Once again a pop concert level crowd descended upon Rio Rancho high school for the 2019 Laguna Burger NMAA Cross Country State Championships. More than 300 runners in eight different classes took to the 4.92 km course on November 9. The Socorro Warriors had one athlete qualify in 3A, missing team qualification by six points. The Alamo Navajo Cougars had seven boys and one girl qualifier for the race in A-2A.
Times were staggered and broken up throughout the morning and afternoon. In a shift from previous seasons, team and individual awards were given immediately after each race with the next class running as soon as possible instead of waiting.
The course began just north of the Rio Rancho baseball field before winding around the multiple soccer fields and behind the school on dirt track as athletes reached the finish line in the football stadium. Fan control was an issue for volunteers working the event as attendees were jumping through the course to get pictures at every angle while runners were still competing, becoming increasingly worse as the afternoon went on.
At the roped off basecamp area, runners were able to warm up with individual teams having tents set up. Alamo Head Coach Wendell Apache was there with his squad getting ready for a one o’clock run for seven of his eight athletes. The Cougars placed second in the A-2A district championships to end its regular season.
“We started out slow and happened to peak at the right time,” he said. “The kids have worked hard but just giving them a chance to understand that their body also needs rest has been a big thing for us. The kids just want to run. I’m very proud of how this group has grown.”
The Navajo Pine Warriors took home first place both individually, Galvin Curley at 16:13.50, and as a team in the A-2A group with Alamo coming in 11th. The Zuni Thunderbirds were first in 3A with Deshawn Goodwin leading the pack at 16:02.80.
Final Results Individual Socorro County:
Kennette Eriacho- 30th at 23:20.25.
Lane Apachito - 19th at 18:23.15.
Robert Baca - 31st at 18:56.35.
Robert Monte - 43rd at 19:24.40.
Jacob Apache - 90th at 21:12.80.
Hunter Apachito - 94th at 21:26.25.
Tayshawn Pino - 133rd at 25:36.45.
Miles Monte - 137th at 28:41.25.
Hunter Zuni (Socorro) - 55th at 19:14.45.