Vixens notch 1A state crown

CNJ correspondent: Scot Stinnett Fort Sumner sophomore Rita Herrera grimaces as she prepares to cut loose during Saturday’s Class 1A state girls shot put competition in Albuquerque. Herrera won the event at 36 feet, 5 inches, helping the Vixens capture the team title.

Staff and wire reports

ALBUQUERQUE — Fort Sumner’s girls are back in the winner’s circle.

The Vixens captured their first Class 1A state track championship since 2004 and seventh since 1996 on Saturday, riding a strong showing in relays and field events to score 86 points and dethrone two-time champion Cimarron, which finished with 80.

Melrose scored 20 points for ninth place in 1A girls competition, led by a win in javelin from junior Lauren Graham on Saturday. Clovis Christian scored eight points to tie Des Moines for 13th place, while Grady shared 17th place with Gallup Catholic after scoring four points.

Fort Sumner’s boys were third in 1A with 55 1/2 points, one-half point behind Hagerman. Carrizozo ran away with team honors, scoring 89 points.

Clovis Christian and Melrose each scored 16 points to share eighth place.

Senior Justin Garrison was a double winner for Texico’s boys, helping the Wolverines finish third in Class 2A with 44 points. Estancia cruised to the team title with 102 1/2 points, while Capitan came in second with 52 1/2.

Texico’s girls posted five second-place finishes on Saturday and the Lady Wolverines finished fifth with 36 points. Cloudcroft rolled to the 2A girls title with 74 points with Santa Fe Prep second at 48.

The Herrera sisters came up big for Fort Sumner on Saturday. Sophomore Rita Herrera took first place in shot put with a throw of 36-5, while her sister Laurel, a senior, placed second in javelin behind Graham with a throw of 107-11.

Clovis Christian sophomore Jennifer Schaap was second in shot at 31-10, while Fort Sumner’s DeLane Luce placed fourth at 30-10 1/2.

The Vixens ran second in the 400, 800 and 1,600 relays and finished third in the 1,600 medley relay. Meantime, sophomore BreeAnna Lucero added third-place finishes in both hurdles races to her win in high jump on Friday, and freshman Justyne McMath and sophomore Katie Schade went 2-4 in the 800 with respective times of 2:36.47 and 2:38.32.

In addition to Graham’s win, Melrose’s girls got a third-place on Saturday from junior Taneil Roberts, who ran a time of 1:03.78 in the 400.

Fort Sumner led a 2-4-5-6 from the area in the 1,600 relay finale, with Grady finishing fourth ahead of Melrose and Clovis Christian.
Texico’s girls took seconds in three relays on Saturday, along with junior Brooke Bailey in shot put (34-1 1/2) and freshman Katlin Luscombe in javelin (105-8).

The 400, 800 and 1,600 relays consisted of the same four girls — junior Bryn Mayfield, freshman Victoria Richards, junior Faith Martin and freshman Lisa Vidal.

“I feel pretty good,” Mayfield said. “This is the best we’ve done at state. I think our times were about the same (as usual), so at least we didn’t drop any.”

Garrison helped carry the Texico boys into a trophy position, winning long jump at 21-1 1/2 and javelin at 160-10.

“We’re happy, but not satisfied,” Garrison said. “A lot of people thought we didn’t have a … chance (to finish as high as they did).”

Texico also got a second in the 400 and a fourth in javelin from Mario Posada and third-place finishes by brothers Aaron Morgan in the 100 hurdles and Ryan Morgan in the 300 hurdles.

Wolverines coach Mike Prokop said his team did a good job of handing the cool, windy conditions.

“In this weather, you’ve got to make sure (the athletes) stay warm and do a good job of keeping loose,” he said. “We were trying to keep the kids loose all day.”

Fort Sumner’s boys won the 1,600 relay finale in 3:41.27 after finishing second in the 800 relay. The Foxes also got a third in the 100 hurdles and a fourth in the 300 hurdles from junior Cass Dimitroff and a third in pole vault from sophomore Barrett Williamson, while sophomore Berry Stinnett was fourth in javelin.

Clovis Christian’s top effort on Saturday was sophomore Ross Miller’s third-place showing in the 400 in a school-record time of 53.41 seconds.

“I didn’t expect the boys to do as well as they did,” CCS coach Jason Swann said. “Pretty much everyone ran a personal record. I think it’s something we can build on.”

Melrose did most of its scoring on Saturday with a second-place finish in the 1,600 medley relay and a third-place showing in the 1,600 relay.

Estancia won the 400, 800 and 1,600 relays in cruising to its second consecutive 2A boys championship.

Estancia senior Brian Wilson overcame a mishap which cost him the 300 hurdles title to help the Bears cruise. He ran on all three winning relays and also took the 110 hurdles.

Fort Sumner’s title in the 1A girls meet denied Cimarron its seventh state title since 1992, meaning those programs have combined to win 13 state titles in the last 16 years. One of the Lady Rams’ crowns, in 1997, came as a member of Class 2A.

Cimarron’s girls won the 400, 800 and 1,600 relays.

Carrizozo stormed to the 1A boys title behind Johnny Beltran, who won long jump and the 110 hurdles for the Grizzlies.

Gallup Catholic stayed close by doing well in the distance events, including a 1-2-3-4 sweep of the 3,200 led by Stephen Jochem.