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Today's Sports

  • Volleyball wins district...

    With a dramatic, five-set, win over the Pojoaque Valley Elkettes Thursday night, the Los Alamos High School volleyball team claimed the District 2-4A regular season championship. The championship assures the team of the No. 1 seed in next week’s district tournament and also guaranteed the Hilltoppers a spot in the state championship tournament. 

    It is an achievement that cannot be understated. Last season, LAHS went 7-16 overall and won only one district contest. As late in this season as Sept. 15, the Hilltoppers were 3-7. Then, everything changed. 

    From that point forward, LAHS went 9-1 overall and 7-1 in District 2-4A, one of the toughest districts in the state. The only blemish on the team’s record was a loss in mid-October to Pojoaque Valley. On Thursday, the Hilltoppers more than made up for it. 

    The fight for the regular season district championship came down to one final match. Both teams were 6-1 in district play. Pojoaque’s lone district loss to that point came against Española Valley, just two days after defeating the Hilltoppers in straight sets in Los Alamos. 

  • Atomic City Update: LAHS...

    Legendary National Hockey League coach Scotty Bowman once said, “I found out that if you are going to win games, you had better be ready to adapt.” I read that quote while scrolling through my Facebook news feed this week, and it reminded me of the Los Alamos High School football team. But it was for all the wrong reasons. 

    “Adaptable” and “willing to change” have never been ways to describe the team. The coaches have a system they believe in and, right or wrong, they stick with it. Last week was an example of when the system didn’t work, and it continues a trend in the wrong direction. 

    In the 21-14 loss last week on the road against Capital High School, LAHS’ stubborn commitment to the run game cost the team in a big way. Three times in the fourth quarter, the Hilltoppers had the ball with a chance to tie the game or take the lead. All three of the drives ended deep in Capital territory. 

  • Volleyball sweeps Taos on Senior...

    Despite a few shaky moments in the first two sets, the Los Alamos High School volleyball was able to win on its Senior Night 3-0 over Taos, continuing its late-season surge. 

    Since Sept. 15, the Hilltoppers have been one of the most dominant teams in the state, going 8-1, with five of the wins requiring the minimum three sets. Unlike some of the other matches, though, Tuesday night’s win over the Tigers proved to be difficult and required some outstanding play from LAHS’ top players. 

    Led by star player Faith Powell, Taos came out strong in the first set and did not allow the Hilltoppers to gain any sort of an edge. LAHS appeared to be out of sync for much of the first set, and relied on errors by the Tigers to pick up quite a few points. Powell made an impact for the Tigers at the service line and on the front line, as she proved to be hard to defend. 

    Though the Hilltoppers struggled throughout much of the set, Natalie Gallegos, Sophia Salazar and Elodie Thelliez stepped up when it mattered most and closed out the first set with a 25-23 win for LAHS to put the team up 1-0 in the match. 

  • LAHS soccer teams prepare for...

    As has become a yearly occurrence at Los Alamos High School, both soccer teams have made the state soccer tournament. The Hilltopper girls earned the No. 4 seed and the boys earned the No. 5 seed, as both teams were rewarded for highly successful seasons. 

    By earning the No. 4 seed, the LAHS girls have a bye to the quarterfinals, which will be played Nov. 7 at the Bernalillo Soccer Complex. The Hilltoppers went 14-5 in the regular season, including impressive wins against St. Michael’s, Farmington and Aztec. 

    In district play, the Hilltoppers dominated, going 6-0 and outscoring opponents 48-1. 

    Oct. 28’s 5-0 home win against Aztec proved to be key for the Hilltoppers, as LAHS and Aztec entered the game ranked No. 4 and No. 5 in the state, respectively. 

    With the win, LAHS wrapped up the No. 4 seed, while Aztec will have to play a first round home game this weekend against Santa Teresa. 

    The winner of that game will face off against LAHS in the quarterfinals. 

    Also receiving a bye to the quarterfinals are No. 1 seed Albuquerque Academy, No. 2 seed St. Pius and No. 3 seed Hope Christian.

    Academy and Pius have both defeated the Hilltoppers this season.

  • Cross country boys win home meet...

    This year, the cross country state championships in Class 4A will be battles between Los Alamos High School and Albuquerque Academy, as they have been so many times in recent years. Friday afternoon at the Los Alamos County Golf Course, the rivals provided a preview of what this year’s championship races will look like. 

    The Los Alamos Invitational, the Hilltoppers’ annual home meet, turned into a two-team battle for dominance in the boys and girls races. On the boys’ side, the Hilltoppers earned a tight victory with 39 points, compared to 41 for the Chargers. On the girls’ side, Academy came out on top with 31 points, compared to 48 for the Hilltoppers. 

    As has been the case for much of the season, Duncan Fuehne, Rafael Sanchez and Steven Strevell set the bar high for LAHS with outstanding races. 

