Hilltoppers Cross Country Born To Run

And they’re off. Shown here is the start of the girls cross country meet Friday at the Los Alamos County Golf Course. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com 

The final cheer before the start of the boys cross country race. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com



Los Alamos Daily Post



The Los Alamos Hilltopper Cross Country girls and boys teams invited some heavy competition to the Los Alamos County Golf Course Friday afternoon for the final regular season meet of 2017. The day turned out to be a perfect one for running, and a great tune-up heading into the district championship meet in Española this weekend.
Girls Cross Country
The Los Alamos Girls’ Cross Country team finished in fourth place in the competitive Los Alamos Invite. Sue V. Cleveland, a 6A school out of Rio Rancho, took first place with 48 points, only three points ahead of 4A power Taos which scored a 51. Albuquerque Academy took third place with 60 points, followed by Los Alamos with 75 points and Hope Christian with 148 points to round out the top five.
The ‘Toppers were led by Freshman Lidia Appell, who ran the 3-mile race with a time of 19:40.75, placed third overall. “I thought I got out pretty well and ran pretty well. I haven’t been satisfied with my progression the past couple weeks, but this [race] I felt really good. I felt confident,” Appell admitted about her race. “I’ve upped the intensity in training, and I was like, ‘I got this.’”
Cleveland’s Amanda Mayoral won the individual race with a time of 18:38.07, followed by Taos runner Cora Cannedy with a time of 19:32:07. Appell’s 19:40.75 rounds out the top three finishers for the girl’s varsity race.
They are definitely improving with each race. [Today] we had some really great performances. We hope that we can continue to close the pack time, which is the time between the first and fifth runner,” head coach Kathy Hipwood said about her team’s performance. “Two in the top ten, and Lidia had a really good time. We feel good about the direction we’re going.”
The girls cross country team likes to run in a pack. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Lidia Appell crosses the finish line with a time of 19:40:75, which was good enough for an overall third place and the best ‘Topper finisher. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Norissa Valdez was the second highest placer for the ‘Toppers with a 7th place finish. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Marin Kelly acheives a sixth place finish with a time of 21:15:95. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Mabel Pyle, front, finished 19th and Abby Beus, back, finished 32nd. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Paulina Burnside finished in a time of 22:37:63 for a 38th place finish. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Amaya Coblentz rounded out the girls roster. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Team Results
1. Cleveland HS 48
2. Taos HS 51
3. Albuquerque Academy 60
4. Los Alamos 75
5. Hope Christian 148
6. Santa Fe HS 167
7. St. Michael’s HS 177
8. Pojoaque Valley HS 190
9. Pecos HS 256
10. St. Pius HS 267
11. Santa Fe Indian School 309
12. Bernalillo HS 322
Los Alamos Individual Results
3. Lidia Appell 19:40.75
7. Norissa Valdez 20:22.25
16. Marin Kelly 21:15.95
19. Mable Pyle 21:21.11
32. Abby Beus 21:56.81
38. Paulina Burnside 22:27.63
44. Amaya Coblentz 23:13.48
Boys Cross Country

Only 12 points separated first and third place in a very competitive boys race at the Los Alamos County Golf Course on Friday afternoon, and only two points separated first and second. Albuquerque Academy took first place in the meet with 43 points, followed by Cleveland High School with 45. The two schools have traded first and second place in multiple meets this season. Los Alamos rounded out the top three teams with 55 points. 

The ‘Toppers were led by freshman Rafael Sanchez, who finished the race with a time of 16:42.62, which was good for fourth place. Cleveland’s David Apodaca and Yonas Haile took first and seconds in the meet, but Academy finished the day with four runners finishing in the top nine and all of their top five runners finishing in the top 16 to edge out the Storm for the win. Los Alamos finished with all five runners in the top 15, but only one in the top nine.

“I think I took it a bit to fast,” Rafael Sanchez said about the start of his race. “Then I went with a pace and I finished pretty good, with a good stride.”

“The last few weeks the boys have been running with more confidence. They’re running better than they were in September. I’m very pleased with that. This was a good last meet before we head into the championship season,” coach Rob Hipwood said about his team.

The Los Alamos Cross Country teams next meet is for the districts championships in Española this weekend. Both teams will then run in the State Cross Country Championships Saturday, Nov. 2 at Rio Rancho High School.

The boys cross country team gets last minute instructions and encouragement from Head Coach Rob Hipwood. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com 

Boys cross country runners complete a warm up lap before the start of the race. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

 Rafael Sanchez crests a hill near the start with a pack of runners behind him. Sanchez was the highest finisher for the ‘Toppers with a fourth overall finish. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

Shawn Williams finishes with a time of 17:15:2, which was good enough for an overall 10th place finish. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

Duncan Fuehne cruises on a flat portion of the course to earn an overall 12th place finish. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

Steven Strevell, in the foreground, and Kevin Parkinson cross the finish line for 14th and 15th place finishes. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Hunter Swavely crosses the finish line with a time of 17:59:29 for a 24th place finish. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Elijah Velasquez was the final runner to cross the finish line. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Team Results
1. Albuquerque Academy 43
2. Cleveland HS 45
3. Los Alamos HS 55
4. Pecos HS 112
5. Pojoaque Valley HS 148
6. St. Michael’s HS 182
7. Taos HS 217
8. St. Pius HS 238
9. Santa Fe Indian School 268
10. Hope Christian 246
11. Santa Fe High School 268
12. East Mountain HS 300
13. Capital HS 333
14. Bernalillo HS 403
Los Alamos Individual Results
4. Rafael Sanchez        16:42.62
10. Shawn Williams      17:15.21
12. Duncan Fuehne      17:29.89
14. Steven Strevell        17:35.01
15. Kevin Parkinson      17:35.21
24. Hunter Swavely       17:59.29
37. Elijah Velasquez      18:33.92
Boys and Girls JV
The boys junior varsity team finished in second place behind Cleveland High School, and the girls team finished in third place. The future of ‘Topper Cross Country looks bright as the JV team finished strong, and the Varsity team is led by very young runners.

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