Pojoaque Boys District Champs, Elkettes Headed to State

by Staff Reporter / Oct 31, 2017 / comments
The Pojoaque Valley High School boys cross country team to first place at the District 2-4A cross country meet Oct. 27 in Santa Fe. (Photo courtesy Chris Roybal)

Pojoaque Boys District Champs, Elkettes Headed to State

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

The Pojoaque Valley High School boys cross country team took first place at the District 2-4A cross country meet Oct. 27 in Santa Fe. The Elks scored 41 points. Host St. Michael’s High School edged out West Las Vegas High School for second place, scoring 55 points to 56 for the Dons. All three schools qualify for the Class 4A state cross country meet Saturday at Rio Rancho High School.

“They really came through,” Pojoaque Coach Alan Lockridge said. “Districts is tough because the field is so small. I’m happy.”

The Elks pulled it off by crowding four of their runners into the top 10 finishers. Junior John Hall led the way, coming in fourth with a time of 16 minutes, 30 seconds. He was less than a second behind rival Justin Angel of St. Michael’s, who took third. West Las Vegas’ Miguel Coca took first with a time of 16 minutes, 6 seconds. The Dons’ J. J. Esquibel was second with a time of 16 minutes, 22 seconds.

St. Michael’s Justin Angel, Pojoaque’s John Hall, West Las Vegas’ Isaiah P, Pojoaque’s Avery Torrezaiz. (Photo courtesy Chris Roybal)

Pojoaque senior Avery Torrez came in seventh with a time of 17 minutes, 15 seconds. Freshman Santiago Romero was ninth with a time of 17 minutes, 25 seconds for Pojoaque and senior Mario Santisytevan was 10th with a time of 17 minutes, 28 seconds for the Elks.

With junior Gabriel Huerta and freshman Zack Hall nursing injuries, Lockridge was concerned about his fifth runner. Another runner came through for the Elks.

“Son of a gun, Donovan (Lujan) out of the blue steps up and runs a solid five for us,” Lockridge said.

Lujan finished 11th with a time of 17 minutes, 41 seconds as Pojoaque’s fifth runner. Jesiah Martinez finished 17th and Joseph Gutierrez came in 18th for the Elks. Hall was 24th and Huerta 25th for Pojoaque.

The Elks look to have a solid shot at coming back from the state cross country met with a trophy, possibly a blue one for first place. Hall should lead the way and finish in the top 10 and possibly top five runners. Defending Class 4A state champion Navajo Prep School looks solid and is running in the same tight pack that earned them first place last season. Santa Fe Indian School won the District 5-4A championship and looks like a contender at state as well. Thomas Lucero leads the Braves. West Las Vegas has three solid runners who could finish in the top 10 at state, with Coca contending for the individual state championship. The Dons lack the depth to contend for the team title. St. Michael’s, with three good runners, has the same problem with its lack of depth for their fourth and fifth runners. Sandia Prep’s Epherem Zarai could contend for the individual title.

“State’s not free,” Lockridge said. “The attitude is good and we’re trying to keep ourselves ready. We want to go to state with pretty fresh legs.”


ELKETTES

The Pojoaque Valley girls cross country team started the season with the goal of getting back to the Class 4A state cross country meet after not qualifying for state last season. The Elkettes achieved their goal at the District 2-4A cross country meet, slipping by rival St. Michael’s into third place, scoring 69 points to 73 points for the Lady Horsemen.

“We knew it would be close,” Coach Lockridge said. “The girls did come through.”

Defending Class 4A state champion Taos High School took first place with 33 points. That was despite the absence of defending Class 4A state individual champion Cora Cannedy, who rested for the district meet. Robertson High School came in second with 46 points.

Leading the way for Pojoaque was the tandem of senior Consuelo Quintana and sophomore Michaela Martinez. Quintana finished fifth with a time of 20 minutes, 49 seconds. Martinez was right behind her in sixth place with a time of 21 minutes.

Pojoaque’s Consuelo Quintana (front), Robertson’s Makayla Quintana and Pojoaque’s Michaela Martinez (Photo courtesy Chris Poybal)

“I’m so happy Consuelo stepped in,” Lockridge said. “Mic’s (Martinez) just stepping up.”

Sophomore Amerie Onesalt returned after sitting out a week and finished 17th with a time of 21 minutes, 37 seconds. Senior Dallas Archibald finished 20th with a time of 22 minutes, 9 seconds. Senior Danielle Jimenez was 23rd with a time of 22 minutes, 38 seconds as Pojoaque’s fifth runner.

Pojoaque’s Danielle Jimenez, Taylor Roybal, Alicia Sanchez. (Photo courtesy Chris Roybal)

“Dallas, she’s solid,” Lockridge said. “Danielle stepped up and got a good fifth for us.”

Junior Taylor Roybal was 24th and Adrianna Quintana finished 26th for Pojoaque. Alicia Sanchez came in 27th and Jessica Roybal was 29th for the Elkettes.

Despite the absence of Cannedy, Taos swept the top three spots. Ella Katz took first place with a time of 20 minutes. Erin Jones finished second and Alyx Master was third for the Lady Tigers. Robertson’s Makayla Quintana was fourth.

Taos appears to be a solid favorite to repeat as state champion. Shiprock High School will contend for a trophy and Santa Fe Indian School has a shot at a top three finish, as does Robertson.

The New Mexico state cross country championships will be held Saturday (11/4) at Rio Rancho High School.