Pojoaque Boys First, Girls Third At Northern Challenge

by Staff Reporter / Oct 12, 2017 / comments
Santa Fe Indian School’s Thomas Lucero (left) was passed by Pojoaque’s John Hall (middle) at the Northern New Mexico Challenge cross country meet. Hall would win the race while Lucero would finish second. Pojoaque’s Avery Torrez (right) finished third. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Pojoaque Boys First, Girls Third At Northern Challenge

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

The Pojoaque Valley High School boys cross country team added their fourth first-place trophy this season at the Northern New Mexico Challenge cross country meet Oct. 7 at San Ildefonso Pueblo. The Elks took first place with a total of 30 points. Santa Fe Indian School came in second with53 points. Class A-2A Mesa Vista high School was third with 121 points.

“We’re doing some good things today,” Pojoaque Coach Alan Lockridge said.

Leading the way for Pojoaque was junior John Hall, who passed Santa Fe Indian School’s Thomas Lucero after the two-mile mark and held off a challenge by Lucero, who took second place. Hall’s time of 15 minutes, 48 seconds was a second faster than Lucero’s.

Close behind Hall and Lucero was Pojoaque senior Avery Torrez, who came in third with a time of 16 minutes, 2 seconds. All season long, Hall and Torrez have led the way for Pojoaque. Torrez has taken first place at two meets this season. Hall was the one who grabbed his first first-place finish at San Ildefonso.

“Having John and Avery switching like that is great,” Coach Lockridge said. “I don’t mind who it is as long as it’s green (Pojoaque’s school color).”

The competition between Hall and Torrez is pushing each of them in a good way.

“We push each other,” Torrez said. “It’s not jealousy. We just want to see who can go faster.”

The flat course made for fast times and all of Pojoaque’s runners improved their times on the season. Freshman Santiago Romero has consistently been Pojoaque’s third runner and he grabbed fifth place at San Ildefonso with a time of 16 minutes, 23 seconds. Senior Mario Santistevan had his best time and finish of the season, coming in eighth in 16 minutes, 42 seconds. That gave the Elks four runners among the top 10 finishers.

Freshman Zach Hall, John’s younger brother, had his best finish and time as well. He came in 13th with a time of 16 minutes, 58 seconds. It was the best pack that Pojoaque has had so far this season.

“We’re competing,” Hall said. “Everyone else is competing. They’re packing up a lot better and running faster times.”

While the boys have shown themselves to be a contender for a state trophy, the performance of the Pojoaque girls team at San Ildefonso also brought a smile to Coach Lockridge’s face. The Elkettes took third place behind defending Class 4A state champion Taos High schools and Class 6A Santa Fe High School. Taos scored 63 points, while Santa Fe had 68 points. Pojoaque wasn’t far behind with 71 points.

Leading the way for Pojoaque was sophomore Michaela Martinez, who has broken away from the middle of the pack and now is one of the Elkettes top three runners.

Pojoaque’s Michaela Martinez finished third at the Northern New Mexico Challenge meet. Photo courtesy Chris Roybal

Martinez had her best finish of the season, coming in third with a time of 19 minutes, 29 seconds. Defending Class A-2A state champion Carly Gonzales of Penasco High School took first in 19 minutes, 2 seconds. Erin Jones of Taos was second in 19 minutes, 25 seconds.

Pojoaque senior Consuelo Quintana and sophomore Amerie Onesalt had been Pojoaque’s first and second runners consistently this season before the emergence of Martinez. They both continued to perform strongly. Quintana was sixth with a time of 19 minutes, 44 seconds. Onesalt was seventh right behind her with a time of 19 minutes, 47 seconds.

Consuelo Quintana finished sixth for Pojoaque at the Northern Cross Country meet last weekend. Photo courtesy Chris Roybal

“During practice and workouts I’ve been trying to keep up with Consuelo and Amerie,” Martinez said. ‘I’ve been listening to Coach Lockridge and pushing myself. I know what my body can do.”

Senior Dallas Archibald came in 26th with a time of 20 minutes, 56 seconds. Senior Alicia Sanchez was 29th with a time of 21 minutes, 12 seconds to complete the scoring for Pojoaque.

