By Arnie Leshin
Confusion usually sets in when state track and field qualifiers are seen on a list from a current meet, but not all winners appear on it.
It’s all about classes. There’s different standards for the five current state classes, 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A. So if the Capital boys 4 x 100 relay team nips St. Michael’s, 44:15 to 44:50, the 3A Horsemen would qualify, but the 5A Jaguars would not.
This was at the recent Capital City Invitational held at Santa Fe High. There was Santa Fe Prep senior Sam Sparks soaring over the high jump bar for a first-place 6-2, yet his 3A Griffins did not meet the state standard, whereas runner-ups Omar Dominguez of 2A Pecos and senior Derek McQuiston of St. Michael’s tied at 5-10 for second place, yet Dominguez qualified and McQuiston did not.
Dominguez did not win the 110 hurdles either, but his third-place finish in 16:92 qualified him for state.
Then there was Capital’s boy’s young 4 x 100 relay team edging St. Michael’s by racing 44:15 to the Horsemen’s 44:30. But the 5A Jaguars did not meet the state qualifying standards, while 3A St. Michael’s did.
No problem in the 4 x 400, though. The Horsemen senior four of Sebastian Alvarez, Hayden Lee, Justice Johnson and Justin Angel were a state qualifier in 3:31.56. St. Michael’s also claimed the 4 x 200 in 1:32.7, with senior Michael Waring replacing Angel.
On the girl’s side, the Lady Horsemen qualified for state by racing 52:12 in winning the 4 x 100 stick-pass. Santa Fe High ran second in 52:19, but did not qualify. But Demonettes junior Rhiannah Varela did when she won the triple jump at 34-07.
In the 100 hurdles, Prep junior Hayden Colfax and St. Michael’s senior Claire Lee ran one-two, and both qualified for state in 15:56 and 16:57, respectively. Lee ran first in the 300 hurdles in 50:62, and also qualified. In the high jump, Pecos senior Faith Flores was the runner-up and a state qualifier, as was fifth place St. Michael’s sophomore Olivia Farrar.
Flores went over at 5 feet and Farrar had a best of 4-11. In the 300 hurdles, Lady Horsemen senior Joelyn Fernandez came in second behind Lee, but her 51:21 was short of the qualifying mark.
But there’s plenty of time to qualify for state, with the district championships the weekend prior to the state meet, and the last chance to qualify. There are several meets before that.