The presence of Jasmine Turtle-Morales was one solid reason to keep an eye on Eldorado.
The New Mexico 5A Girls would have crowned a state champion about a month ago. For a number of seniors, it was a lost opportunity. An opportunity to compete together one last time. An opportunity to lay it on the line and possibly bring home a piece of hardware.
In this article we look at the senior members of 5A Girls teams who were in a position to make or break as this season began. I won't try to answer for you which teams would have brought home trophies, but we will look team-by-team at the top contending teams below. Teams are listed in alphabetical order.
Alamogordo - The Tigers were off to a quick, and solid, start out of their first two meets before the season came crashing down. Seniors who figured to help make this a very interesting spring for the Tigers included hurdlers Katie Fillmore and Julia Alger and high jumper Jayden Kruger. Alger doubled back as a real threat in the triple jump.
Carlsbad - The Cavemen figured to come to the state meet with a couple of strong senior representatives in the field events. Those were javelin thrower Justine Rubio and triple jumper Patty Oliver. There were other problems for other teams to deal with in the javelin as well, but those athletes figure to be back next year.
Cleveland - The Storm is consistently among the best track and field programs in New Mexico. This year figured to be no different. What was different this year, though, was that no seniors figured as likely scoring members (at least in individual events) at the state meet. That renders Cleveland a team of immediate concern for 2021.
Clovis - The Wildcats may have been overshadowed by the boys program at Clovis, but only slightly so. This was a very good team in its own right. While there were not a lot of senior team members with great shots at scoring at state, discus thrower Madison Tobert is one who may have done exactly that.
Eldorado - One of the most reliable features of New Mexico high school track and field is that Eldorado will be among the hunt for a 5A Girls trophy. They were coming into this spring with yet another loaded program. Seniors of serious concern to other teams included pole vaulter Madeleine Velasquez, distance runner Jasmine Turtle-Morales, and thrower Olivia Mikaelian. It figured to be an interesting year for the Eagles.
La Cueva - Everyone knows there's a concentration of top 5A teams in greater Albuquerque. La Cueva is consistently one of those teams. Thrower Saige Gomez, jumper Emily Ho, middle distance runner Sophia Beames, and hurdler Marissa Padilla were each on the list of likely senior contributors.
Sandia - The Matadors had a loaded senior class, one that will never get the opportunity to prove what they could fully accomplish together on the track. Among those were hurdler Mia Roy, sprinter Tallison Baca, and high jumper Kitra Noce. Relays figured to be a big deal for this team and would almost certainly involved still more seniors.