By Arnie Leshin
The Academy of Technology and The Classics girls made sure that Los Alamos wasn’t going to sweep the four 3.1-mile races Saturday over the Pueblo of Pojoaque Wellness Center.
The Hilltoppers ran off with all but the girl’s varsity team championship that went to the Phoenix, with junior Maggie Rittmeyer paving the way by running third in 20:17, only four seconds behind Santa Fe High senior Maya Holder, withfirst place going to Taos’ Alex Mastor in 19:37.
But Tim Host’s harriers came away with 48 points, five better than the Hilltoppers, and did this with balance one week after racing in the Desert Twilight Invite at Arizona’s Casa Grande.
The Phoenix ran well as a pack. Taking fifth place was junior co-captain Kamryn Hoehne finishing in 20:33. Right behind her in sixth was freshman Lily Rittmeyer the time of 20:57. In 14th place was sophomore Josette Gurule clocked in 21:35, and its No. 5 runner, junior Kate Ferguson, ran 20th in 21:59.
“It was a great day for us,” Host said. “Maggie, Lily and Josette all ran tired after also competing in two soccer and two volleyball matches last week, and Noelani (Van Lomm), the freshman, was out visiting relatives. It was a personal-best for Kamryn.”
Last year, Maggie was second at state, Van Loom third, Gurule 11th, Lily 12th and Hoehne 14th. Pecos’ Vanessa Dominguez finished first, and the Panthers edged the Phoenix, 36-39, for the team title. It should be close again for the two schools. Pecos did not run in the Northern New Mexico Challenge, and like ATC, has runners who also compete in volleyball and soccer.
Holder is having a remarkable final season. Last year at state, she settled for 105th in the time of 23:46.85. Now she’s got her times down to the low 20s and has a shot at a top-10 finish. As for Mastor, she placed third in the state 4A last season.
Without a full team, St. Michael’s senior London Luttrell ran 13th in 21:32. Destiny Marquez was Indian School’s first finisher in racing 19th in 21:45. The Demonettes also had freshman Reinita Irizarry, and juniors Amber Lujan and Maya Ellers finish within 10 seconds of each other as they placed 57th, 58th, 59th.