Magdalena track and field athletes make giant leaps


The sun was shining bright at last week’s Stockyard Relays in Magdalena last Thursday. And things were looking bright for Magdalena High School’s track and field teams, too.

Not only did the Steers girls win the meet, and the boys place a close second to a Class 3A school, Magdalena athletes turned in some standout performances, including additional qualifiers in next month’s Class 2A state meet.

“Our 4 x 100 relay team qualified today and so did Billy Holly in the shot put,” gleamed MHS girls coach Corine Madril.

Holly, a freshman, placed second in the shot put with a throw of 32 feet, 7 inches. That mark ranks fourth best among 2A qualifiers so far this year.

The girls 400-meter relay team finished second as well, just two ticks of the stopwatch behind Socorro’s always quick relay sprinters. Its time of 53.3 seconds is second-best in 2A.

The team is made up of Audrianna Zamora, Kadie Kiehne, Kameron Armstrong and Abigail Bullock.

That makes two MHS relay teams assured of running at state. The 1600-meter relay team of Kadie Kiehne, Armstrong, Maxie Kiehne and Bullock previously qualified.

“I’m hoping our 4 x 200 will get in too,” the coach said.

Armstrong and Bullock are state qualified in the pole vault, as well. The former, a veteran of state competition as a track and field athlete and basketball player, has cleared 8 feet in the pole vault. The latter, who qualified by clearing 7-6, is among a group of promising young athletes at Magdalena.

“Our numbers are up,” Madril said. “We’ve got 13 girls altogether. I pulled up some eighth-graders today, because a couple of JV meets got canceled.”

Another freshman, Breann Baca, is state-qualified in the high jump and close to qualifying in the javelin.

“Breann is throwing 101, 103 in the javelin, so she’s right there too,” her coach said.

Junior Jaclyn Matai will join Baca at the state meet in the high jump. Both have cleared 5-0.

The Lady Steers’ only other state qualifier so far is Keanda Chavez. The senior made it in two events at a meet at Albuquerque’s Menaul High School on March 28, when she surpassed the state standards in the shot put and discus. Her mark of 100-2 1/2 in the discus ranks second in 2A.

Madril said she expects Maxie Kiehne, who is coming off an injury to make state in the hurdle events, and more could be added after the district meet at the end of this month.

Magdalena Boys

Magdalena boys coach Jory Mirabal has just two state qualifiers, but he promises there will be more to come.

“I expect a lot more at district,” Mirabal said.

The top two placers in each event at district earn automatic berths in the state meet and several Magdalena boys are right on the cusp.

Already qualified are a pair of hurdlers. Senior John Woods will be back to defend his title as state champion in the 110 hurdles. As it stands now, he’s the favorite. His time of 15.35 seconds is best in 2A.

Woods is ranked second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 42 seconds flat.

Kolt Henderson, a freshman, is qualified in the 110s and ranks fourth.

Daniel Hand is a returning state champion of sorts in the 1600-meter run. He won the event as a freshman and sophomore when Magdalena competed as a 1A school.

After missing all of last season to a knee injury, he’s trying to make it back to state for his senior year and took a step in that direction by winning the event last Thursday. Hand’s time of 4:57.7 is a few seconds off the qualifying standard, however, and there’s already at least a half dozen 2A runners who have been quicker.

Hand could also make state as part of a relay team.

“Our medley relay is close and our 4 x 100 is right there,” Mirabal said. “They’ve already set the school record. We’ve been stuck on 47 flat for years,” Mirabal said.

The 400-meter relay team of Hand, Woods and freshmen Jonathan Britton and Barak Stephens clocked in at 46.9 during the Stockyard Relays.

Britton and Stephens are representative of the future of the Steers’ boys track and field team.

“We’ve got lots of young kids — freshman and eighth graders. They’re good athletes but just not experienced,” Mirbal said.


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