La Cueva's Stevie Salas ( photo by Jaren Brooks)
The long road to get back to competition and just like that district cross country championships are upon us. This will be the third or second week of action for most teams in the state but for Albuquerque Public Schools this will make it or break it as they get their first meet of the season in to determine whether they will be chasing for a state championship next weekend.
Starting off on Friday, the 5-5A district championship will take place at Nusenda Community Stadium course to run just shy of three miles (2.91) with Albuquerque High, Manzano, Rio Grande , West Mesa, and Los Lunas. The top two teams will earn a trip to state while the top three individual runners who don't qualify with a team earn a place at state. Notably, for this particular race, there will be a max of five runners per team and only the top four will count toward scoring unless a need for a tie-breaker. Albuquerque High girls look to be the favorite at the moment with the returning runners they have but also look out for Los Lunas as they race for the first time since moving up in classification.
That boy's race will kick off at 4:00 pm with girls following at 4:30 pm.
Albuquerque High's Emily Schoellkopf (photo by Jaren Brooks)
On Saturday La Cueva will host the 2-5A district championships as Atrisco Heritage, Cibola, Eldorado, La Cueva, Sandia, and Volcano Vista will get going for their first race of the year. This will be a chance to see Stevie Salas in his senior campaign after a 2nd place metro championship finish in 2019 as well as a 30th place 5A state finish. Also will be a chance to see how 2019 5A state runner-up Volcano Vista boys and girls fares in this tune-up race prior to taking on schools like Sue Cleveland, Rio Rancho and Hobbs. Sandia boys will also be a team to keep an eye out for after returning a strong group from that 7th place team the last championship.
The boy's race will start things off at 9:00 am with girls to follow at 9:45 am.
The other district championship will see 5-4A also racing at Nusenda Community Stadium with Del Norte hosting Belen, Highland, Valley, and Valencia. They will run the same 2.91-mile course with girls starting at 10:00 am and boys at 10:30 am. This race is a mystery as anyone might have the capabilities to pull off a win but Belen boys have shown to be a team to keep in mind.
Hosted by Centennial as Alamogordo, Deming, Gadsden, Las Cruces High, Mayfield, and Onate face off in probably the biggest of district meets this weekend. Alamogordo girls and boys look strong for this race but with a field as big as this one we shouldn't be surprised to see some challenges for one of those two state spots.
ATC's Lily Rittmeyer (photo by Tim Host)
This district championship will have Academy for Tech and the Classics host a handful of district 5 from A/2A classification as well as St.Michaels. this odd mix of teams will be an interesting matchup as the only thing certain is the ATC girls will be bringing their A-game as always. This meet will also leave things in a bit of uncertainty as Pecos and ATC typically get to showdown prior to State Championships so maybe this will leave us with a very long-awaited clash of A/2A powerhouses.
Heading up north we will see schools like Crownpoint, Newcomb, Tohatchi, and Thoreau going at it for a chance at a state bid. Look out for Crownpoint girls and Tohatchi boys for possibly claiming victory in this race.