At about a quarter of the way through the race, Alonzo Chavez made his move to separate from the lead pack. Photos by Alan Versaw.
Nobody expected Laguna-Acoma to lose. Nobody went home suprised, though perhaps a few dared to hope and went home disappointed.
Yet, as is often the case in these events, early stages of the race left some cloud of mystery as to how things would ultimately turn out.
In the individual contest, Alonzo Chavez appeared to be in no hurry to dump the chase pack. And, while Laguna-Acoma was very much present at the front, there were enough non-black singlets at the front to justify a fleeting thought that somebody might be able to run close enough to the Hawks to keep in interesting.
Well, it lasted a little while.
It wasn't long, however, before both questions faded into irrelevance. Chavez, content to run a patient race early, gradually separated from everyone else in the field. Evidently, what qualifies as patient for Chavez equates to redlining for everyone else.
And the migration of black Laguna-Acoma shirts through the middle portion of the race was inexorably forward. One by one, the black shirts gained a place here and there as shirts of other colors ceded their early standing.
At the end of the race, Chavez built a margin of 34 seconds on Patrick Keyope in second. And, though without an first-place individual to call their own, L-A had squeezed their entire top six into the first 11 places for a team total of 28 points. No other school had as many as two in the top 12. Such was the size and scope of the mismatch on the team level.
Zuni would run a distant second in the team tally with 81 points, and Navajo Prep third with 126. On this day, everyone else was in a different zip code.
Laguna-Acoma dominated in one other important way as well. The top five of Keyope, Jacob Riley (Keyope and Riley are pictured in the photo at left), Cameron Riley, Isaiah Kelsey, and Christopher Salvador posted an average time of 16:49.7. At 17:45, Zuni was the only other team with an average time under 18 minutes.