First it was Colin Hemez, then it's Jereme Santistevan. Zach Grand is finding the competition pretty stiff racing in his own home town these days. But, perhaps Grand comes to state with a score to settle?
And, for the second week in a row, the St. Michael's boys cleaned up on the local competition. The St. Michael's girls, however, were not quite as fortunate. Down a top runner or two, they were taken down by a steadily improving Santa Fe team. Doing the biggest portion of the damage were Noel Prandoni, Tori Quintana, and Greta Miller--all in the top five. Pojoaque also had Megan Herrera and Miranda Grasmick in the top five to help edge St. Michael's out of second.
Yes, it was big-time doings at the southern end of the state--maybe the biggest carnival of cross country this end of the state has seen. And it only promises to get bigger.
Right now, though, Eastwood out of El Paso is making things difficult for the local schools, to the tune a runaway victories in both the boys and girls races.
Regina Marquez and Meghan Aguilera had the top NM finishes in the girls race at 20:24 and 20:30, respectively. Keep an eye on Marquez, as her season seems to be trending skyward. Oñate had the top girls team finish for the NM set with a third, but the Knights were followed at an uncomfortably close distance by Alamogordo in fourth. Possibly giving us a hint about things to come from this team, Alamogordo beat Oñate at positions 3, 4, and 5.
In the boys race, four Texans crossed before Aaron Thalmann and Manny Casillas started the flow for New Mexico. Oñate took second in the team standings, but of special note here is that Lovington edged Mayfield for fourth. Could Lovington be the next 3A threat? They just might be the classification's most improved team over last year. Alexis Mata, who ran 36th at last year's 3A state meet, finished seventh here in 17:27 to lead the Lovington charge. Stay tuned for more developments.
Although we don't yet have usable results from the Albuquerque Academy meet, we do have results from the other big-school meet in ABQ this weekend. And in this one, it was Cibola all over the field in the boys race.
It doesn't hurt when you start off the boys scoring with a 1-2 from Frankie Scorina and Chris Harlow. And nobody really closed the gap after that. Cibola for an easy win.
Among the girls, however, it was another black-and-gold team doing the domination. That would be St. Pius X. The Sartans' formula was similar to the one employed to success by the Cibola boys. St. Pius X got things started with a 1-3 from Kelli Reagan and Julie Giannini and were never seriously threatened thereafter.
Hope Christian took top small school honors in both races.
If you were in the Albuquerque area for the weekend and wanted to see small-school action, this one was the place to be.
Addison Rauch and Amira Cunningham got things started very nicely for the homestanding Timberwolves, but the girls in blue had to hold off a serious challenge from Zuni to hang on for the team title. We could see this little contest playing out again a few times over the next six weeks. Rauch's 21:31 takes the win.
Since now you know that Zuni was at the meet, you probably already have expectations about the boys outcome. And if you learned that Zuni nailed down five of the top seven places here, you'd probably say your expectations were just about met to the last punctuation mark. There isn't much of 2A left to stand in the way of this team. Zuni simply looks better every week, if that is possible. Tre Riley takes the win in 18:03 on what is definitely not a screamer kind of course.
In the ongoing contest between Shawvan Levi and Arlo Enoah, Levi takes this round. Better still for Levi, his Shiprock team took the win here as well.
And high flight seems to be coming easily to the Shiprock girls as well. After spotting an Arizona entry the win, Cassandra Peters and Lacey Howe slipped in at 2-3 to get the scoring going for the Chieftains. Navajo Prep was the next New Mexico school in a distant third.
They run this one in conjunction with the NM Highlands Cross Country Jam. A nice little opportunity to rub shoulders with the collegiate set.
And, a nice little opportunity for Rio Rancho coach Sal Gonzales to pick up a big win and visit some old stomping grounds all in one little trip up I-25.
Belen's Jared Garcia and Aaron Valenzuela took the top two places, with Garcia going a scorching 15:53 for the win. But, after the Belen duo, it was a tidal wave of Rio Rancho, The Rams took places 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, and that pretty much sealed the team outcome. From Josh Pyeatt to Robert Walden, it was a pack time of nine seconds (and all under 17-flat). Somebody in Rio Rancho has to be smiling.
The Rio Rancho girls also claimed five of the top seven places, but this time Molly Klein and Sierra Delware didn't let first and second get away. Top non-Rio Rancho honors went to Valene Madalena and Anabella Miller.