Los Alamos High School Coaches Selected For Prestigious Awards

LAHS Boys Cross Country Coach Steven Montoya with his wife and assistant coach Lindsey Montoya and their daughters Grace, a 7th grader at Los Alamos Middle School, and Emma, a LAHS junior and member of the girls’ varsity cross country team. Photo Courtesy LAPS

LAHS Girls Cross Country Coach Kathy Hipwood during the state competition. Photo Courtesy LAPS

LAHS Girls Soccer Coach Ann Cernicek. Photo courtesy Santa Fe New Mexican


Los Alamos High School Cross Country coaches Kathy Hipwood and Steven Montoya have been selected as the 2021 Girls and Boys  (respectively) High School Cross Country Coaches of the Year for the state of New Mexico by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

“This honor is based upon your leadership and the success of the Los Alamos High School Cross Country team throughout the 2021 season,” noted Sam Seemes, CEO of the USTFCCCA. “It’s also a reflection of your hard work and the dedication of the student-athletes, the coaching staff, and the administration of the school.”

The USTFCCCA High School Coach of the Year Award Program is sponsored by the United States Marine Corps. Started in 2014, the program recognizes the best high school boys’ and girls’ coaches, at both the state and national levels in cross country and track & field. A boys’ and girls’ coach from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia are chosen at the end of each respective season as state-by-state winners, and from there, those 102 honorees are vetted, and two national award winners are selected.

“The Fall season was a special conclusion to a lot of hard work and emotional investment through the uncertain time of COVID,” said Coach Hipwood. “The recognition is appreciated, and I feel honored to have shared the experience with so many amazing kids and the coaches that helped on the journey.”

“I’d like to thank my boys and my assistant coaches,” added Coach Montoya. “This award typically goes to the coach of the best team in the state and I know that we, as a program, cannot become the best in New Mexico because of the effort of one person. Whatever we accomplish, we accomplish because of everyone’s efforts. I owe this award to my team!”

Both the Boys and Girls cross country teams were named the 2021 4A State Championships last November. 

In addition, Head Girls Soccer Coach Ann Cernicek was named the 2021 Girl’s High School (West) Regional Coach of the Year for the Small Public Classification by the United Soccer Coaches. The United Soccer Coaches is the world’s largest soccer coaches’ organization that serves members at every level of the game. “This is a very prestigious honor for you, your school and your program,” noted National Chairman Doug Kidd.

The girls’ soccer team was the State semi-finalists last November.

Congratulations to our Los Alamos High School coaches on these honors.