By Arnie Leshin
The Academy of Technology and The Classics’ track and field program just gets younger every season. The seniors graduate and in come the 8thgraders. Then there are transfer students, and under head coach Tim Host, they all get better.
The girls now number 35, the boys 37. But be careful looking for the seniors because there aren’t any or many. But there sure are underclassmen. The girls are stacked with 17 sophomores, 14 freshmen, and only four juniors. The boys roster lists a dozen sophomores, nine juniors, seven seniors, and seven freshman.
Host, who is also the charter school’s athletic director, lost one senior from last year’s young distance relay quartet, that being versatile Lilia Noger-Onstott, the team’s biggest point-maker at the state 3A championships, and who does the high jump, long jump and whatever else is needed.
So that’s a valuable loss for the Phoenix, but Host counters with more undergraduates like 8th graders Charnelle Jaeger, Lily Barker and Crickett Tiger, as well as sophomore Laila Bernadordio, and junior Madison Northup.
They helped win the team championship in Wednesday’s Pecos Panther Invitational, while the boys finished second.
Jaeger was the highlight of the meet for ATC. She won the 100 meters and the triple jump, and that alone defines her versatility. She also raced the anchor leg for the victorious medley relay foursome, and stepped in for an injured teammate in the 1,600 relay, and that brought her a fourth triumph in what was the meet’s final event.
Bernadordio placed second in the 100 meters where four of the Phoenix finished among the first five. In the triple jump, the runner-up was Banker and third place went to Tiger as ATC sent four 8thgraders into the event. Then there was Morthup, and she placed first in the shot put and second in the discus.
For the Phoenix boys, Ahbedoh White Eagle, a true blue senior, sped the 200 in the state qualifying time of 23.14, and also qualified in the 100 for Monday’s annual Marilyn Sepulveda Meet of Champion held in Albuquerque.
ATC’s boys also placed first in the 4 by 100 stick-pass, and in the 1,600 relay, while senior Chris Brewer won the discus over runner-up 8th-grader Israel Villegas of host Pecos.