By Arnie Leshin
Nothing is ever guaranteed, but as the stretch runbegins for the Saturday, Nov. 9, state cross country championships hosted by Rio Rancho High School, Academy of Technology and The Classics junior Maggie Rittmeyer appears to be the one to beat in 3A.
Second last year to Pecos junior Vanessa Dominguez, she has made great strides, one that included finishing 22nd Saturday morning in the 5-killomter championship division of the Rio Rancho Jamboree. Mixed in with 6A, 5A and 4A top runners, she ran 20:54.50, the third-best overall time of all the divisions.
Her run paved the way to ATC placing fourth with 132 points, and it was the best of all the small schools in an annual event that attracted 110 schools, including five from Arizona.
Dominguez, whose Panthers edged the Phoenix by three points at last year’s state and the schools finished one-two, ran a sixth-fastest 21:37.80, and her team totaled 299 points for 12th place.
If this state final is again expected, it could be reversed. Nothing guaranteed, but head coach Tim Host’s young girl’s team, who ran two weeks ago at the annual Desert Twilight Invitational in Arizona, is just running well, getting balanced, running in packs, and the No. 2 harrier is freshman Lili Rittmeyer, Maggie’s sister.
Lili finished 35th in the 5th fastest clocking of 21:24.60. Behind her in 46th was sophomore teammate Josette Gurule (21:44.70), juniorKamryn Hoedhme, 58th in 22:08.60, freshman Noelani Van Loon 71st in 22:28.20, and 76th was junior Kate Ferguson in 22:36.10, and sophomore Maiah Trujillo 101st in 23:09.80.
The fastest time was in the same race, as Jasmine Turtle-Morales of Albuquerque Eldorado finished first in 19:05.20. Second-best was Sidney Cheromiah of Laguna-Acuma, who won the 5ksmall school race in 20:37.50.
Also in the small school division was Santa Fe Prep, and its junior Sophia Addison came in 12thand ran 22:42. The Griffins took fourth with 135 points. In a crowded finish, Crownpoint ran first with 89 points, one point ahead of Wingate and Penasco.
In the large school division, Santa Fe High senior Maya Holder took 8th place running 21:56.90, and senior teammate Salome Ropp was five places behind in 22:26.40. The Demonettes scored 158 points for sixth place.
In the girl’s junior varsity division, it was ATC finishing 4th with 132 points, with 8th grader Aliga Den Hartog coming in 7th in the time of 23:10.70.
The Jamboree is raced at the same site and same course as the state championships. The course might have been altered some for the Jamboree, but will not be changed for state.