Los Alamos' Norissa Valdez ran to an 11th place performance in Colorado Springs in early November. (Photo: Alan Versaw)
The first fall without cross country in New Mexico since girls first held a competition in 1979 and boys in 1960. Although the contingency is still to hold a miniature five-week season in the spring a couple of dozen runners took it upon themselves to satisfy their itch for competition. Arizona, Colorado, and Texas meets found several new Mexicans among the unattached runners that competed in October and November which would have been around the same time as District and State Championship weekends.
Only a few girls hit the courses this fall with the majority of them coming from Los Alamos, Sue Cleveland, Piedra Vista, and Eldorado.
The Los Alamos Hilltoppers made the trip to Arizona and Colorado Springs competing at the Phoenix Classic Showdown at Sundown as well as the Kokopelli Invitational. Norissa Valdez, Emma Montoya, and Sophie Chadwick landing top ten finishes in Phoenix. A squad from Rio Rancho also went to Phoenix to compete with a new face in Tessa Holderman leading the way for the Rams while Violet Francisco, Loryn Trujillo, Marleigh Smith, Charisma Cutshall, Dacia Marquez, and Jada Neely round out the rest of the unit.
A few girls competing under club status at Kokopelli which included the bunch from Cougar Track Club and Totah XC. The reigning 5A state champion Leah Futey ran to a 19:50 performance. Eldorado's Laurynn Sisneros ran a 20:29 to get in the swing of things. Totah XC resides in Farmington and that is where we find Piedra Vista's Shyla Rogers leading the charge for teammates Riley Wilson, Nicole Pierce, Adreanna Eaton, Lauren Harris, and Naomi Wagner.