Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Los Alamos Prep Cross-Country Team Heading to the Hills.(Sports)

Byline: Harold Smith For the Journal

* The 'Toppers try to put the devastating Cerro Grande fire behind them

You don't have to be a nuclear engineer to fathom why they're called the Hilltoppers.

Brad Skidmore and his Los Alamos cross-country teammates certainly benefit from their city's surrounding hills while running their practices up and down and back up again steep trails at elevations at and above 7,200 feet.

But the landscape has changed. When viewed from the high school campus, the vista is marred by the expansive scar of the Cerro Grande fire. The black, pencil-like remnants of the now-ashen forest stretch across the entire western horizon. …

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