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Los Alamos Athletes Enjoy A Great 2017

on December 26, 2017 - 10:08am
Los Alamos Daily Post
Los Alamos athletes showed their true grit and determination and found success on the field, on the court, and everywhere in between in 2017. The town of the Hilltoppers brought home championships and top finishes, and Los Alamos has a lot to be proud of.
The Los Alamos boys’ basketball team had an up and down 2016-17 season. The ‘Toppers found a quick first round exit after earning the 14 th seed in the NMAA tournament in a loss at Farmington High School.
Former Hilltopper and Lobo Alex Kirk signed a contract to continue his career with Toyota Alvark Tokyo in the up-and- coming Japan league. In a quote translated from Japanese, the team called Kirk “a strong team player who became a nucleus on the inside. He does not stop because he embodies a high level of basketball competence and the importance of team play.”
Kirk has quickly become a superstar on and off the court in Japan, wowing crowds with high impact dunks and showing compassion in the community by delivering Christmas presents to local needy children.
The Hilltopper tennis teams found great success in 2017. The Los Alamos boys finished as the runner-up for the state title. The boy’s team of George Margevicius and Andrew Tang also finished as runners up for the doubles state title. The top-seeded Los Alamos girls beat Farmington to earn the state title as a team. The team of Katya Skurikhin and Lauryn Anaya also beat Farmington en route to a doubles state title, while Sidra Hsieh-Ratliff finished as runner up in singles competition.
Track and Field
The Hilltopper girls’ track and field team finished in first place in four of the five regular season meets and narrowly missed a first place state title by half a point. As the state runner up, the ‘Toppers were edged by Alamogordo in the very last event of the 2017 NMAA state meet to finish with 67.5 points and a red trophy.
The Hilltopper boys’ track and field team finished tied for fourth place at the NMAA state meet after Liam Johnson cleared a 15-foot pole vault to win a gold medal.
The Hilltopper baseball team won eight of their last nine games of the season, including an extra innings game against the Albuquerque Academy Chargers, who finished the season as the runner up in the NMAA playoffs.
The ‘Toppers narrowly missed the state tournament despite the late season success. Los Alamos native Jared Mang led the University of New Mexico baseball team to a Mountain West Conference championship with a .373 batting average while scoring 63 runs and batting in 62 RBI’s. The right fielder finished the season with a .573 slugging percentage and .433 on base percentage while recording only one error in 57 games. He was named to the MW baseball first team.
Over the summer, Mang played on in the Texas College League for the Brazos Valley Bombers while leading the team with a .349 batting average on his way to being named TCL Player of the Year. Mang is considered to be a high draft pick in the 2018 MLB draft after finishing his Junior season. Jared’s brother, Connor Mang, completed a redshirt season with the Lobos and should see playing time in 2018.
The Hilltopper softball team went 17-8 and an impressive 8-1 at home, securing the district 2-5A title and earning a berth in the Nissan NMAA State tournament. The postseason was short-lived for Los Alamos after running into 6 th seeded Kirtland Central Broncos. The ‘Toppers were led by Sophomore Alicia Gonzalez, who played in 26 games while averaging a .500 batting average in 92 plate appearances. Reyna Lucero led the ‘Toppers from the pitching circle, making 19 appearances and earning a 10-3 record with a 4.31 ERA.
The Hilltopper boys’ and girls’ golf teams both finished the 2017 season in 3 rd place. Individually, Jessica Osden placed fourth and Leah Mountain tied for fifth to lead the ‘Topper girls’ team. Sean Rau finished seventh and Henry Posten tied for 12 th on the boys’ side. The Hilltopper boys’ team finished the fall portion of the 2017-18 season as a heavy favorite to win the state title. The ‘Toppers won all but one tournament in dominant fashion over very strong competition.
The Hilltopper boys’ lacrosse team finished as the runner up to the Albuquerque Scorpions 8-9 in overtime at the state tournament. The Scorpions are a team made up of the best players from around the Albuquerque metro area, while the ‘Topper team is made up of only Los Alamos High School players. With a great showing in 2017, US Lacrosse awarded the Los Alamos program with a $9,000 First Stick Grant to purchase new equipment and help start more programs.
“We look forward to building the girl’s lacrosse program in Los Alamos with the help of these equipment grants,” said high school girls’ coach Whitney Pryce.
Last season was the first season for the Los Alamos high school girls’ team. The players went to the quarterfinals while participating on a composite team with players from other towns.
“This year, we hope to have our own standalone high school team and a youth girls’ team,” Pryce said.
The Los Alamos Nukes Rugby club 10-man team won their second consecutive championship over El Paso and St. Pius to cap an undefeated season. The Los Alamos Bombshells girls’ rugby club finished in third place with their only losses coming at the hands of out-of- state teams.
Former ‘Topper JoAnna O’Neill helped lead Western Washington University’s women’s rugby team to an undefeated regular season and an appearance in the elite eight for the Division II National Championship. After such a successful run, the WWU women’s rugby team moved into the Division I Pacific Mountain Conference.
Los Alamos cyclist Lisa Dougherty easily won the 16 th annual Tour de Acoma 100-mile cycling race with a time of 4:45:20, more than 20 minutes ahead of the second place finisher. Husband Eugene Dougherty placed 4 th in the men’s 100-mile race, while their son, 15-year- old Los Alamos High School student Sean Dougherty, finished 7 th in the 25-mile race. Fellow Los Alamos cyclist Laura Musgrave finished third in the women’s division of the 25-mile race.
A pair of Los Alamos runners, Logan Ott and Erica Baron, captured the 50K Jemez Mountain Trail race. Ott is the back-to-back 50K men’s race winner.
The Hilltopper football team enjoyed a winning season, improving their win total from the previous year. Several ‘Toppers earned first team all district postseason awards including two-way players Jack Stewart RB/LB, Ryan McNiel FB/OLB, Arturo Rodriguez OL/DE, and Wyatt Seager WR/CB. Ethan Hunt and Dylan Irish earned kick and punter special team awards as well.
The Hilltopper volleyball team struggled to gain momentum during 2017 while playing one of the toughest schedules in the state. Former ‘Topper and current New Mexico Highland’s University Sophomore Sierra Foley enjoyed a productive season with the Cowboys. Foley made 19 starts and played in 88 sets, recording 125 kills and 64 blocks.
The Los Alamos High School Hall of Fame inducted eight members to the 2017 class:
  • Ann Stewart;
  • Larry Baca;
  • Amy Eilert-Lyman;
  • Angie Smith Morris;
  • Mike Lebby;
  • Jana Giesler;
  • Don Reid;
  • Kris Lundgaard; and
  • Matt Walters.
Three Los Alamos Crossfit athletes brought gold medals to the hill after setting records in the snatch and clean and jerk categories of the New Mexico Games. Kelly Gill and Mairen Hoch set the New Mexico games records. Kim Laskey earned a gold medal while all three athletes qualified for the 2018 National competition.