The first thing that caught my eye upon scanning the entries for the New Mexico Open was the list of entries from New Mexico Tech. Could this be the first hint of a varsity track and field/cross country program at the venerable engineering school in Socorro? That would be special. Had NMT had such a program a few years back, one of my sons may well have ended up attending there. We'll watch this one more closely.
But, you probably didn't come to this article to find out about track and field at New Mexico Tech, so let's spend a little time trying to focus on the high school story for this meet.
Once again, registration for this meet looks strong. Online registration has closed, but I'm guessing that they will also be taking afternoon-of-meet registrations as well, further augmenting the number of entries.
If I'm picking can't-miss-events of the evening, those honors seem to go to the miles. In the girls mile, Kim Chapman and Hope Johnson run under the colors of Wings of America, taking on other high school challengers in Kendall and Reiley Kelly, Molly Klein, Meghan Aguilera, Arena Lewis, Carisma Lovato, and Dayna Guerro (we've pictured a few of these below in case they're not selling programs at the Albuquerque Convention Center). Is anyone streaming this thing?!
The men's mile is just as attractive from a competitive standpoint. The Brothers Kedgamavoz take on Aaron Valenzuela, Chris Harlow, Justin Kerstetter, Jordan Lesansee, and Academy alum Dustin Martin. And I have to be in Colorado Springs Saturday evening? Crud, I miss everything good, it seems.
If you're a miler and have nothing better to do on Saturday night...
And, a few of those guys are coming back for an encore in the 800. But maybe their legs won't be quite so fresh then.
And, for that matter, KeAndre Bates is a can't-miss kind of show in the long jump and triple jump as well. For the record, Bates represented the US with a 51-6 triple jump in the World Youth Games last summer.
Dartez Hamlin and Mark Haywood should make for a good show in the 60 meters. And on and on it goes...
If you're missing this one, you're missing a lot. Yes, indeed, indoor track and field in New Mexico is starting to grow up. Give it the keys to the car, Dad.