By Arnie Leshin
It wasn’t the way seniors wanted their final year to be. They wanted to graduate straight from a good final fling in track and field, but it wasn’t to be when the worldwide threat of coronavirus closed down schools and all spring sports.
So for many of them it was after the March 7 Bernalillo Invitational that the season came to an abrupt end. The girls from the Santa Fe area did well in winning eight events, the boys won three. Not bad for runners-up, too, as the area girls came in second seven times and boys eight times.
In the team scoring, Santa Fe High’s girls came within a point of tying first place Albuquerque Hope Christian, 82-81, with Academy of Technology and The Classics third with 50.5 and fourth was St. Michael’s with 48 points. Twelfth was Santa Fe Indian School with 11.
The Demon boys also took second behind Hope Christian, but this wasn’t as close as the Huskies piled up 121.5 points and Santa Fe High scored 53. Next came Rio Rancho and host Bernalillo, and fifth and sixth places went to St. Michael’s (32.25) and Indian School (31). ATC took 10th with the Elks, both accumulating 22 points.
In combined scoring, Hope was all by itself with a 203.5 total, Next came the Demonettes and Demons with 134, the Horsemen and Lady Horsemen fourth with 80.5, ATC fifth with 72.5, and sixth came the Braves with 42.
Santa Fe Prep did not enter this meet, which would have concluded the stellar four years turned in by senior Hayden Colfax. But that came instead when the New Mexico Activity Association announced that there would be no more 2020 spring sports in the state.
Colfax also competed in cross country, soccer, and swimming-diving as well as playing some basketball this past season, which she hadn’t done since middle school. Now that she has committed to Division II Williams College in Massachusetts, track and field suits her best.
She ran, she hurdled, she jumped at state since eight grade, where she began with four events, the high jump, long jump, and 100 and 300 hurdles. After being disappointed with a sixth, a seventh, and two eights, she bounced back as a freshman by winning the first of three 100 hurdles state championships, with a record 15.76 her sophomore season.
In the four other events her freshmen year, she placed second in the triple and high jump, fourth in the 300 hurdles, and ran the second leg on the third place 4 x 400 relay team. As a sophomore, she won twice, the 100 hurdles and the triple jump, took third in the 300 hurdles, fourth in the high jump, and raced the anchor leg on the fourth place 4 x 400 relay team.
Last year she wiped out the previous triple jump state mark held by Yeshemaby Turner with a best of 37-10.75, seven inches longer then the jump by Turner. Colfax also won the 100 dash in the record time of 12.76,, the 100 hurdles, and set a state record by going over the high jump bar at 5 feet.
Not bad except she was eager to have even a finer senior year, but it wasn’t to be. So she leaves behind winning the 100 hurdles three times, the triple jump twice, and the high jump and 100 meters once each. Seven titles in all. She was zero her first year, won once the second year, twice the third year, and finished up as a junior by sweeping all four events.
Meanwhile, at Bernalillo two senior girls from Santa Fe High won, with Rianna Varela winning both the triple jump at 35-5, and the the long jump at 17-1. Plus, Amber Lucero took the shot put with a throw of 32-8.
Other girls who emerged victorious were Academy of Technology and The Classics junior Kate Ferguson in the 100 hurdles (18.27); Santa Fe High sophomore Miriam Bechtel the 300 hurdles (55.23): ATC junior Naomi Lujan the pole vault (0.7); St. Michael’s 8th grader Jade Lujan topping the field in the high jump (4-8), and the ATC quarter of junior Maggie Rittmeyer, freshman Chanelle Jaeger, sophomore Josette Gurule, and Ferguson winning twice by running the last leg and the four won in 4:26.92.
Then came the boys, with Demons’ sophomore Dylan Tapia speeding 11.56 to win the 100 dash, ATC senior Gonzalo Reyes the 1,600 in 4.45.30, and the Indian School the sprint medley relay in 4:01.7 with junior Julian Martinez, senior Aiden Rodriguez, sophomore Fenyx Morningdove, and junior Isaiah Velasquez.
For those girls that placed second, young Lujan of St. Michael’s, who won the high jump, added the 300 hurdles in 56.08; as did shot put winner Lucero of Santa Fe High in the discus (90-65), and ATC’s Rittmeryer adding the 3,200 in 12:42.70 to her relay victory.
Then there were the other runners-up with ATC senior Kamryn Hoehne running 6:02.52 in the 1,600; ATC junior Rachel Baten going over the pole vault bar at 0.6.6; and St. Michael’s running the 4 x 100 relay in 54.92, and Indian School the 4 x 400 in 5:08.19.
The boys, too, had a list of second place finishers in Valasquez adding to his relay win by going 4:50.15 in the 1,600; Demons’ junior Levi Gessler the 100 hurdles in 16.95; sophomore teammate Joel Rodriguez the 300 hurdles in 43.26; ATC sophomore Brandon Frankland the triple jump with a best of 38-11; Santa Fe High senior Trent Jones the shot put with a toss of 37-2; Horseman junior Jaden Mifsid the discus at 115 feet, and the Santa Fe High 4 x 400 relay team running 3:44.62.
NOTE: If five sports weren’t enough for Hayden Colfax, outside of Santa Fe Prep she races cyclocross and mountain biking as part of the New Mexico Bike-n-Sport team. She does snowshoe races, and competes in any triathlon she can fit in.
She has numerous state championships in mountain biking and cyclocross. She also did the decathlon at the Great Southwest meet last year, and decided that might be her favorite sport. and added that she also has a passion for climbing 14’ers. So without high school spring sports, Colfax can find plenty to do before heading off to college.
The bottom line is that she’d play every sport if she could. That’s her athleticism and love of all sports she learned from her dad, Reed.