By Arnie Leshin
Vanessa Dominguez in on a mission and the target is Saturday’s state 1-3A track and field championships run at the University of New Mexico’s complex.
The Pecos senior made her way to the 1.600 and 3,200 finals by winning both at Saturday morning‘s District 6-2A championships hosted by Santa Rosa.. In the past years of her storied career as an outstanding distance runner, Dominguez was not as fortunate in the districts that brought the final chance to qualify for state.
As an 8th-grader, she ran districts, didn’t place among the leaders but did qualify for state and placed 8th in the 3,200 in 13:32.64. As a freshman, she was out of town on a family event, but had already qualified for state went on to take 7th in the 3,200 in 12:49.13, an improvement over her previous time and state, and in the 1,600, came in 9th in 5: 53.25.
As a sophomore at district time, she traveled to Arizona for a family matter, but once more had already qualified for the two distance runs. Then she came away with her first state title by leading the field in the 3,200 as she ran her best for in the distance in 12:19.38.
And last year as a junior, there were no districts or state championships when they were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
So now in her high school career finals, she’s going for not one, but two state championships. At districts she won the 1,600 in 5:59.74, and the 3,200 in 12:38.74.
Pecos head coach Patrick Ortiz had only nine girls competing at state and tied Santa Rosa in the team scoring with each compiling 122 points, but the Panthers officially finish on top with five first places to three for Santa Rosa.
Pecos also picked up a first place from senior Kinnana Quintana as she claimed the 800 in 2:36.24. And in the long jump, junior Savannah Ortiz came in first with a best of 15-10, and in the triple jump it was senior Trinity Herrera winning with a best of 30-03 after she led the Panthers to the state basketball championship.
Three of the relays went to Pecos, winning the 1 x 100 in 54.54, the 1 x 200 in 1:57.64, and the 4 x 800, while Texico came away with the 4 x 400 in 5:03.34.
The qualifiers for state will be listed by the New Mexican Activities Association early in the week.