Socorro star athlete receives yet another honor

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Dezirae Armijo, one of Socorro’s high school athlete phenomenons, qualified for the USA Track and Field National track meet in North Carolina when she finished fourth in the 100-meter dash at the USATF Region X meet held in Phoenix last month, after winning the same event at the New Mexico state meet and becoming the fastest 17/18-year-old in the state.

Armijo also ran the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter run and competed in the long jump competition, after placing among the top three overall at the New Mexico state meet. She has accumulated 18 Track and Field State Championship medals throughout her varsity track career, which started in her eighth-grade year.

Armijo’s two younger brothers, Michael Armijo II, 14 years old, and Jordan Armijo, 9 years old, also participated in the Region X meet, making it a family affair.

Armijo did not make the trip to North Carolina to participate in the National USATF meet due to her college prep schedule, as well as the cost of traveling to the meet.

Armijo has been running track in Socorro athletic programs for 14 years. Her successes have taken her to five different states and helped her achieve success in other sports, such as soccer, a sport at which she has excelled and for which she has been featured in the Albuquerque Journal and Sports Illustrated.

During the 2012 soccer season, Armijo scored 80 goals, shattering the previous New Mexico record by 20 goals, and leading the nation in scoring that season. These goals brought her career total to 235 goals, which set a new state record (previously 173) and placed her among the naton’s all-time top three scorers in high school soccer.

“Dezirae may not be the fastest on the track but no one has ever earned 18 state medals,” said her dad, Michael Armijo. “She may not be the tallest, but on the basketball court, you will never get a clean shot with Dez guarding you, as SHS defensive record setter. And on the soccer field, she is not, by far, the biggest person on the field; but you will never, ever see another soccer player with a bigger heart, unselfishness, tenacity nor the skills to score at will.

In addition to her prowess in soccer and track, Armijo has also played basketball. Armijo was part of a team of seniors that became district champions. During the 2012 season, Armijo became the Lady Warriors all-time season record holder for steals, and was named defensive MVP and picked by other district coaches to be on the All-District First Team, where she earned all-tournament honors. Armijo also received the Socorro High School Warriors MVP and defensive MVP honors for the 2011-12 season in basketball.

Armijo’s accolades and accomplishments do not end with sports. She was recently awarded the SHS school board’s Excellence Award. She is a member of the National Honor Society. In April she was invited to the New Mexico Hispanic Chamber of Commerce dinner and banquet at the Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque to be recognized and presented with a scholarship that can be used at the school of her choice. In November 2012, the city of Socorro presented Armijo with a certificate of achievement at their council meeting and congratulated her for her success, thanking her for putting Socorro soccer on the map. In January, she was invited by Sen. Howie Morales to the State Capitol and was honored and recognized by the lieutenant governor and the Senate for her achievements on and off the field. The senator read the proclamation that states Armijo’s actions help to motivate and encourage young ladies across the state to set goals, work hard and to become the best they can be. He also stated that being the first New Mexican on the national soccer record books will open the eyes of college recruits about the level of New Mexico soccer and hopefully pave the way for others to gain a quality education.

Armijo accepted a scholarship offer from Adams State University to play soccer. She is leaning toward a career in the health field as a physical therapist or a veterinarian.

Her dad says she fell in love with the Colorado weather and mountains and was really sold after visiting the Grizzlies campus ,which is finishing up a $20 million renovation. Adams’ coach Sullivan was also a big part of her decision. Armijo was contacted by over 75 college soccer programs from coast to coast.