The Pojoaque Valley High School girls cross country team took second place at the Capital City Invitational meet Sept. 29 in Santa Fe. Pictured above are team members: Alexis Romero (left), Alicia Sanchez, Taylor Roybal, Amerie Onesalt, Mia Vigil, Michaela Martinez (photo by Chris Roybal).
By George Morse Sports and Outdoors
Pojoaque Takes Second at Capital City XC
The Pojoaque Valley High School boys cross country team took second place at the Capital City Invitational Sept. 29 at the Municipal Recreation Complex. Pojoaque’s girls cross country team also took second place at Capital City. The meet saw eight teams and a total of 55 runners competing in the boys race. A total of 41 runners and six teams competed for the girls title.
Clovis High School took first place in the boys race and placed its top five runners in the top 10, scoring an impressive 23 points. The Wildcats were led by sophomore Jerrick Maldonado, who took first place with a fast time of 15 minutes, 51 seconds.
Chasing Maldonado and nearly achieving his goal of completing a race in under 16 minutes was Pojoaque senior John Hall. Hall took second place with a time of 16 minutes, .03 seconds. Hall, fifth in last year’s Class 4A state championship race, is working to see how high he can go this year.
“He did a bangup job,” Pojoaque Coach Alan Lockridge said. “He came so close to breaking 16 (minutes). He wants to see how fast he can go.”
Pojoaque senior John Hall came in second at the Capital City In vitational with a time of 16 minutes, .03 seconds. He almost achieved his goal of finishing a race in less than 16 minutes (photo by Chris Roybal).
Three more Clovis runners – Jon Fuentes, TJ Gregg and Jose Salas – crossed the finish line before Pojoaque’s next runner came in. Sophomore Santiago Romero took sixth place with a time of 16 minutes, 52 seconds. Next runner for the Elks was John Hall’s younger brother sophomore Zach Hall. He came in 13th with a time 17 minutes, 32 seconds.
Pojoaque's Santiago Romero (front) and Zach Hall lead a pack of runners from Clovis High School at the Capital City Invitational. Romero took sixth place and Hall was 13th for the Elks (photo by Chris Roybal).
Coming in 16th for Pojoaque was junior Joseph Gutierrez with a time of 17 mintes, 50 seconds. Pojoaque’s fifth runner was junior Sebastian Rubio. Rubio, who also plays soccer and kicks extra points for Pojoaque’s football team, came in 19th overall with a time of 17 minutes, 55.30 seconds.
The Elks scored a total of 56 points. Also competing for Pojoaque was sophomore Michael Apodaca, who came in 29th with a time of 18 minutes, 59 seconds. Senior Ricky Sandoval finished 43rd for Pojoaque with a time of 20 minutes.
Santa Fe Prep School finished third in the team standings with 108 points.
“I’m really, really happy,” Coach Lockridge said. “I’m working them hard compared to early in the year because I think they’re capable of doing it. Anything I ask them to do, they don’t ask questions. They go out and do it.”
The Pojoaque boys cross country team took second place at the Capital City Invitational (photo by Chris Roybal).
The Elkettes grabbed second place behind first-place Taos High School, who are the defending Class 4A state champions. The Lady Tigers were paced by freshman Alyx Mastor, who took first place with a time of 19 minutes, 43 seconds. Valencia High School junior Raquel Chavez took second place and Taos sophomore Ella Katz came in third.
Pojoaque was paced by junior Amerie Onesalt, who came in seventh with a time of 20 minutes, 51 seconds. Junior Mia Vigil finished 10th for the Elkettes with a time of 21 minutes, 20 seconds. Junior Michaela Martinez was 11th with a time of 21 minutes, 28 seconds.
Pojoaque's Mia Vigil (left), Michaela Martinez (center) and Amerie Onesalt packed in nicely at the Capital City Invitational. Onesalt finished seventh, Vigil 10th and Martinez 11th (photo by Chris Roybal).
Senior Taylor Roybal came in 17th for Pojoaque with a time of 22 minutes, 30 seconds. Junior Alicia Sanchez was Pojoaque’s fifth runner, finishing 24th with a time of 22 minutes, 50 seconds.
“Amerie is stepping up,” Coach Lockridge said. “Alicia ran better than she ever has. It looks like I’ve got my fifth runner.”
Taos scored a total of 35 points. Pojoaque took second with 69 points. Clovis was close behind with 71 points in third.
Also running for the Elkettes was senior Alexis Romero, who came in 30th with a time of 23 minutes, 48 seconds.
“”They packed up nice and did some of their best running of the year,” Coach Lockridge said.
Pojoaque faces tougher competition this season than they have in the past, with cross country powerhouses Los Alamos High School and Albuquerque Academy both joining Class 4A, along with strong runners and teams from Kirtland Central High School and Miyamura High School. Taking home a trophy from the state cross country meet will be a lot harder, with Los Alamos and Academy likely battling for first and second place.
“At the beginning of the season, I really didn’t know what I had,” Coach Lockridge said. “We’re not going to beat the world. I’m am really pleased with what I have.”
Pojoaque will be competing Friday (10/5) at the John Grimley Memorial cross country meet hosted Santa Fe Indian School at San Felipe Pueblo.
Espanola Valley High School competed in the Capital City Invitational. The boys team took seventh place in the team standings with a total of 179 points. The Lady Sundevils did not have a full team and had three runners in the girls race.
Pacing the boys for Espanola was Terance Sanchez, who came in 22nd with a time of 18 minutes, 22.37 seconds. Zac Salazar was 32nd with a time of 19 minutes, 08.02 seconds. Nikko Pacheco came in 40th for Espanola, followed by teammate Jose Castro in 41st place. Edgar Sanchez was the Sundevils fifth runner, coming in 44th. Espanola scored 179 points.
Also running for the Sundevils were Raymond Lujan, who came in 45th and Andray Pana. Pana came in 49th.
For the Lady Sundevils, Jayden Archuleta came in 25th with a time of 22 minutes, 52 seconds. Megan Rael was 27th, clocking in at 22 minutes, 57 seconds. Alysia Martinez was 34th for Espanola.
Espanola will also be competing at the John Grimley Memorial cross country meet.