Lady Lobos, Lady Leopards Bring Home Medals

by Editor / May 23, 2018 / comments
Escalante's Hailey Whittaker (#3) and Cloudcroft's Ajia Hughes leap over the final hurdle in the Class 2A 300-meter hurdles race at the Class A-3A state track and field meet. Hughes took first place by just .09 seconds with Whittaker coming in second.

Lady Lobos, Lady Leopards Bring Back Medals

Escalante High School junior Hailey Whittaker already has a collection of medals from the Class A-3A track and field meet any athlete would be proud of. With one more year left to compete, Whittaker already has 13 medals. She earned five of them at the 2018 Class A-3A state track and field meet held May 4-5 at the Great Friends of UNM track and field facilities in Albuquerque.

Check back here soon for more photos from this event!

Since coming on to the scene as a precocious freshman in 2016, Whittaker’s specialty has been the hurdles. Last season, she picked up her first gold medal at state when she won the 300-meter hurdles. This season, Whittaker was one of the favorites in that event. This season, her competition was coming from another precocious freshman, Cloudcroft High School’s Ajia Hughes.

In the finals of the 300-hurdles May 5, it quickly became a two-person race between Hughes and Whittaker. Seemingly clearing each hurdle at the same time, they were neck-and-neck going into the final hurdle of the grueling race. Both cleared the hurdle at nearly the same time. Pushing for the lead, Whittaker lost her balance and fell over the finish line. Hughes won the race by.09 seconds with a time of 48.19 seconds.

“She’s been pushing me all year,” Whittaker said. “I gave it all I had.”

That was not the only close finish for Whittaker. In the long jump May 4, Whittaker uncorked a leap of 16 feet, 10.25 inches on her first attempt. That distance stood on top through four jumps. On her fifth and next-to-last jump, Gateway Christian School’s Megyn Balok soared 16 feet, 11 inches. Whittaker couldn’t match that distance and Balok took first.

Whittaker picked up three more medals. She helped the lady Lobos 400-meter relay team of Tanisha Torrez, Sarah Hurd, Aubrie Hinds and herself to a fourth-place finish. Whittaker took third place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.75 seconds. Hughes took first with a time of 16.20 seconds.

Whittaker ran the anchor leg of Escalante’s 800-meter relay team with teammates Hinds, Makeely Garcia and Hurd. The Lady Lobos finished fourth in that relay, as well.

 

Escalante scored 32 team points and finished in sixth place. Hurd picked up a point for Escalante, finishing sixth in the 100-meter dash. Hinds took second in the 400-meter dash and teammate Reina Terrazas took third for a total of nine points in that event for Escalante.

                                                                                                CORONADO

Coronado High School senior Alia Vigil finished her high school career with three more medals. Vigil took second in the Class A 400-meter dash, fourth in the 200-meter dash and sixth in the 100-meter dash. She won the 400-meter dash in 2016 as a sophomore. She will continue her career at the next level, having signed a Letter of Intent to run track at University of Colorado-Pueblo.

“We really don’t have the facilities (at Coronado),” Vigil said. “We practice in the gym. I was hard-pressed to progress. I’m excited to be running for UC-Pueblo. I can’t wait to  start and be able to progress better.”

Coronado senior Sol Vigil took fourth place in the 1600-meter run and third place in the 800-meter run.

“I could’ve had a little better kick at the end (of the 1600-meter run),” she said. “It’s kinda sad. I accomplished a lot at Coronado. I want to thank my coaches and teammates.”

State records fell like raindrops at this year’s Class A-3A state track and field meet, with a total of 15 being broken. Melrose High School’s Nataley Mondragon won the girls Class A 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash, all in state-record time. Fittingly, the Tularosa High School girls 1600-meter relay team of Ember Cervantes, Shaeden Marr, Tayler Noblitt and Allysa Montoya ended the meet with a new state record in Class 3A of four minutes, 9.65 seconds.