    Much like the Northern New Mexico Challenge two weeks earlier in Santa Fe, the three Hilltoppers came to the finish line together in second, third and fourth places. This time, Fuehne was the team’s top finisher in second place with a time of 16:29.61. Right behind him was Sanchez, who came in third with a time of 16:30.04. Strevell took fourth place with a time of 16:30.52. 

  • Hilltopper offense stalls in...

    Down by 7 points late in the fourth quarter, the Los Alamos High School football team had a great opportunity to even the score against Capital High School and keep its playoff hopes alive. Instead, just like on every other second half drive, the Hilltoppers came up just a little bit short and the team lost in heartbreaking fashion. 

    Heading into Friday night’s game, LAHS needed a win to control its own fate in District 2-5A heading into the final week of the regular season. On paper, it appeared the Hilltoppers had the edge, as Capital had gone winless in seven games since an opening night victory against Pojoaque Valley High School Aug. 22. 

    A week earlier, the Jaguars lost to fellow district rival Del Norte 54-2, while the Hilltoppers defeated Santa Fe High 22-13. Capital relies heavily on the run game, and specifically sophomore Luke Padilla. This season, the Hilltoppers have been good at defending the run and felt that containing Padilla was possible. 

  • Pajarito Mountain receives more...

    With more than six inches of snow falling at Pajarito Mountain on Halloween, General Manager Tom Long is optimistic that Mother Nature will be more cooperative this year and provide the area with a good ski season.

    In the first major snow of the season, the bottom of Pajarito Ski Area received six inches of snow, while the top received more than eight inches. Last year, the ski area received almost no natural snow, and was forced to operate at reduced capacity throughout the winter.

    Now, with snow falling so early and the long term forecast pointing toward more winter weather moving forward, Long believes that everything is on track for Pajarito Mountain to open its lifts for skiers on Dec. 21.

    “We are anticipating that Mother Nature will wake up from last year’s nap and give us a good, long ski season,” Long said.

    He said that compared to good years in the past, this year’s Halloween storm was “more aggressive” and laid a good amount of snow down that will be built up in the next few months.

  • Volleyball wins important match...

     With a 3-0 on the road at Española Valley High School Thursday night, the Los Alamos High School volleyball team proved exactly why it is deserving of a spot in next month’s state championship tournament. 

    Since falling to 3-7 at the end of the Tournament of Champions Sept. 15, the team has been on a roll. LAHS has gone 7-1 since then, and has only gone to the full five sets one time, in a road win over Moriarty. 

    As the season moves toward its conclusion, the team has improved in all phases of the game, a trend that continued against the Sundevils. Early in the season, LAHS relied on its ability to out-spike the other team to win matches. 

    But Thursday, the Hilltoppers displayed a greater ability to defend than in any other match this year, and it paid off in a big way. 

    All three sets were close, but LAHS managed to come out on top in every one of them. In the first set, the Hilltoppers stormed out to a 5-0 lead with great serving, and everything appeared to be working. 

  • Volleyball wins important match...

     With a 3-0 on the road at Española Valley High School Thursday night, the Los Alamos High School volleyball team proved exactly why it is deserving of a spot in next month’s state championship tournament. 

    Since falling to 3-7 at the end of the Tournament of Champions Sept. 15, the team has been on a roll. LAHS has gone 7-1 since then, and has only gone to the full five sets one time, in a road win over Moriarty. 

    As the season moves toward its conclusion, the team has improved in all phases of the game, a trend that continued against the Sundevils. Early in the season, LAHS relied on its ability to out-spike the other team to win matches. 

    But Thursday, the Hilltoppers displayed a greater ability to defend than in any other match this year, and it paid off in a big way. 

    All three sets were close, but LAHS managed to come out on top in every one of them. In the first set, the Hilltoppers stormed out to a 5-0 lead with great serving, and everything appeared to be working. 

  • Atomic City Update: Fall sports...

    As the fall sports season winds to a close, I would like to congratulate all of the athletes at Los Alamos High School on their outstanding performances to this point. In the next few weeks, the state championships will be held for football, soccer, volleyball and cross country. At the moment, every sport at LAHS is still alive for the ultimate prize. 

    Like most years, the cross country teams are among the favorites to win state championships. Their performances have been outstanding throughout the season and the teams appear to be well prepared to battle against Albuquerque Academy in both races. 

    The soccer teams are finishing up outstanding regular seasons, and both teams appear poised to make a run deep into the state tournament. The girls should receive a top-four seed, and the boys should be able to host a first-round tournament game at Sullivan Field. 

    The volleyball team has had a great turnaround this season and has a spot all but locked up in the state tournament. In fact, the team could still win their incredibly tough district depending on how next week’s matchup against Pojoaque Valley goes.