Hilltopper Girls Seek to Return to Top 4A »Albuquerque Journal

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Los Alamos hurdler and high jumper Bailey Yost, according to MileSplitNM, is among the many female Hilltoppers track and field athletes who top Class 4A in their events. (Courtesy of Blake Wood)

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There wasn’t much room for other athletes when looking at the best times and distances for the high school girls’ grade 4A track and field results.

Los Alamos pretty much dominates the charts.

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Of the 20 main events, Hilltoppers are seeded but five, according to NM.MileSplit.com.

That, of course, doesn’t guarantee anything when the state championship meet is going on. Small schools run Thursday through Saturday, with 4A on June 25 and 5A on June 26, all at the UNM Track and & Soccer complex.

“Really, the girl group that we have, we have a very strong girls team,” said coach Ernest Martinez. “The girls who came here, the results speak for themselves. They’ve been dedicated throughout this COVID madness. “

While the ultimate goal is a blue trophy – Los Alamos haven’t won it since 2012 – simply preparing the athletes to perform at their best is the immediate goal.

“The way I try to build this program, we try not to be so absorbed in the results,” said Martinez, who is in his second season with the team. “The girls expect them to keep improving and setting our best times at the end of the year. Keep growing and improving, and the results will take care of themselves.

The Hilltoppers entered training in January quite disappointed with the virus disruption of the 2020 season as they also anticipated a good ending at the time.

“Absolutely,” said Bailey Yost, a recent graduate in hurdles and high jumper. “He was one of my big drivers for working so hard this season and even the whole year between last season and this year. I kept thinking about the season I didn’t have. I worked a lot on my own. ”

It’s also pretty representative of the rest of the squad, she said.

“We have known for a long time that we have a very strong team but this year everything is going very well,” said Yost. We have a really strong team. Almost every event has someone who can excel. This automatically gives us an advantage.

Yet with the virus reducing the numbers to some extent, the program needed girls willing to sacrifice themselves and train to the fullest, said junior middle distance runner Emma Montoya.

“After one of the first practices the coach told us, ‘You have to make a commitment to work hard every day. At the end of the day, someone is going to be on the top step of the podium. It’s up to you to be there. We know we are at the top of the leaderboards and we know we can earn a state. “

Yost has been one of the leaders of the team and has really taken a big step forward with his performance, Martinez said.

“She’s been strong in the past, but she really improved her game and her fitness,” he said. “She competes at a different level than she normally does.”

And Montoya, along with fellow state championship cross-country team runners like Hailey McDowell, contributed significantly.

“Our distance girls, coming out of cross country, are a really strong unit,” Martinez said. “They all ran very well. Hailey McDowell is not a surprise, but a pleasant development as she is now leading the 800 and two miles (1600).

The trio of sprinters Holly Sanchez, Nyla Lee and Tia Hartzol “have established themselves as one of the best sprinters in the state,” he said.

And with rising sophomores Angelina Passalacqua, Siena Rolfe and Syana Sanchez also contributing regularly, the Hilltoppers are teeming with top talent and are present throughout events, which means another Blue Trophy could very well. well be at the head of the mesa soon.

“It’s something I brought up last year when I took over the team,” Martinez said. “I want to bring titles to Los Alamos. Los Alamos is just always, historically, such a strong program. Having experienced crown titles in Taos, this is something I wanted to reestablish here.

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