By Arnie Leshin
The Los Alamos girls joined the Hilltopper boys at Saturday’s annual Joe I. Vigil Cross Country Invitational up at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colo.
The Toppers finished third with 81 points and an average time for the 5-killometers at 1:40.30. Their leading runner was the winner, rising sophomore Delaney Ulrich who ran 18:59.6 as the only one under 19 minutes.
Then came senior Norissa Valdez taking 31st in 19:54, followed by junior Hailey McDowell running 16th and clocked in 20:05.8. In 26th and 27th places respectively were Los Alamos juniors Emma Montoya and Sophie Chadwick, with Montoya’s time 20:44, and Chadwick’s 20:46.4.
The No. 6 Topper harrier, senior Kamaya Ronning, took 35th in 21:27.1, and then came junior Zorah Fullop as number 36th in 21:30. Los Alamos also had an 8th runner in freshman Rebecca Beaux and she came in 48th in the time of 22:07.3.
Rio Rancho finished fifth with 149 points, and in the average time of 1:45.32. The Rams’ initial finisher was senior Gracey Lovato who came in 14th and ran 19:54.5.
Taos was 19th with 523 points and an average time of 2:26.07. The leading Tiger was junior Marielle Gomez placing 78th in 23:47.2.
And Santa Fe High also made the annual trip to Adams State, where its head coach Peter Graham was a stellar distance runner. It finished 14th as its boys did, and recorded 391 points to go with an average of 2:03.49.
The No. 1 Demonette harrier was a young riser in 8th-grader Mia Schleman, as she took 51st place and was timed in 22:14.5. Next came senior Lilli Gadret taking 59th in 22:34.34. The No. 3 runner for the team was senior Olive Beffort and she ran 23:48.7 in finishing 79th.
Freshman Addi Pattelena followed in 124th place and clocked 27:04.5, while junior Carley Johnson ran a 28:06.4, and freshman Shea Novak did the course in 28:05.5, and placed right behind Johnson in less than a step.
Los Alamos, as its boys did, served the same notice to the New Mexico schools and especially 4A in the state championships. It’s a program that continues up at the top of the heap.