Pojoaque’s Valerie Ortiz was hit by this pitch in the third inning against St. Michael’s. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post
Spring Sports Update
By George Morse Sports and Outdoors
The spring sports season is underway at local high schools. Baseball and softball teams have already started playing in tournaments, while there have already been state qualifiers for the state track and field meet. The unseasonably warm and dry weather has been beneficial for all the spring sports so far this season.
In District 2-5A, Los Alamos High School has started the season with a 5-6 record. The Hilltopppers competed at a tournament in Artesia, picking up a victory over Lovington High School 13-4 March 18 after losing o Moriarty High School 22-9 and Santa Teresa High School 6-1 in earlier rounds. Los Alamos has won five straight district titles.
Espanola Valley High School started the season 0-4 before picking up their first win of the season against Mesa Vista High School 10-4 March 14. The Sundevils dropped their first two games at the Jim Pierce Memorial Tournament at St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe before picking up their second win of the season against Raton High School 6-5 March 18 in the final round. Espanola also competes in District 2-5A
Both the Hilltoppers and the Sundevils will face a new rival in District 2-5A. The Albuquerque Academy Chargers will likely be a strong contender for the District 2-5A title.
Pojoaque Valley High School is off to a 4-5 start and picked up a pair of victories at the Jim Pierce tournament to win the consolation round. After dropping their opening game of the tournament 3-1 against Cobre High School, the Elks defeated local rival Espanola Valley 11-7 and Bernalillo High School 2-0 in the consolation championship. Pojoaque has been getting some strong performances on the mound from Nathan Aguilar, who nearly had a no-hitter against Bernalillo. Transfer Chross Jaramillo adds a big bat to the lineup. Jaramillo transferred to Pojoaque after his father, Rick Jaramillo, was named as one of the co-head coaches of the baseball team. Robert Mueller shares the coaching duties with Rick Jaramillo, The Elks look like contenders in District 2-4A.
After finishing as state runnerup the last two seasons in Class 1A, losing to Melrose High School both times in the Class 1A championship game, the McCurdy Charter School Bobcats have moved up to Class 3A. The Bobcats opened their season at the Dexter Wildcat Tournament, where they were 1-2. McCurdy manhandled Jal 32-0 for their lone victory, losing to Pecos High School and Mesilla Valley Christian Academy. The Bobcats will compete in District 2/3-3A.
Mesa Vista High School is 0-3 so far this season. The Trojans will compete in District 5-A/2A.
In District 2-5A softball, Los Alamos is off to a 5-3 start that includes two victories over Class 5A rival St. Pius X High School and a 9-3 win over local rival Pojoaque Valley High School. The Lady Hilltoppers recently dropped a doubleheader to Belen High School. Los Alamos lost its biggest rival in District 2-5A when Bernalillo High School dropped down into Class 4A. Espanola Valley High School and an improving Capital High School will challenge Los Alamos for the District 2-5A, along with Del Norte High School from Albuquerque.
Espanola valley is 3-4 on the season. The Lady Sundevils finished third at the Roseanne Noedel Memorial tournament hosted by St. Michael’s High School last week in Santa Fe. Espanola defeated Raton 16-8 March 18 in the third-place game. Espanola defeated Santa Fe High School 9-8 in their opening game of the tournament and lost to Bernalillo 5-1 in the semifinals.
Pojoaque Valley High School is off to a slow 1-6 start, but picked up their first win of the season 12-4 over Santa Fe High School in the consolation round of the Roseanne Noedel tournament. The Elkettes suffered a tough 3-1 loss to St. Michael’s High School March 18 in the consolation championship game. Pojoaque spotted St. Michael’s a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but pitcher Jodi Garcia shut out the Lady Horsemen the rest of the game. Pojoaque scored its lone run in the bottom of the third inning on a double by Analisa Lovato that drove in Garcia, who had led off with a single. The Elks loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning, but couldn’t get that key hit when they needed it. Pojoaque competes in District 2-4A.
McCurdy Charter School is 2-2 on the season. The Lady Bobcats are coming off a second-place finish at the Pecos Invitational tournament. McCurdy defeated Estancia High School 11-2 in the opening round of the tournament, then knocked off Tucumcari High School 4-3 in the semifinals. The Lady Bobcats luck ran out against Santa Rosa High School March 18 in the championship game. The Lady Lions pounded McCurdy 18-0. The Lady Bobcats will compete in District 5/5-A/3A.
TRACK AND FIELD
Los Alamos High School has been one of the premier track and field programs in the state since 2000. The Lady Hilltoppers, who have won five state championships in that time, are off to a particularly good start. Los Alamos has already had athletes turn in state qualifying performances in seven individual events, as well as turning in state-qualifying times in the girls 400-meter relay and 1600-meter relay.
Elena Abeyta has state-qualifying times in the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes. She has also leaped a state-qualifying distance in the long jump. Elizabeth Lockhart has turned in state-qualifying distances in the long jump and triple jump. Sophie Wood and Abigail Beus have also had state-qualifying lengths in the triple jump. Jazmine Tuning had cleared a state-qualifying height in the high jump. Ona Gartz has a state-qualifying time in the 400-mter dash. Rebecca Green and Zoe Challacombe have both heaved the shot put a state-qualifying distance.
For the Los Alamos boys, Liam Johnson has set the standard in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 13 feet, 9 inches. That is the leading height among state qualifiers
Espanola Valley’s Antoin Curtis has established himself as the favorite to win the Class 5A triple jump this season, having the best state-qualifying jump in that event so far this season. Curtis has leapt 44 feet, 5 inches so far this season. Curtis finished second in the Class 5A triple jump at state last year.
Mesa Vista High School’s Frankie Ortiz has qualified for two individual events in Class 2A. Ortiz has leapt 19 feet, 6.5 inches in the long jump and turned in a time of 11.34 seconds in the 100-meter dash. Mesa Vista’s Brian Gollas has a state-qualifying time of 4 minutes, 59.54 seconds in the 1600-meter run. For the Lady Trojans, Abriana Griego has a state-qualifying time of 1:04.84 in the 400-meter dash.
McCurdy Charter School’s Gabriel Huerta turned in a state-qualifying time of 11.44 seconds in the 100-meter dash March 18 at Dulce.
Los Alamos High School will host a track and field meet Friday. Among the participating teams will be Espanola Valley, Pojoaque Valley and McCurdy.