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Today's Sports

  • Atomic City Update: Keeping...

    As the school year comes to a close and high school sports end until August, it is more important now than ever that young kids stay active and in shape during these down months in the sports calendar. 

    I know how tempting it can be for young kids to sit on the couch all summer and watch TV or play video games, especially with how busy the rest of year is. But these months should be used to remain active in some form, because sitting on the couch for two months isn’t productive, and certainly isn’t healthy. 

    This town is full of great things for kids to do over the summer, and there is no excuse for a lack of activity. If kids are looking for something fun to do that will keep them healthy, taking a hike on one of the countless trails around town is a great way to do that, and you could explore a different trail almost every day this summer. 

    Kids can also take advantage of the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center and get some laps in at the pool, which is one of the best workouts anyone can get. 

    One of the best summer activities in town, the Splash and Dash series, sponsored by the Los Alamos Triatomics, allows people of all ages to take a swim in the pool, and then go for a run, all for fun. 

  • 7 Hilltopper baseball players...

     Following a season that saw the Los Alamos High School baseball team return to the state tournament, seven Hilltoppers have been named District 2-5A All-District performers. 

    LAHS went 16-12 this season, and 9-3 in district play, finishing as the runners-up behind Albuquerque Academy. The Hilltoppers boasted a balanced, potent offense, and a pitching staff that could compete with any team. 

    Three Hilltoppers have been named First-Team All-District: Vincent Marciano, James Neal and Arthur Steinkamp. 

    Marciano was a fixture in the middle of the LAHS lineup, and showed a great ability to drive in runners in scoring position, driving balls into the gap for doubles with ease. As one of only three seniors on the team, Marciano played an important leadership role as well. 

    Neal was a strong defender for LAHS, and also played a key role at the top of the lineup, often leading off for the Hilltoppers. He did a great job of getting on base all season, and made defenses uncomfortable with his activity on the base paths. He will be returning next season for his senior year, and will play an even bigger role on the team. 

  • LAHS softball earns 2-5A coach...

    It was another fantastic season for the Los Alamos High School softball team, as the Hilltoppers went 11-1 in district play and advanced to the state tournament for the fifth year in a row. 

    Now, the team is being properly honored, as senior catcher Jayde Tucker has been named District 2-5A player of the year, and head coach Randy Burditt has been named district coach of the year. Five Hilltoppers were named First-Team All-District performers, and four others were named Second-Team All-District performers. 

    The five Hilltoppers named First-Team All-District were: Alicia Gonzales, Jordan Jaramillo, Lauren Harris, Reyna Lucero and Tucker. 

    As a leader on and off the field, Tucker was a clear choice for first-team honors and for player of the year. At the plate, she batted .545 this season, with four home runs and 28 RBI. She also scored 32 runs. Behind the plate, she guided a talented pitching staff and was a steady defender. She also played a key leadership role on a team packed with seniors. 

  • Aquatomics set personal bests at...

    With a new head coach and renewed energy, the Los Alamos Aquatomics swim team has improved greatly in recent months, and showed off that improvement at the VAST Early Bird Open in Albuquerque, where nearly every swimmer picked up personal best times and impressed everyone in attendance. 

    Mark Scott, who is in his first year coaching the Aquatomics, said that he has been impressed with how hard the swimmers are willing to work, and it showed in the results. 

    “We were well over 80 percent personal bests in the first meet of the year,” Scott said. 

    He added that the Aquatomics are beginning to keep up with some of the top teams in the state, and that the positive culture change in the locker room among the swimmers has been noticeable. 

    “They don’t even look like the same people in the water anymore,” Scott said. “They are beginning to look pretty impressive.”

    Some of the best swims of the meet came from Ming Lo, who finished in first place in the mixed 11-and-over 200 breaststroke, with a time of 2:38.06. With that time, he qualified for sectionals at 13 years old, the youngest he can attend the meet. 

  • Boys tennis finishes as state...

     After struggling in the individual portion of the state championships, the Los Alamos High School tennis teams rebounded in the team portion of the competition, with the girls advancing to the semifinals, and the boys going all the way to the championship match. 

    It was an unexpected trip to the semifinals for the girls’ team, which matched last year’s results despite having only one senior on the roster, compared to having nine last year. 

    After earning the No. 5 seed in the team tournament, the Hilltoppers began against No. 4 seed St. Pius X Friday afternoon. In a tight contest, LAHS pulled off the minor upset, defeating the Sartans 5-4 to advance to the semifinals. 

    In the semifinals, the Hilltoppers were simply outmatched against No. 1 seed Farmington, which dominated en route to a 5-0 victory. Farmington went on to defeat Albuquerque Academy in the finals to claim the team championship. 

