3A Senior Boys Who May Have Been The Difference

Alex Ortiz (#2) figured on a short list of favorites for the 400 and 800 this spring.

The state meet was to have been held well over a month ago now. Though it's behind us now, it's not at all as if nothing was lost. Several seniors missed their final opportunity at state. A few teams missed competing for the state title, with all the raising and crushing of hopes that come with that.

What we are doing in this article is to take a look at those teams most likely to have been competing for the 3A Boys state title and the seniors who held the keys of hope for those teams. Teams are treated in alphabetical order; no assumptions should be made regarding the chances of the various teams based on the order they are treated.

With that as background, here we go...

Cottonwood Classical Prep - The Coyotes were very definitely in the hunt for a trophy this spring. Since coming on board, this school has steadily gotten better in the running sports. This could have been a breakthrough year for the Coyotes. Those seniors who figured to lend a hand toward a big finish this spring included sprinter Mason Roberts, middle distance type Alex Ortiz, and hurdler Randel Veglio. Between the three of them, we may even have seen an individual state title or two or three.

New Mexico Military Institute - It's not always easy to project which athletes NMMI will have from year to year. That further complicates any prognosticating of this team's chances of coming home from state with a trophy this year. Still, if we make some assumptions, there were possibilities. Behind those possibilities may have been seniors such as sprinter Lewis Charles, middle distance runner Juan Aguirre, distance runner Carson Perry, and shot putter Colton Claypool.

St. Michael's - The Horsemen are a perpetual threat in New Mexico high school track and field. It's just one of the things you count on. The senior crowd this year, however, held rather thin prospects for scoring at state. If St. Michael's was going to leave with a trophy, it was going to take some significant contributions from younger athletes. Top senior threats to score at state included middle distance runner Justin Sanchez and throwers Seth Temple and Jaden Mifsud.

Sandia Prep - Sandia Prep had state meet hopefuls in sprinters Luke Sauerman, Nicholas Duran, and Donovan Roberts. Roberts doubled as a 300 hurdles threat. Josh Pratt added the hope of points in the shot put. With a wealth of sprint talent, the Sundevils figured to bring a strong presence in the relays as well. And, that relay presence figured to make this team very difficult to deal with at state.

Socorro - The Warriors had one primary senior hope for scoring points at state. That would be sprinter Andrew Garcia. Garcia came out of the gate just a bit on the side of rusty at the Los Lunas Invitational before the season shut down, but it would have been foolish to have counted him out on account of that. There are plenty of factors that might account for a sprinter not being in mid season form early in March.

Zuni - The Thunderbirds figured to have a very good team this spring, and their cross country performance last fall was a nice hint of what may have laid ahead. It was a team laden with senior talent, including distance runners Deshawn Goodwin, Jacy Edaakie, and Jarek Chimoni-Zunie, hurdler Trey Laweka, and high jumper Condreco Barryer. We'll never quite know if the Thunderbirds could have slammed an exclamation point on their cross country state dominance with an encore performance at state track.