The wrestling match between the NMAA and the Great Southwest Indoor Classic is now famous around the region. And, while the rule about counting against a school's allowable meets for the spring definitely dampens local attendance at the meet, the meet continues to gain momentum, little tiny step by little tiny step.
Though participation in the field events was perhaps a bit light this year, the overall level of competition this year was enough to rack up several meet records and a few spots in the national rankings. Maybe the coolest thing about this year's set of performances is that meet records were established by athletes from Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. The meet has drawing power.
The girls 60 meter dash witnessed a Colorado showdown between club teammates Shayna Yon and Ashley Miller, with Yon getting the win in 7.74. Only a freshman, Miller would get another second in the 60 hurdles, going second to Dior Hall in US#16 mark of 8.79 to earn her second second-place finish of the evening. Yon would also win the long jump at 16-3.25.
And, speaking of Dior Hall, the Denver speedster ran a blazing 24.64 to claim a second title in the 200 meters.
Payton Miller, also from the Denver metropolitian area, won the 400 in 57.63. Beware of speedy visitors from Denver.
But, not all of the speed came from Denver. Albuquerque's own Mustafa Mudada won the boys 60 meter hurdle title in 8.31. Dionee Marrero out of Phoenix won the 60 in 7.00.
Heather Bates, a top finisher at NXN two months ago, was unstoppable at 800 and 1600 meters (including a 5:06.46 in the 1600), but Nevada's Katie Gorczyca kept all of the girls distance titles from traveling to Colorado by winning the 3200 in a meet record of 11:51.97.
Local event winners among the girls were limited to Laura Wendelberger in the high jump at 5-3.75 and Alex Winebark in the shot put at 35-10.75.
Aside from Mudada, the closest any event titles came to being from New Mexico were Joe Maloney (Durango, CO) in the 800 at 1:59.57 and Brian Barazza (El Paso, TX) and the 1600 (4:23.89) and 3200 (9:31.84). The visiting distance runners, it would seem, came to the Convention Center with something other than charity on their minds. Austin Anaya did manage a second in the 800 and Nick Hill a second in the 3200 to nicely represent the locally-grown talent base.
If you know much about pole vaulting in the Great Southwest, it won't surprise you at all to learn that the winners of both pole vaults came from the greater Phoenix area, with Scott Marshall taking one title at 15-0 and Vanessa Davis the other at 12-0. Arizona also turned in big marks in the horizontal jumps courtesy of Hayden McClain (22-1.75 and 48-8.75) and in the shot put via the arm of Zach Harris (49-5.75). The triple jump and shot put marks established new meet records.