The Hilltopper Girls Cross Country team fresh off their second place finish at the state meet. Photo by Dr Kurt Steinhaus
By RJ MONTAÑO
Los Alamos Daily Post
RIO RANCHO – The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls’ cross country team put together an impressive showing at the New Mexico Activities Association’s state meet held at Rio Rancho High School on Saturday. The ‘Toppers finished with a team total 69 points, which was good enough for a second place finish and a new red trophy to display at Griffith Gym.
Los Alamos was led by freshman runner Lidia Appell who finished in fifth place overall with a time of 19:47.05. Eighth grade ‘Topper runner Norissa Valdez followed with an eighth place overall finish in 19:56.35.
“We were kind of in a funny place this year with Academy being such a heavy favorite, and us with a huge lead on third place, we were kind of in no man’s land,” Head Coach Kathy Hipwood said during the awards ceremony. “They really put down a great effort today and overcame a lot this year so we’re really proud of how they finished.”
The ‘Toppers’ three and four runners finished in a pack, taking 14th and 15th place overall. Mabel Pyle finished with a time of 20:52.75, and Marin Kelly less than a second later at 20:53.35.
Abby Beus capped the ‘Topper scoring finishing in 27th place with a time of 21:36.55.
St. Pius runner Jaque Pinos dominated the race start to finish, distancing herself from the field to take the individual title in a time of 18:42.40, well ahead of Albuquerque Academy runner Carly Wall who took second place in a time of 19:26.55.
Los Alamos Individual
5. Lidia Appell 19:47.05
8. Norissa Valdez 19:56.35
14. Mabel Pyle 20:52.75
15. Marin Kelly 20:53.35
27. Abby Beus 21:36.55
(39.) Amaya Coblentz 22:10.85
(40.) Paulina Burnside 22:16.05
Overall Team Scores
Kathy and Rob Hipwood coaching the Hilltoppers during the NMAA state meet. Photo by Blake Wood
Lidia Appell and Norissa Valdez lead a pack of runners at the NMAA state meet. Photo by Blake Wood