Home / Spotlight / First places for Santa Fe High sophomore Rianna Varela and St. Michael’s senior Lauren Chafins at the weekend state 4A-6A track and field championships

First places for Santa Fe High sophomore Rianna Varela and St. Michael’s senior Lauren Chafins at the weekend state 4A-6A track and field championships

Varela wins 6A triple jump in a state-record leap that was wind-aided, Chafins again runs under one minute in the 400, and Capital senior Skylar Madrid dashes to fourth place in the 5A 400 meters

By Arnie Leshin 
Arnie Leshin

Wind-aided? No problem, Rianna Varela just eliminated the d and turned it into a win.

The Santa Fe High sophomore had finished the long jump, again losing by an inch or two in settling for second place by soaring 18-1 ¾. in 6A of the state track and field championships held at the University of New Mexico. The winner, Hobbs’ senior Clara Mackey turned in an 18-2 3/4.

But Varela still had the triple jump left, and she was the top seed. This time she won, in what appeared to be a state-record jump of 38-8¼ .Then it was ruled wind-aided. If not, she would have erased the previous mark of 38-07.

“You know what,” she said, “I’m only a sophomore and have two more years, so I’m very optimistic about next season.”

Her teammate, Judith Allison, is a junior who had an outstanding season and was among the leaders for the 300 intermediate hurdles. But in a tight finish, she took third in 45:44, a personal best.

“I can’t complain,” she said, “I really got faster and was up there with the best in 6A, so it’s good I still have another year.”

The Allison family is one of running, including the parents. The two older girls both ran distances for the Demonettes, and both qualified for state. Older brother, Christopher, also ran for the Demons.

In 5A, Capital High senior Skylar Madrid, in her first time with the track team, qualified for the 200 and 400 and came away a fourth-place 1:00.48 in the 400. But she failed to make the podium in the 200

In 4A, St. Michael’s girls finished sixth in the team scoring with 32 points, with Taos scoring 71 points for first place, and winning six events.

Senior Lauren Chafins was again victorious in the 400, dashing 58:68 in the preliminaries and 59:39 in the final as the lone runner under one minute. She was also state champion as a sophomore, but last year she ran second when Ruidoso senior Shalom Keller led the field, and still ran a 57:45.

In the 100 finals, Chafins sped to fifth place. She also did some legs on the Lady Horsemen relay teams, of which they qualified in all four. But the best they did was a third in the sprint medley in 4:26.22, and a fourth in the 4 x 400 in 1:51.31.

St. Michael’s junior Claire Lee qualified in three events and placed fourth in the 300 hurdles in 34:10, and sixth in the 100 hurdles in 17:24. Another junior, Janai Clayton, ran third in the 800 and clocked 2:25.37.

In her final run for the Lady Horsemen, junior Abby Leugers wound up a stellar campaign by taking fifth in the 3,200 in the time of 12:34.44. She and her family will be moving to Portland, Ore., and her next stop will be at Sunrise High School.

Sophomore Sabrina Orr of St. Michael’s picked up a seventh-place in the shot put with a throw of 32-15. And the Lewis sisters, both juniors from Santa Fe Indian School, finished seventh and 10 in the javelin.

One champion, Chafins, but an impressive run by the St. Michael’s underclassmen.

As head coach Joey Fernandez had said: “This is one of our better teams, but the field is a very competitive one.”

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