The meet took place Saturday morning for the annual University of New Mexico XC Invitational. First to finish among the Santa Fe area girls was St. Michael’s sophomore Janai Clayton placing 53rd in 21:16.30 in a field of 246 over the UNM Golf Course
By ARNIE LESHIN, Santa Fe Today
Justin Angel finished strong last cross country season and on Saturday morning gave further proof that he hasn’t slowed down when he ran seventh in the prestigious annual University of New Mexico Invitational.
Timed in 16:20 in 5 kilometers over the UNM North Golf Course, the St. Michael’s junior trailed only a 5A, four 6A runners and two from El Paso, Tex., and he picked up where he left off in finishing seventh at last year’s state 4A championships in Rio Rancho.
It was by far the best performance by a Santa Fe area runner against the best teams in New Mexico, six from El Paso, and even a St. Michael Native American school from Arizona.
The team title went to Albuquerque Academy, but none of the Chargers showed their heels to Angel, who placed just ahead of Los Alamos’ highly touted freshman Rafael Sanchez, who clocked 16:23.19 in a field of 292 harriers.
The winner was Kirtland Central’s defending state 5A champion Kashon Harrison, who got away to his usual quick start and paved the way in 15:40.50. Second in 15:59.20 was Jericho Cleveland of Albuquerque Volcano Vista, with David Apodoca of Rio Rancho Cleveland third in 16:04.40, followed by two El Paso entries and Yonas Haile of Cleveland, who ran 16:50.90.
Then came the 5-foot-8 Angel, the first runner other than 5A or 6A to finish, and the second one was his junior teammate Eli Steward, who took 30th in 16:48, and then came Pojoaque’s John Hall taking 34th.
“He just ran a smart race against a strong field,” said Horsemen head coach Lenny Gurule. “He started well, went the first 1k in 3:13, and just stayed with the frontrunners even after they broke up into one pack. He moved up a little when they passed two miles, and Eli also ran well.”
St. Michael’s, with only one senior, scored 417 points for 17th place. It lines up next at the Saturday morning annual Academy of Technology And the Classics Invitational.
Not to look ahead, the Horsemen have won a pair of state team championships but never an individual winner. The closest was when senior Andres Gonzales was runner-up in a finish as closeasthis in 2014. Fred Baca and Michael Hart placed third before this.
Pecos’ two-time 3A state champion received a 51st place from junior Josh DeHerrera (17:40.30), and junior teammate Michael Montano ran 17:22 for 60th.
In the girl’s race, it was a field of 246 runners and St. Michael’s sophomore Janai Clayton came in 53rd in 21:16.30, with first place going to Cleveland’s Amanda Mayoral in 18:29.40. Santa Fe High senior Daisy Gephart ran 62nd in 21:30.50, followed 10 spots later by sophomore teammate Brooke Guevara (21:44.90).
Capital’s top runner was sophomore Emma George, who placed 91st in the time of 22:10.50. For Pecos, Alexis Gonzales finished 125th in 22:41.70.
The Lady Horsemen did not have a full team, with freshman London Luttrell out with a cold and leaving the team with only four runners. The Demonettes pieced together 496 points for 20th place, and Pecos 25th with 722.
The boy’s junior varsity race brought 101st place to Santa Fe Prep’s 8th-grade Evin Axlerod as he ran 23:01.60. In 106th came Santa Fe High’s senior Ajay Bhatka in 23:31.20.
In the girl’s JV run, the Demonettes’ senior Cassie Hoskisson placed 66th in 25:16.10, with the Griffins’ top finisher sophomore Abby Francis, who came in 125th in 31:59.50.
