Area youth represent Socorro County at USATF National Championships in Greensboro, N.C.

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Ashlyn Aguilar’s goal was to win her third gold medal this year at USA Track and Field National Championships after winning gold at both the state and regional meets this summer. She got so close, but missed the gold by .01 meter. Her best throw measured 34.55 meters.

Since the state meet in June, Aguilar has continued to beat her personal record, with a 32.8-meter throw at the state meet, a 32.53-meter throw at regional, and then a leap to 34.55 meters at nationals.

Dayna Guerro didn’t fare quite as well in her events, but still made a valiant effort in the 400-meter and 800-meter races. Guerro ran against 40 other 17 and 18-year-old girls from across the United States in the first round of the 400-meter race. She was in good position, finishing in 56.841 seconds, beating her own state time.

“These are some of the fastest times any girl has run for a 400-meter or 800-meter this year in the state of New Mexico, said Steven Mills, Guerro’s coach and running partner. “The running camp she attended the week before Nationals helped her to see the big picture of running. I think she is going to do really big things this year in cross-country and track.”

Aguilar had a rough start in Greensboro, N.C. with her first throws under 30 meters in length. But she shook off the nerves and came back to beat her own personal record to finish second.

“I just focused and remembered everything my coach said, and just did my best,” Aguilar said.

It wasn’t technically Aguilar’s first time on the East Coast. She was born in Virginia, but her family moved to Socorro when she was a baby.

“It was nice for her to see that side of the country, where she was born,” said Julia Aguilar, Ashlyn’s mother. “Her dad, little sister and I were able to go with her.”

Aguilar worked hard both on and off the field to make it to the national meet. In addition to putting in a lot of practice on the field, she raised funds for her trip, including selling Krispy Kreme donuts and selling tickets for a drawing. Her sister Alyssa helped her with sales.

“We are all very proud of her,” said Aguilar’s mother. “She worked hard.”

Guerro also relied on outside support to make the trip to Greensboro.

“I am so thankful to all of the people who helped me get the money together to do this,” Guerro said. “Without them, I would have never been able to fulfill this dream; you don’t know how much this has meant to me.

“Even though I would have liked to have made it to the finals, I am proud of what I have accomplished this year and look forward to improving every time I race,” Guerro said.