The last weekend of September usually marks the beginning of the true racing season. The temperatures are cooler, the kid’s are fit and have a few races under their belts, and the Invite’s get larger and more competitive. Before we get to all the Curtis Williams, Rob Winters, John Grimleys, and Patason Amesoli Invite’s, the starting gun at the Albuquerque Academy Invite needs to fire.
The quality of the field is a little UNM Lobo, a dash of Del Norte, some ATC Everybody added in, and a bit of Cleveland, blended, shaken and stirred now ready for a tasting.
The team battles are always something to see, especially because the lone team to break the host Chargers seven year run of dominance was a Luis Martinez-led Cleveland Storm team (that Storm team ended up dropping 28 points on the rest of 5A six weeks later). This year’s Jordan Lesansse-led Boys team looks to make it back-to-back home meet wins and nine out of the last ten. The supporting cast of A.J. Kedge, Aric Kedge, Carlos Cdebaca and Cody Bratzler will be right there, with their 16:05 Team Average, ready to take on all-comers. The list of All-comers consists of Volcano Vista, La Cueva, and Los Alamos who are currently ranked 6th, 7th and 8th on the Milesplit Top 10. Representing the smaller classifications are the always competitive Laguna-Acoma Hawks, and the Pecos Panthers who placed a strong second at the ATC Everybody Invite.
The Eldorado Lady Eagles have taken seven out of the last nine meet titles, and are in the midst of their own run of dominance. With Jessie Hix and Melia Macias leading the way, the Lady Eagles look to continue that run. However, two weeks ago the Lady Chargers 1-4 split a ridiculous 5 seconds, with another 25 seconds to #5 and 6. Two weeks is enough time to cut into those 25 seconds, which would make them a scary six girl wrecking crew. La Cueva, Volcano Vista, Los Alamos, St. Pius X, and Gallup (ranked 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th on the Milesplit Top 10) will all be waiting at the starting line looking to add their names to the annals of Meet Champions.
Now to the individual races, which are going to be something to be seen. As the meet schedule goes, so will we, Boys first.
Jordan Lesansee vs. Niles Thomas, Round II. Lesansee has 15:37 next to his name. Thomas has 1st UNM, 1st Miyamura and 1st Shiprock. If that isn’t enough, 19 of the NM Milesplit Top 50 Boys will be toeing the line ready to add their names next to Tebo, BenJo, Pittman and Martinez.
On the Girls side, can anyone stop Natasha Bernal? At UNM, she posted 32 seconds on the nearest New Mexico competitor. Two weeks later at Cleveland, those 32 seconds were whittled to 10 seconds. At Academy? Only the finish line will tell. However, this isn’t a solo time trial, 24 of the NM Milesplit Top 50 Girls will be spiked and psyched looking to be the first to cross the line.
Running a Virtual Meet with the field shows a very Liberty Bell Invite bias (even using Average), but it’s still fun. Results are below:
Granted courses vary, and time is just a number. The great thing is, Race Day is here and all will be settled shortly. Happy racing!