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Week in Review: A look back at the top sports stories in northern New Mexico

FOOTBALL

MILLS BACK IN NM: Former University of New Mexico defensive coordinator Jeff Mills has returned to the state as head coach of New Mexico Highlands University.

“Our coaching staff will hit the ground running,” Mills said. “I see no reason why we shouldn’t attract some of the greatest players in New Mexico and beyond.”

Mills comes to Las Vegas after spending the 2014 season as the defensive line coach at Indiana State. Also assisting with the special teams unit, Mills helped guide the Sycamores to the NCAA Playoffs for the first time in 30 years.

Prior to his stint in Terre Haute, Ind., Mills served as defensive coordinator in 2012 and 2013 with New Mexico, helping the Lobos defense see dramatic improvement from 2011 to 2012.

TRACK & FIELD

NMHU AT THE TOP: For the first time in New Mexico Highlands University history, the Cowboys were named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association top squad in the final poll before the DII indoor championships in Birmingham, Ala.

In addition, Salcia Slack was named the south-central region’s female athlete of the year, while coach Bob DeVries was named the region’s coach of the year and Patrick Johnson was named assistant coach of the year.

“It is rewarding for the track and field program, and athletics as a whole, to see such hard work and dedication by the entire team pay off,” athletic director Jeff Falkner said. “It has been a great day, learning we are the top-ranked team in the nation and then winning these honors.

UPCOMING THINGS TO SEE OR DO:

HOCKEY: Los Alamos and Taos high school will play for the New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey pure division championship at 5:15 p.m. Saturday at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center.

MOUNTAINEERING: Brian Kettering, a member of the Los Alamos Mountaineers Club, will give a presentation Wednesday about reaching the top summit in each state.

Kettering’s presentation, “High Pointing Gets Addictive,” will begin at 7 p.m. at the Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos.

HIKE: Geologist Scott Renbarger will lead an interpretative hike Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cerrillos Hills State Park. Costs is $5 parking fee. For more information, call 474-0196.

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