Local Teams Face Off At Los Alamos XC Meet

by Staff Reporter / Oct 24, 2017 / comments
The Pojoaque Valley High School boys cross country team at the start of the Los Alamos Invitational Oct. 20 in Los Aamos. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Local Teams Face Off At Los Alamos XC Meet

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

Los Alamos Municipal Golf Course was the site of the Los Alamos Invitational cross country meet Oct. 20 in Los Alamos. Pojoaque Valley High School competed against several of the top teams in the state, including defending Class 5A boys and girls state champions Albuquerque Academy. Since 1998, either Academy or host Los Alamos High School has won the boys state championship in their class. Since 2000, either Academy or Los Alamos has won the girls state championship-except for 2007, when the Belen High School girls managed to crash the Academy/Los Alamos monopoly of boys and girls state championships.

Defending boys Class 3A state champion Pecos High School, along with defending Class 4A state girls champion Taos High School, were among the other top teams competing at Los Alamos. Class 6A Cleveland High School of Rio Rancho, which finished fourth in Class 6A boys and third in Class 6A girls last year at state, also competed at Los Alamos.

Pojoaque finished fifth in the boys team standings with 148 points, the best finish by a Class 4A high school. Academy took first place with 43 points, followed by Cleveland with 45 points. Los Alamos was third with 55 points and Pecos fourth with 112 points.

Leading the way for the Elks was junior John Hall, who came in sixth overall with a time of 17 minutes, 8.63 seconds. Cleveland’s David Apodaca was first in 16 minutes, 21.86 seconds.

​ Pojoaque’s John Hall finished sixth at the Los Alamos Invitational. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Another runner from Cleveland, Yonas Haile, was second with a time of 16 minutes, 25.71 seconds. Julian Garcia of Academy was third. Los Alamos’ freshman Rafael Sanchez came in fourth and Academy’s A. J. Kedge came in fifth.

Pojoaque’s John Hall runs to the finish line. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

After Hall, there was a significant gap between him and Pojoaque’s next runners. Freshman Santiago Romero came in 29th with a time of 18 minutes, 6.79 seconds.

 Pojoaque’s Santiago Romero (front) and Mario Santistevan (back). Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Senior Mario Santistevan was close behind Romero in 31st place with a time of 18 minutes, 8.34 seconds.

 Pojoaque’s Mario Santistevan. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

The Elks Avery Torrez, a senior, normally runs just behind Hall for Pojoaque. He was nursing an injury at Los Alamos and came in 39th with a time of 18 minutes, 44.54 seconds.

​Pojoaque’s Avery Torrez matches strides with a runner from Albuquerque Academy. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Pojoaque’s fifth runner was sophomore Donovan Lujan, who finished 43rd with a time of 18 minutes, 58.96 seconds. Sophomore Joseph Gutierrez was 45th and senior Jesiah Martinez 56th for Pojoaque.

In addition to the injury to Torrez, the Elks were without junior Gabriel Huerta, who normally runs varsity and who did not run at Los Alamos.

Hall felt he went out too fast trying to stay with the runners from Cleveland.

“I need to learn to pace myself a little bit better,” Hall said. “I took the lead too soon. It felt pretty good.”

Hall missed the presence of St. Michael’s High School’s Justin Angel, who he has been chasing all season. Angel did not run at Los Alamos, but the St. Michael’s team did. The Horsemen finished sixth behind Pojoaque with 182 points.

Pojoaque’s John Hall. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

St. Michael’s and Pojoaque look to battle it out Friday (10/27) at the District 2-4A cross country meet at the Municipal Recreation Complex in Santa Fe. West Las Vegas High School could challenge the Horsemen and the Elks. Hall and Angel will likely be battling for the individual district championship, along with Miguel Coca and James Esquibel of West Las Vegas.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Judging by the results from the 2017 Los Alamos Invitational, both Academy and Los Alamos will once again battle it out in Class 5A to see who is the best in the state.

Academy runners finished 3rd, 5th, 8th, 11th and 16th at Los Alamos. The Hilltoppers came in 4th, 10th, 12th, 14th and 15th. The one team perhaps capable of challenging Los Alamos and Academy at state is Kirtland Central High School. Kirtland Central is led by Kashon Harrison, who has the fastest time in the state among all classes and is the favorite to win the Class 5A individual championship.


GIRLS

The Pojoaque Valley High School girls cross country team at the start of the Los Alamos Invitational Oct. 20 in Los Alamos. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

In the girls varsity race at Los Alamos, Cleveland High School finished first in the team standings with 48 points. Taos High School was not far behind, coming in second with 51 points. Academy came in third with 60 points and Los Alamos was fourth with 55 points.

Cleveland’s Amanda Mayoral took first place with a time of 18 minutes, 38.07 seconds. She was almost a minute ahead of Taos’ Cora Cannedy, who was second with a time of 19 minutes, 32.19 seconds. Los Alamos’ freshman Lidia Appell was third with a time of 19 minutes, 40.75 seconds. Academy’s Zoe Hunter was fourth with a time of 19 minutes, 50.73 seconds.

The Lady Chargers finished 4th, 8th, 12th, 17th and 19th at Los Alamos. The Lady Hilltoppers finished 3rd, 7th, 16th, 18

th and 31st.

It looks like Academy and Los Alamos will battle for the girls Class 5A state championship again. Taos appears to be a heavy favorite to repeat as Class 4A state champion with Cannedy possibly winning the individual championship after finishing second last season.

Pojoaque finished eighth in the team standings with 190 points. The Elkettes were fourth among the Class 4A teams competing at Los Alamos and third among the teams from District 2-4A. Taos, Hope Christian High School (5th) and St. Michael’s High School (7th) finished ahead of Pojoaque in the team standings.

The Elkettes were without junior Amerie Onesalt, normally one of their top three runners. She was resting an injury. Pojoaque was paced by sophomore Michaela Martinez and senior Consuelo Quintana.

 

​ Pojoaque’s Michaela Martinez (front) and Consuelo Qunitana finished 21st and 22nd at the Los Alamos Invitational. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Martinez finished 21st overall with a time of 21 minutes, 31.19 seconds. Quintana was less than two seconds behind Martinez in 22nd place with a time of 21 minutes, 32.98 seconds.

​Pojoaque’s Consuelo Quintana. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Without Onesalt, there was a big gap to Pojoaque’s next group of runners. Senior Danielle Jimenez was 51st with a time of 23 minutes, 36.17 seconds.

Pojoaque’s Danielle Jimenez. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Junior Taylor Roybal came in 53rd with a time of 23 minutes, 47.46 seconds.

Pojoaque’s Taylor Roybal. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Junior Adrianna Quintana was 56th with a tie of 24 minutes, 7.26 seconds as Pojoaque’s fifth runner.

The Elkettes are looking to qualify for state after failing to do so last season. They need to finish in the top three teams at the District 2-4A meet. Taos has a lock on first place. With Onesalt, Pojoaque could challenge St. Michael’s for second place. Robertson High School, which did not run at Los Alamos, will also compete for one of the top three spots at the District 2-4A meet.