Escalante’s Anthony Paul Martinez(left), Escalante’s Waylon Hinds, Mesa Vista’s Frankie Ortiz, McCurdy’s Gabriel Huerta and Dulce’s Sean Vicenti in the 100-meter dash at the Northern Rio Grande meet. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily
NRG Track Meet
By George Morse Sports and Outdoors
State-qualifying standards were falling left and right at the northern Rio Grande track and field meet April 22 at Penasco. The competition between eight schools from Class 2A and Class 3A came down to the wire in the girls competition with some results still in doubt. The boys competition saw defending Class 3A state champion Pecos High School dominate. Other teams celebrated first-place finishes and state-qualifying performances as well.
In the boys team competition, Pecos High School easily finished in first place, scoring 154 points. The Panthers dominated the distance events. Julian Garcia won the 3200-meter run. Michael Montano took the 1600-meter run and Isaac CdeBaca won the 800-meter run. Pecos earned a total of 43 points in the distance running events.
Escalante’s Anthony Paul Martinez falls across the finish line as Pecos’ Carlos Cordova barely passes him in the 1600-meter relay at the Northern Rio Grande track and field meet . Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post
Escalante High School finished second with 78 points and McCurdy Charter School took third with 54 points. Mesa Vista High School was fourth with 45 points. Dulce High School was sixth with 40 points.
In the individual events, Mesa Vista’s Frankie Ortiz took first place in the long jump, 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash. He took second in the 100-meter dash to Pecos’ Isaiah Valdez. Ortiz has qualified for state in all four events in Class 2A. He has a favorite.
“The long jump, I love that event,” Ortiz said. “I have the best team in the world. It’s more exciting to have my team cheering for me.”
Other multiple first-place finishers were Pecos‘ Carlos Cordova, who cleared a state-qualifying height of 6 feet in the high jump and also won the triple jump. Questa’s David Trujillo won the javelin with a state-qualifying throw of 156 feet, 6.5 inches and also took the discus.
Escalante’s A. J. Blea helped his team by winning the 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles, both in state-qualifying times. His biggest contribution may have been in the 1600-meter relay. Blea ran the opening leg of the relay in 53 seconds. It helped propel the Lobos to a state-qualifying time.
“It was just what we needed,” Escalante Coach Isaac Royston said.
Blea handed off to Waylon Hinds, who then passed the baton to Randy Ferrell. Ferrell handed off to Anthony Paul Martinez, who ran the anchor leg. Martinez fought to hold off a challenge from Pecos’ Cordova. Although some felt Martinez crossed the finish line first, it was ruled that Cordova had just nipped Martinez at the end.
Although they had to settle for second place, the Lobos had finished with a state-qualifying time of 3 minutes, 44.14 seconds.
Cordova may have been pushed into his effort by an earlier race at the meet. In the 800-meter relay, Cordova was running the anchor leg for Pecos, while McCurdy’s Gabriel Huerta was carrying the baton for the Bobcats. McCurdy had chased Pecos for the first three 200-meter legs. Huerta pushed himself and caught Cordova at the finish line, winning by .20 seconds. The Bobcats turned in a state-qualifying time of one minute, 35.74 seconds. Pecos also came in with a state-qualifying time.
“It was painful,” Huerta said. “I’ve been working really hard at practice and that’s been helping me push out for the 200 (meters).”
Marcos Gonzales, Ernesto Martinez and Jayson Bustos ran the other 200-meter legs of the relay for McCurdy.
McCurdy won the 400-meter relay with the same group of runners. Pecos won the 1600-meter medley relay.
The Escalante High School Lady Lobos took first place at the Northern Rio Grande track and field meet April 22 at Penasco. Escalante scored 97.5 points to edge past Questa High School, which finished second with 95 points. Pecos High School was third with 87 points.
However, reviewing the scoring sheet, Penasco High School received seven points in the triple jump that should have gone to Questa, which would give the Lady Wildcats 102 points.
Questa’s Helena Padilla took first place in the triple jump, but Questa did not receive the points. Penasco did not have anyone place in the top six in the triple jump, but received seven points. Taking the seven points away from Penasco would give the Lady Panthers 35 points and put them in fifth place. Before, they were tied for fourth with McCurdy Charter School with 42 points.
Padilla also won the long jump event. She has qualified for state in both jumping events. The Lady Wildcats also won the 400-meter and 800-meter relays, both in state-qualifying times. AnnaMarie Sanchez took first in the 200-meter run and the javelin.
Escalante’s Tori Salazar took first place in the shot put with a state-qualifying heave of 32 feet, .25 inches. She also took first in the discus. Hailey Whitaker won the 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles, both in state-qualifying times, for the Lady Lobos.
Penasco’s Carly Gonzales won the 1600-meter run and the 3200-meter run. She has qualified for state in both events.
McCurdy’s Alyssa Edmunds won the 100-meter dash at the Northern Rio Grande . Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post
McCurdy’s Alyssa Edmunds, a state qualifier in the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash, won the 100-meter dash at the Northern Rio Grande. Mora High School’s Natalia Marrufo won the 800-meter run in state-qualifying time of 2 minutes, 37.04 seconds. Marrufo also anchored Mora’s 1600-meter medley relay team that took first place with a state-qualifying time of 4 minutes, 54.34 seconds.
Mesa Vista’s Abrianna Griego, a state-qualifier in the 400-meter run, won that event at the Northern Rio Grande. The Lady Trojan’s Darien Halder cleared a state-qualifying 4 feet, 10 inches to win the high jump. Mesa Vista took third in the 400-meter relay with a state-qualifying time of 54.84 seconds.
Pecos won the final event, the 1600-meter relay.
All the teams participating at the Northern Rio Grande will have their respective district track and field meets this week. The Class A-3A state track and field meet will be held May 5-6 at the Great Friends of the University of New Mexico (UNM) track and field facilities in Albuquerque.
See below for more photos from the meet, courtesy of John Denne.