Remillieux and Tirryn Sutherland all scored goals. Molly Castille had an outstanding performance as goalkeeper.

    After a successful Fall season in the Challenge One bracket, this victory officially moves the LAFC Lasers 07 into the top bracket of competition, where they will compete with the best teams in the state for their age group. This is an extraordinary achievement for their first year playing in the competitive Duke City Soccer League.

    The U11 boys have begun the season on a roll, picking up 3-1 victories over the AYSO United EM Elements and the Clovis White soccer team.

    In the opener against AYSO, the Lasers began with a sequence of crisp passes starting with Dhruv Thulasidasan across field to Liam Cunningham, over to Sammy Brown, through to Taelin Stanfield, who then centered it to James Ito, who scored a nice far-post goal. Goalie Hayden Watkins made several key saves to keep the score 1-0 at halftime.  

  • Atomic City Update: High school basketball can produce some madness of its own

    March is the month that college basketball takes center stage in the minds of nearly every sports fan. For three weekends, the top teams in the country face off to crown a champion, and every small school in America dreams of taking down one of the bluebloods in the sport in a moment that will be remembered forever.

    Every college basketball fan remembers when Middle Tennessee State took down Michigan State in 2016, when Lehigh defeated Duke in 2012 and when Northern Iowa defeated Kansas in 2010.

    The drama of an unbelievable upset in college basketball is hard for any sport to top, because it is the ultimate story of David vs. Goliath.

    This year, however, I think I witnessed the most drama I will see on a basketball court all month when I attended the championship games of the New Mexico high school state basketball tournament. The emotion of those games was more than I had seen in a long time, and reminded me of what makes basketball such a special game.

    My main motivation for attending these games was to watch Española Valley High School in the Class 5A championship game. All year, the Sundevils were dominant, especially against Los Alamos High School, and lost just once during the regular season.