    For the boys, seeded No. 3, the tournament began easier, as the Hilltoppers took down No. 6 seed Alamogordo 9-0 in the first round, advancing to the semifinals. 

  • School of Gymnastics wins state...

    The Los Alamos School of Gymnastics traveled to the Albuquerque School of Gymnastics last weekend to compete in the New Mexico Xcel State Championships against 11 other New Mexico teams. 

    In the highest level of competition, Diamond Division, Los Alamos won the banner for first place team.  In the second highest division, Platinum, Los Alamos was the second place team and in the Gold division they placed third as a team.

    Four Los Alamos Gymnasts won their age division by taking a gold medal in the all-around competition. Anika Lovato won in the Platinum division with a clean sweep, taking all five gold medals. Her total was 37.50, with her gold medal half twist on, half twist off vault scoring a 9.35.  

    Layla Warner claimed an all-around gold medal for first place in the Gold division competition with 36.45. She also won a gold medal for her 9.325 beam routine. Holly Martinez won an all-around gold medal for first place in the silver division with 37.475.  She also took gold medals in vault  (9.275), beam (9.40), and floor exercise (9.45).  

  • Atomic City Update: More...

    Being stuck in neutral is never a good place to be. If you’re driving a car, it means you can’t move forward. If you’re stuck in neutral in your career, it means you aren’t getting ahead or advancing. It is perhaps the worst in sports, where being stuck in neutral means you aren’t experiencing high levels of success, and have no real plan on getting to that point. 

    It’s a problem across all levels of sports. Many professional leagues, like the NBA and MLB, often have many teams “tanking” if they aren’t great, just to get a high draft pick and build success faster. While fans don’t enjoy seeing their favorite basketball team go 10-72, they deal with it if it means they will be returning to the playoffs a few years later. 

    In pro sports, just being average doesn’t cut it anymore. Teams have to be ready to compete for a championship, or appear to be on that path in the near future. Fans don’t want to pay good money to see a team finish 41-41 and get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. 

  • Mistakes cost LAHS at state...

    At the state tournament, the lights shine a little brighter. Every big hit draws more applause and every mistake leads to more second-guessing. 

    On Thursday in the first round of the 2018 NMAA State Softball Championships, the Los Alamos High School softball team made far too many mistakes, and did not come up with enough big hits down the stretch as the Hilltoppers fell to Aztec High School 14-7. 

    LAHS head coach Randy Burditt said that he was proud of his team, and that this experience will make them stronger going forward. 

    “They came out hitting just like we wanted them to, and we got up,” Burditt said. “We had a couple throwing errors that opened the door for them.”

    In the early going, the game appeared to be all Hilltoppers. Before starting pitcher Reyna Lucero even took the mound, LAHS was ahead 4-0. Alicia Gonzales led off the game with a line-drive single, and advanced to third base on throwing errors. After Lauren Harris and Katie Wimer drew walks, the bases were loaded for senior catcher Jayde Tucker. 

  • Green leads LAHS girls to third...

    Throughout track and field season, Los Alamos sophomore Becca Green stole the show at every meet the Hilltoppers attended with her amazing performances in the shot put and the discus. The state championships last weekend at the University of New Mexico put the exclamation point on her outstanding season, as she won the state championship in the shot put and the discus, easily defeating every opponent. 

    In the shot put, she threw 41 feet-11.5 inches, defeating the second place competitor, Alamogordo’s Daysha Jenkins, by more than 6 feet. It was Green’s best throw of the season, surpassing her previous best of 41 feet-4 inches. 

    She also impressed in the discus, throwing 130 feet-3 inches to claim the state title by more than 6 feet over Alamogordo’s Brooke Payton, who threw 124 feet-7 inches. It was far from Green’s best discus throw of the season, as she came in with a season-best mark of 135 feet-10 inches. 

  • Distance events lead LAHS boys...

    For the second year in a row, the Los Alamos High School boy’s track and field team placed in the top four at the state championships, with many athletes putting together impressive results for the Hilltoppers. 

    Nobody was more impressive than junior Elijah Velasquez, who earned an individual state championship in the 800-meter run in unlikely fashion. In the prelims, Velasquez finished with the fourth-fastest time in the event, more than one second slower than the top racer. However, he turned things around in the finals, improving his time by nearly two seconds and winning the championship with a time of 1:56.70, the only Hilltopper boy to win a state championship this year. 

    Overall, the Hilltoppers finished in fourth place at the state championships with 44 points. District 2-5A rival Albuquerque Academy finished as the overall state champions, earning 83 points at the two-day event. Artesia finished in second place with 49 points and Alamogordo finished in third place with 48.5 points.