Jace Rivera, Jessie Trujillo and Sherwin Price took first place in individual events to help the Belen High School boys track and field team to a second place finish at the Los Lunas Invitational on Saturday.
Rivera, a three-time Class 4A state champion in the shot put and state runner-up last year in the discus, outclassed the competition. He won the shot put by more than eight feet with a heave of 54-feet, 2-inches, and he won the discus with a throw of 161-08, more than 38 feet farther than his nearest competitor.
“That’s real good for Jace right now this early in the season,” Belen boys head coach Kevin Benavidez said of Rivera’s performance in the discus. “And in the shot, his PR (personal record) is 56-3, so he’s right where he needs to be right now.”
Trujillo won the javelin by nearly 20 feet with a throw of 154-04. Price took first place in the high jump, clearing 6-feet.
Rivera and Price helped Belen accumulate 86 points, good enough for second place behind host Los Lunas which had 102. Albuquerque’s Valley High School placed third with 77.5 points. Seven teams participated in the meet.
Benavidez was pleased with his team’s overall performance. “They looked good — they did a lot of good things,” he said. “I think our hurdlers did a good job, I think some of our short sprinters did a good job. So we’re doing some good things, and we’re going to get better.”
In hurdling events, Terrell Trantham and Kyle Merrell established personal records. They placed second and third respectively in the 110; Merrell was second in the 300 as well.
Also showing good speed were Nick Carter, who was second in the 100-meter dash, and the 400-meter relay team of Carter, Rodney Harrison, Vincent Torres and Derek Jaramillo, which beat Los Lunas by .01 seconds to win the event.
Joseph Garcia placed third for the Eagles in the 3200. Also placing third for Belen was Dominic Villela, who threw the shot put exactly 10-feet short of Rivera’s best mark.
The Lady Eagle track and field team took a left turn at NM 6 and went to the Grants Invitational instead.
Junior Jessica Braswell and sophomore Jocelyn Chavez, who both surpassed state qualifying marks at the Lady Eagles’ first meet on March 4 in Albuquerque, did it again in Grants.
Braswell was second in the pole vault, clearing 8-feet, 6-inches. Chavez was fifth in the high jump with a leap of 5-feet, 2-inches — an inch higher than she went five days earlier.
Chavez placed fourth in the 400-meter run. Also placing fourth was sophomore Alicia Taylor, clearing 7-feet in the pole vault.
“The sophomores and the freshmen we took did a great job,” said head coach Jim Edwards. “We saw some people do some things that showed they are starting to come around.”
The coach said he was impressed with the performances of sophomore Caryn Jarvis and freshman Janelle Beyerl. Jarvis recorded good 400-meter splits while running the open event and two relays. Beyerl ran within about a half second of the qualifying time for the 800.
Edwards said sophomore Emily Schultz was running second in the 100-meter hurdles when she stumbled over the last obstacle.
The coach reported that senior Monica Maldonado sat out Saturday’s meet because of a back injury. Her status for this Saturday’s meet in Hobbs will depend on whether she’s cleared by a physican to run.
While the girls team will make the first of two trips to Hobbs this season on Saturday, the Belen boys will participate in the Wilson Relays in Albuquerque.
Track & Field