Here are the finishers and times of Santa Fe area runners:
7. Justin Angel, St. Michael’s, 16:20
30. Eli Steward, St. Michael’s, 16:48
51. Jose DeHerrera, Pecos, 17:40.30
60. Michael Montano, Pecos, 17:22
61. Adrian Veruette-Maya, St. Michael’s, 17:30.90
111. Joseph Nemingha, Capital, 18:03
124. Carlos Cordova, Pecos, 18:12.80
165. Wesley Stenberg, St. Michael’s, 18:42
170. Adrian Whitten, Santa Fe Prep, 18:53.80
188. Luca Pacheco, Santa Fe High, 19:42
196. Elijah Gonzales-Matovich, Santa Fe High, 19:27.40
198. Max Aufrichtig, Santa Fe Prep, 19:27.80
199. Griffin Rotheren, Santa Fe Prep, 19:30.7
208. Juan Varela, Pecos, 19:42.60
211. Bradley Moffett, Santa Fe High, 19:46.27
214. Keith Flores, Pecos. 19:49.30
215. Dominic Luna, Capital, 19:51
220. Joseph Namingha, Capital, 19:57.16
221. Oscar Garcia, Santa Fe High, 190:54.20
223. Dominic Smith, St. Michael’s, 20:24.50
236. Krish Bhatga, Santa Fe Prep, 20:37.70
252. Rolando Sandoval, Pecos, 21:16.40
270. Landon Tafoya, Santa Fe Prep, 22:18.50
278. Eric Garcia, Capital, 23:01.90
282. Gabriel Molinar, Capital, 23:58.20
283. Jack Sanchez, St. Michael’s, 23:58.20
284. Elias Wolfinden, St. Michael’s, 24:06.60
289. Justice Colfax, Santa Fe Prep, 24:31.60
53. Janai Clayton, St. Michael’s, 21:16.30
62. Daisy Gephart, Santa Fe High, 21:30.50
72. Brooke Guevara, Santa Fe High, 21:44.90
81. Violet Eklund, St. Michael’s, 21:56.20
83. Anna Swanson, Santa Fe Prep, 21:59.80
91. Emma George, Capital, 22:10.50
100. Abbie Leugers, St. Michael’s, 22:15.80
111. Maya Holder, Santa Fe High, 22:27.60
125. Alexis Gonzales, Pecos, 22:41.70
128. Audrey Gonzales, Capital, 22:46.20
139. Rue Allison, Santa Fe High,, 22:57.30
140. Faith Flores, Pecos, 23:05.50
147. Kianna Quintana, Pecos, 23:17.60
154. Lauren Cordova, St. Michael’s, 28:31.50
164. Sofia Gavin, Santa Fe High, 23:52.30
178. Haillie Welchsel, Santa Fe Prep, 24:09.10
185. Alexandria Sanchez, Santa Fe High, 29:31.30
189. Lynn Robey, Santa Fe Prep, 24:35.70
196. Eliza Ortiz, Pecos, 25:08.90
217. Vanessa Dominquez, Pecos, 26:45.10
226. Destiny Trujillo, Pecos. 27:37.40
227. Britany Martinez, Pecos, 27:38.30
246. Hayden Colfax, Santa Fe Prep, 32:25.80
101. Evin Axlerod, Santa Fe Prep, 23:01.60
106. Ajay Bhatka, Santa Fe High, 23:31.20
109. Bradley Nantz, Santa Fe High, 23:48.20
126. William Henry, Santa Fe Prep, 29:00.70
133. Urian Vasquez, Santa Fe Prep, 33:43
66. Cassie Hoskisson, Santa Fe High, 25.16.10
95. Katherine Sanchez. Santa Fe High, 26:59.60
96. Jordan Holmes, Santa Fe High, 27:03.80
100. Elia Nichols, Santa Fe High, 27:21.10
103. Hannah Smith, Santa Fe High, 27:31.90
125. Abby Francis, Santa Fe Prep, 31:59.50
131. Francesca Maetas, Santa Fe Prep, 33:56.80
135. Parker Hailey, Santa Fe Prep, 37:25.20
136. Michelle Sawumaka, Santa Fe Prep, 37.54.90