‘Topper Girls Win 7th Straight XC State Championship!

The Topper Boys and Girls State Teams. Photo by Blake Wood
 
The traditional striped legs for State, from left, Elise Koskelo, Sophia Galvez, Emily Mercer, Talia Dreicer, Marin Kelly, Paulina Burnside, Zoe Hemez, Nica Vasquez and Maddy Foley. Photo by Blake Wood
 
By BLAKE WOOD
LAHS Coach
 
Saturday was a terrific day for the Los Alamos High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams at the State Championship in Rio Rancho!
 
Sporting their traditional candy-striped legs, the Topper Girls won their 7th State Championship in a row, putting four in the top-10 to accumulate only 27 points – 40 points less than 2nd place Albuquerque Academy.
 
They had the best performance of the day across all classifications. The Toppers were lead by senior Talia Dreicer, who placed second individually in a time of 18:37 – the third fastest time of the day across all classifications. Close behind Talia were seniors Sophia Galvez and Maddy Foley, and sophomore Zoe Hemez, in 3rd, 4th, and 6th places respectively – each earning All-State honors.
 
Freshman Marin Kelly rounded out the Topper scorers in 19th place, with Senior Nica Vasquez just one place behind in 20th. Freshman Paulina Burnside completed the Topper lineup in 41st place. Cross Country is scored by adding the places of the first five runners for each team, after taking out individual qualifiers whose teams did not score. Low score wins.

The Boys were oh-so-close, placing 2nd with 48 points – only 3 points behind Albuquerque Academy, but this was a remarkable performance since they came in 30 point underdogs.
 
The Boys were lead by senior Connor Bailey, who placed 5th overall in 16:35 – delivering his finest race of the season when it really counted. Bailey was followed by seniors Hayden Walker and John Rees in 7th and 8th places respectively – each earning All-State honors. The ‘Topper scoring was completed by senior Victor Kim and junior Kai Coblentz in 11th and 17th places respectively.  
 
Sophomore Kyler Parkinson and junior Chris Buntain rounded out the Topper team in places 22 and 23 – with nearly identical times of 17:25, Parkinson and Buntain were by far the fastest 6th and 7th men in the race. There were 120 toeing the line in the 5A Boys race.
 
A number of the ‘Topper athletes will run as non-LAHS-affiliated “Los Alamos XC” at the NXR Nike Cross Southwest Regional Championship Nov. 21 in Casa Grande, Ariz.
 
Senior Talia Dreicer was the top Topper with a 2nd place finish in the 5A Girls race. Photo by Blake Wood
 
Senior Connor Bailey was the top Topper with a 5th place finish in the 5A Boys race. Photo by Blake Wood
 
The traditional Red and Green photo with the Los Alamos and Albuquerque Academy Boys teams following their race. Photo by Blake Wood
 
Senior John Rees, here looking fresh two miles into the race, was the third Topper finisher in 8th place overall. Photo by Blake Wood
 
Senior Hayden Walker was the second Topper finisher in 7th place overall. Photo by Blake Wood
 
Seniors Sophia Galvez and Maddy Foley at the two mile point. Galvez and Foley finished 3rd and 4th overall in the 5A Girls race. Photo by Blake Wood
 
The Topper boys, exhausted but justifiably elated after their race. From left, Victor Kim, Connor Bailey, Kai Coblentz, Chris Buntain, Hayden Walker, Kyler Parkinson and John Rees. Photo by Blake Wood
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