Luis Martinez closed out one of the finest New Mexico high school careers ever with a win on New Mexico soil. MileSplit New Mexico file photo.
We'll start with a caveat here. Several of you who read this will actually have a better ear to the ground of what went on in New Mexico track and field/cross country than I did in 2013. So, if I missed any of the "best ofs" of 2013, please know that you're invited to add your takes on the topic in the comments section of this article.
1. The best of home cooking - The New Mexico Highlands men's cross country team qualifies for (and finishes 24th at) NCAA DII Nationals with a team of seven New Mexico natives--Henrique Chavez, Jesus Mendoza, Steven Carbajal, Tony Sanchez, Caleb Rubalcaba, Alonzo Chavez, and Justin Lueras.
2. The best of upset specials - The New Mexico state cross country meet was full of them. The big three would be La Cueva taking down Eldorado in 5A girls, Los Alamos taking down Albuquerque Academy in 4A boys, and Jemez Valley taking down Cimarron in 1A boys. Three is a very good year for upsets.
3. The best of getting the baton around the track - The Cleveland boys 4x100 and the Eldorado girls 4x400 use the state meet as a showcase to establish a pair of new all-classification records.
4. The best of 8th grade distance - Albuquerque Academy 8th grader (at least in the spring he was an 8th grader) Jordan Lesansee still has to be wondering where he lost two-tenths of a second, running the 3200 in 10:00.19 at the Metro Championships meet.
5. The best of Marilyn Sepulveda - Zhianna Flores takes three individual titles at the showcase meet of the invitational season, winning the 100, 200, and the 300 hurdles. Flores would eventually conclude her NMAA season with a pair of firsts in the state meet in the 200 and 300 hurdles. A false start in the 100 would keep her from the repeat trifecta, however.
6. The best of speed - Florida speedster Trayvon Bromell runs the first-ever sub-10 high school 100 meters under any conditions (it was a wind-aided mark) at the Great Southwest Classic in June.
7. The best of soggy poultry - A pistol-wielding chicken starts the ATC Everybody Invitational on a rainy Saturday morning in Santa Fe.
8. The best of well-deserved recognition - Pojoaque Valley cross country coach Allen Lockridge ends up as a finalist in the Brooks Inspiring Coach of the Year contest.
9. The best way to close out a high school career - Luis Martinez shuts it down with a triumph in the 3200 at Great Southwest.
10. The best of finishing well - After something of a late-season swoon the raised the title hopes of at least one other school, the Zuni boys come storming back to win the 2A state title in a fashion that left absolutely no room for doubt.