The girls’ goal of making it to the Class 4A state cross country meet as a team looks better and better. The Elkettes failed to qualify for state in 2016.

“We’re pushing ourselves,” Martinez said. “I know we can make it. We want to make it.”

As usual, Pojoaque performed well in the junior varsity races as well. The boys took third place and were paced by senior Jesiah Martinez, who came in third with a time of 17 minutes, 18 seconds. The girls took second and Jessica Roybal came in fourth with a time of 21 minutes, 50 seconds.

“They’ve been working hard,” Coach Lockridge said. “The kids have really been doing what I and the coaches wanted. The workouts have been going good.”

 


MESA VISTA

Despite being one of the schools in the state’s smallest classification at the Northern New Mexico Challenge, the Mesa Vista High School Trojans grabbed third place ahead of many bigger schools. More importantly, they beat all the Class A-2A schools that were participating at San Ildefonso.

Mesa Vista is going for a three-peat after winning the Class A-2A state championships in 2015 and 2016. The Trojans are led by senior Brian Gollas, who placed ninth overall with a time of 16 minutes, 44 seconds. The rest of the Trojans are underclassmen. Sophomore Damian Trujillo came in 18th with a time of 17 minutes, 19 seconds. Junior Anthony Vigil was 24th and sophomore Dany Gollas was 27th for the Trojans. Sophomore Alejandro Trujillo came in 43rd to complete the scoring for Mesa Vista.

Mesa Vista’s Brian Gollas finished eighth at the Northern New Mexico Challenge cross country meet Oct. 7 at San Ildefonso Pueblo. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post
The Trojans train on Bureau of Land Management land near the High School and on trails at Ojo caliente Mineral Springs nearby.

“They’re very, very close,” Mesa Vista Coach Jennifer Espinoza said. “They’re family. They’re all here for each other and they don’t want to let each other down.”

The Mesa Vista Lady Trojans managed to field a full team at San Ildefonso. Mesa Vista finished 10th in the team scoring with 312 points. Maryssa Martin paced the Lady Trojans, coming in 51st with a time of 22minutes, 47 seconds. Abrianna Griego was 55th and Aubrianna Martinez 65th for the Lady Trojans. Katalina Vigil finished 70th and Mia Pena 71st for Mesa Vista.

 


PENASCO

Penasco High School sophomore Carly Gonzales is the two-time defending Class A-2A state cross country champion and judging by the way she is running this year, a three-peat is likely.

“Nobody in 2A can run with her,” McCurdy cross country coach Scott Valdez said.

Gonzales proved unbeatable again at the Northern New Mexico Challenge, taking first place by an easy margin. She finished with a time of 19 minutes, 2 seconds. She was 23 seconds ahead od Erin Jones of Taos High School, who took second.

Gonzales helped the Lady Panthers, who are the defending Class A-2A state team champions, finish sixth at San Ildefonso with 116 points. Maricella MacAuley came in 14th for Penasco and Adriana Tafoya finished 20th. Martina Tafoya came in 39th and Ariana MacAuley 42nd for the Lady Panthers.

Penasco unveiled a budding star and perhaps a future champion in the boys race. Eighth-grader Gilbert Valdez came in sixth with a time of 16 minutes, 32 seconds. The diminutive Valdez enjoyed running against the big boys.

“It’s fun,” Valdez said. “I like the experience. It pushes me even more that I can run with these guys.”

Penasco finished 11th in the team standings. Jamie Muniz was 54th and Curtis Roque 60th for the Panthers. Allen Pyne came in 61st and Donovan Mascarenas 75th for Penasco.


MCCURDY

Alain Jayme was the only varsity runner from McCurdy Charter School to compete at San Ildefonso. He finished 47th with a time of 18 minutes, 47 seconds.

All of the above teams will be competing at the Rio Rancho Jamboree cross country meet Saturday (10/14) at Rio rancho High School. The race will be run on the same course that will host the New Mexico State cross country championships for all classes Nov. 4 in Rio Rancho.