BELEN — Los Lunas won the boys team championship, while Lisette Sanchez, of Belen, captured the individual girls’ title at the Adron Gardner Classic cross country meet Saturday, hosted by Belen High School.
The LLHS Tigers had four runners in the Top 10 to easily finish first for the boys. Micah Sparks and Eneas Armijo, of Los Lunas, finished second and third, respectively, behind Corbin Coombs, of Organ Mountain.
The 3.1 mile course through the nearby hills and gullies was new this year and proved challenging.
“The course was really sandy,” said the Tigers’ Micah Sparks. “They changed it up a little bit from last year, but that’s the thing about Los Lunas. We always adapt and overcome.”
The Tigers’ Isaac Gonzales and Austin Watts also contributed Top 10 performances.
Belen finished fifth overall for the boys, led by Matias Padilla in 14th place.
Valencia’s Victor Martinez was the Jaguars top runner with a 12th place showing. Valencia did not have enough runners for the team competition.
For the girls, Moriarty was the team champion followed by Organ Mountain, Los Lunas and Belen.
The Eagles’ Sanchez captured her second individual title this season, this time by a full 50 seconds.
“I was expecting some Las Cruces schools to push me some more,” Sanchez said. “Every meet I’m getting more and more excited. I’m really preparing for state. I hope I can compete well there.”
Kiyah Padilla was the top girls’ runner for Los Lunas, finishing fifth. Valencia’s Abigail Vigil was the Jaguars’ top finisher in 19th place.
Eleven schools entered runners.
Mike Powers spent more than 40 years as a television news and sports anchor, mostly in the Albuquerque market. He has won numerous awards including New Mexico Sportscaster of the Year. He covers a wide range of sports, including the Valencia County prep scene.