Many will be out to qualify for the state championships
By Arnie Leshin
Back to back to back in Santa Fe, that’s where the area track and field scene has been for the past three weeks, with the wind-up Saturday at the annual Capital City Invitational run at Santa Fe High.
Santa Fe High also hosted the initial event, the two-day midweek annual Golden Spike Classic. Three days later, it was Capital High as the host for the annual Jaguar Invitational.
But wait, on April 28 there’s still Santa Fe Indian School as the scene for the Braves’ annual invitational.
With these convenient City Different sites, many of the area schools were able to avoid the highways that made for long trips. Nothing like home sweet home.
That also applies to out-of-town schools like Espanola Valley, Pojoaque Valley, Taos, Penasco and Robertson, and there could be others that will join the field.
The local schools competing are host Santa Fe High, Capital, St. Michael’s, Indian School, Santa Fe Prep, Desert Academy, Santa Fe Waldorf, and Academy of Technology and The Classics.
Today happens to be Friday the 13th, but that will have no affect on Saturday’s probable 13-school field.
At the Jaguar Invitational, St. Michael’s ran off with both the girls and boys team championships, with Santa Fe High right behind and Taos figuring to be among the top teams, especially on the girl’sside with distance runners
Cora Cannedy, a senior, freshman Ella Katz, as well as Faith Powell.
From Penasco will come sophomore Carly Gonzales, the back-to-back state 2A cross country champion. And Desert Academy will feature versatile senior Jakob Kaare-Rasmussen, who can run the 400, 800, and the distance races.
Then there’s Santa Fe Prep, one of the top programs in 3A. Its spotlight is on sophomore Hayden Colfax, a bundle of versatility who qualified for five events at last year’s state, and is on her way to duplicate it.
Her best might be the high jump that she won at state last year, but don’t count her out in the triple jump, long jump and 100 and 300 hurdles. Her times and distances have improved each season since she first competed out of eighth grade.
The Griffins also have freshman distance runner Anna Swanson, sophomore Leyla Sharples who does the same events as Colfax and one to watch. And count in senior Samantha Wilson and sophomore Taylor Lincoln.
The Prep boys are led by versatile junior Sam Sparks and senior Sean Coles, and both are good in several events. Plus, there’s senior Harrison Trainer and junior Luke Stein.
The St. Michael’s strength has been in almost every event, and that includes both girls and boys. The girls have senior Lauren Chafins to run the 200, 400 and a leg or two on the relay teams. Junior Janai Clayton has been ahead of the field in the 800.
In the distances, the Lady Horsemen go with Clayton, junior Abby Leugers, London Luttrell, and maybe junior Violet Eklund, who has been ill but anxious to return. Juniors Claire Lee and Joelyn Fernandez have also been valuable.
The boys, too, are stacked, expect that senior Joey Fernandez is competing only in the field event javelin and maybe the shot put because of a leg injury that has kept him from running. A newcomer to keep an eye on is sophomore Rico Gurule, nephew of distance and cross country head coach Lenny Gurule, who has run well with the relay teams.
For the distances, the Horsemen bank on juniors Justin Angel and Eli Seward, and junior Hayden Lee is one of their leading sprinters along with senior Shawn Roybal. Senior Jake Tetault is best in the weights.
ATC has senior Lila Noger-Onstott in the pole vault and running the distances, and freshmen Kate Ferguson and Maggie Rittmeyer also penciled in for perhaps the 800, the 1,600 and the 3,200. The Phoenix boys have one of the better sprinters in junior Ahbodoh White Eagle and junior Cole Ferguson is best in the longer distances.
Santa Fe Indian School has senior Thomas Lucero out for track and field for the first time and he’s been racing the 400, the 800, and the 1,600. He’s six seconds from qualifying for state in the 1,600, and just one of many still in quest of qualifying for state.
Then there’s up-and-coming freshman distance runner Christopher Humetewa as well as senior Coby Quintana. The Braves’ Iris Emery, a sophomore, is looking to better her times in the 800 and 1,600.
Capital senior Sylvia Madrid is coming off a good 1,600 run at the Jaguar, and the boys are led by versatile senior Lucas McNatt, the defending state 5A high jump champion who has added the discus, is also a stellar sprinter, and the key leg for therelay teams. Another top sprinter is freshman Luke Padlla, who is coming off a splendid football season.
Pojoaque’s top distance runner is junior John Hall, who is equally adept in the 1,600 and 3,200.