St. Michael’s senior Lauren Chafins favored to win another 4A 400, while Demonettes’ junior Judith Allison goes after the 300 intermediate hurdles
By Arnie Leshin
Santa Fe High sophomore Rianna Varela mixes confidence and determination with talent.
And for the past two seasons, she has placed near the top in both the long jump and triple jump, an inch here, an inch there. At Friday’s day one of the state 4A-6A track and field championships at the University of New Mexico, she again just missed in the long jump.
She settled for second place with a best of 18-01-75, just losing out to Clara Mackey, a Hobbs senior who soared 18-02.75. Another tight finish.
“At least I can say that I’m up there as an elite jumper,” she said, “one of the best in the state, and so let’s see what happens in the triple jump.”
The top seed in the triple, she not only won, but broke the state 6A record with a best of 38-08, eclipsing the mark by, yes, an inch. Close behind was Rio Ranch High sophomore Anwi Frederick (37-09.75).
“I’m very happy with how I did here both days,” said Varela, “and I expect to do even better next time.”
That’s confidence, determination and talent wrapped up in one.
In 4A, St. Michael’s senior Lauren Chafins was top seed in the 4A 400 and showed why in topping the preliminary field in 58:68, and was the only one under one minute. She also made it to the 100 finals, but scratched from the 200.
So Chafins has a busy day as the Lady Horsemen made the finals in all four relays and she’s their fastest sprinter. The best for St. Michael’s in the relays came on third places in the sprint medley and 4 x 400, and it also advanced in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200.
Lady Horsemen junior Claire Lee made it to the finals of the 100 and 300 hurdles and the long jump.
In 5A, Capital High senior Skylar Madrid qualified for the 200 and 400 meters and made it to the finals in both.
In 6A, Demonette junior Judith Allison is right up there with the best in the 300 intermediates after a sparkling campaign. She has done a best of 46:13. just a notch behind Rio Rancho freshman Hannah Klass’ 45:73 in what figures to be a close race.