By Arnie Leshin
The annual John Grimley Memorial Invitation cross country event always brings back memories for Santa Fe Indian School head coach Joe Calabaza, who is the meet director, but Friday afternoon’s boy’s varsity race was extra special to him.
Not only did his Braves win team honors in the 5-killometers switched from the usual Saturday morning to Friday afternoon, but there was a delay when both Indian School and Pecos wound up with 72 points each. In this case, it becomes decided by where the respective sixth man from these schools finishes.
When the final results were checked, Indian School could thank sophomore DeBrylan Candelario coming in 33rd while the Panthers’ sixth man, sophomore Derek Delherrrea, took 49th. Candelario timed 19:24 and Delherrea was clocked in 20:06.
“It’s been awhile since I saw two schools finish first and have to depend on their No. 6 runners,” said Calabazza.
It was for the Braves it was their second team title of this event since 2012, in what is a tribute to the late Grimley, the program’s head coach until he passed away from cancer in 2010. Assistant coach Calabaza then became head coach.
“I’m so busy at this meet, said Calabaza, “but happy for my guys. We’ve got some hard-working sophomores mixed in with a senior, Bryce Ramone, and they ran a real good against a real good team, Pecos.”
The location for the seventh annual was moved further south to the Bernalillo area and it was held on Saturday for the first time.
Sophomore Christopher Humetewa paved the way for the Braves by running third in 17:38. The other sophomores were 8th place Marcos Concho in 18:07, Isaiah Velasquez 14th in 18:30, and Jaden Aquino 24th in 19:11 and having the same time as Ramone.
Pecos’ leader was junior Isaiah Armijo finishing 4th in 17:41, a few steps behind Humetewa. Santa Fe High senior Brock McKinney took the 6th spot in the time of 17:56.
In third place among the schools was Albuquerque Cottonwood Classical with 129 points, three better than Pojoaque Valley. St. Michael’s, still without their star senior Justin Angel (calf), finished seventh with 256, and Capital placed 17th with 382.
There were 18 schools that ran full teams.
“It was a hot day,” Calabaza said, “and the course had plenty of sand, but all went well. The coaches, in fact, liked the afternoon run.”
For the Horsemen, senior Adrian Veruete-Maya ran 18th in 18:58, with junior teammate Justin Sanchez two spots behind in 19:06.
The next stop for many of the schools will be the annual meet hosted by Academy of Technology and The Classics, Santa Fe High, and Capital. It too, was switched from the usual Saturday morning to Friday afternoon, with a scheduled 3 o’clock start at the Santa Fe Municipal Recreation Complex. The distance again will be 5 killometers.