It was a chilly, but rousing, opening to the season in Rio Rancho for the Rams and their guests from Los Alamos, Albuquerque Academy, and St. Pius X. Photos by Blake Wood.
Each weekend (sometimes it doesn't get done until Monday), I do a quick review of what we learned from the action of the preceding week of track and field. This begins a season-long series of such installments.
And, honestly, this installment is a little premature as I have no results yet to muse over. But, I did want to start raising the bar of expectations. And, this article will be periodically updated over the next few days as results are received and it becomes possible to discuss those results. So, please keep checking back.
In the meanwhile, it's already safe to say we learned a few things. We learned that Los Alamos and Rio Rancho are using the same Nike green uniforms (see relay photo, above). We can be thankful that RR is 5A and LA is 4A. That should alleviate some confusion in the stands at the state meet. And, speaking of uniforms, it was a good day to be St. Pius X on Saturday. Black uniforms absorb a lot more solar radiation on a sunny day than red or green and it was a good day to absorb all the warmth you could. We'll see, however, how well those black uniforms play out in late April and early May. Perhaps there's another set of singlets for when the weather turns warmer?
Let's hope it was a little warmer in Roswell and Anthony. I don't hold out much hope that it was any warmer in either Grants or Los Lunas. I'm probably missing something, but it's never been warm when I've been through Grants.
The early returns are in, as the saying goes, but in this case the early returns are all boys' results (note: girls results are now in, see below). As might be expected, the highlights in an early season meet with wind and chill were relatively few. Reid Longley of AA ran 10:07.27 to win the 3200, but the 1600 belonged to Los Alamos in the name of Sean Reardon at 4:46.62. Some traditions, apparently, die hard.
Connor Brown of Rio Rancho swept the hurdle events in 16.02 and 41.72. Given the conditions, those times may be better than they appear. Look for more from this young man. Brown also won the high jump at 5-10.
Jake Newell of AA was another multiple event winner, taking the long jump at 20-6 (by a half-inch over David Straid of Los Alamos) and the discus at 140-8. I don't think I have a recollection of the last time I heard of the same guy winning the long jump and discus. Too bad the discus isn't a decathlon event, or we could have the makings of another multi.
The biggest mark of the day, however, may have been the 51-7.5 by Alex Oluyitan of Rio Rancho in the shot put.
The girls fought the chill, just as the boys did. Los Alamos, however, seemed to get the best of the top marks. The top mark of the top marks was a shot put of 40-3 by Chase Earley of Los Alamos. Is it too soon to say state favorite? Elsewhere, Laura Wendelberger took the long jump, 100 hurdles, and high jump for the Hilltoppers. The other multiple events winner on the day was Sarah Weber of St. Pius X in the discus and javelin.
I apologize for any names I may have misspelled in this quick summary. The results have gone through a few generations of copying by now and it's beyond doubt that some spelling errors have crept in. I need to know how to spell the names, so please don't be shy about sending me corrections.
Working our way south, but mostly west, the next meet we come to is the Los Lunas Invitational.
Ricky Milks of Las Cruces continues to make sprint statements. His 10.69 isn't a season best mark for him in the 100, but that 21.76 in the 200 should set a high bar for the 200. And speaking of sprinters, hometown girl Alexis Lafave won the girls 100 in 12.39. That's a nice mark, and all the more so for being this early in the season. Cleveland's Julissa Hunte stole the show in the 200 with a 25.62.
Cleveland's Luis Martinez surprised nobody by doubling up wins in the 800 and 3200, but that 9:37.48 may have been more than some people were counting on this early in the season. Maybe especially it was more than second place was counting on. Cleveland going 1-3-4-5 in the 3200 is a phenomenon worth taking note of as well. Only Sal Wright of Onate broke up the Storm.
Mayfield's Rigo Moreno continues to impress in the 300 hurdles, taking the title at this meet in 40.06.
Multiple event winners included Nicole Jenrette of Los Lunas in the 100 hurdles (15.78), high jump (4-10, tie), and long jump (17-5.5), Cheyne Dorsey of Cleveland in the long jump (21-11) and 110 hurdles (15.42), Andrew Kepler of Onate in the pole vault (12-0) and triple jump (40-9.75), Jonathan Millar of Hope Christian in the shot put (50-2.5) and discus (143-8), and Jenae Wolfram of Valencia in the shot put (35-4) and discus (107-11).
It's safe to say that 5A Cleveland dominated the team scoring of this meet.
Like a lot of other places in New Mexico on Saturday, the wind blew and it wasn't especially warm. Such are the gifts of track season.
Wendell Hayes of Lordsburg didn't win any sprints, but he did serve notice to the 2A community that he hasn't lost a step from last year. In a meet of mostly bigger schools, Hayes took second in both the 100 and 200. Teammate Kenny Evans took the 300 hurdles in 42.38.
Silver's Brandon Reese demolished the javelin field with a fling of 162-10, leaving him about 35 feet to spare on second.
My personal vote for NM female performance of the meet goes to Regina Marquez, who won the 800 in 2:32.12 and the 1600 in 5:39.74. Not bad at all for the freshman out of Santa Teresa.
So, where does this all put us? Now would be a very good time to introduce you to the MileSplit New Mexico rankings to help us answer that question. To navigate there on your own, click on Stats in the main red menu bar above. Then click on Outdoor Track and Field 2012 for boys or girls, as you prefer. That will bring you to the state leaderboard. To see details for any of the events, simply click on the blue link for that event. Rankings are updated continually through the season as new marks are received. By the way, you can sort the rankings by classification. Simply click on the league dropbox and select the classification you'd like to see. If learning to navigate the site just isn't your thing (yet), I've provided links to the boys' and girls' leaderboards below.