Spring break is over. Now it’s time for the Los Lunas High School track and field team to pick up the pace and get ready for the stretch run.
The Tigers hit the halfway point of the season Saturday at the Albuquerque Invitational. They head for the final turn back in the Duke City for the Albuquerque Combine this weekend.
Short-handed because of the spring break, neither the Los Lunas boys or girls team scored well at the Invite. At Wilson Stadium, the Lady Tigers scored six points. At Milne, the Tiger boys managed just two.
“It’s spring break, and we were missing a few kids for various reasons,” coach Avilio Chavez said, shrugging off his boys team’s 16th-place finish in a field of 17. “Next week, we’ll be at full strength, and that should be more indicative of where we’re at and where we’re headed come district time.”
La Cueva won the meet with 99 points, followed by Manzano with 64. Albuquerque Academy and Sandia tied for third with 45.
Missing from the boys team on Saturday were senior Bryan Stearley, who was taking his ATC test, and Jesus Sedillo, who was on an out-of-state trip.
Sedillo is the Tigers’ only state qualifier so far — in the 110 hurdles. Stearley is a key member of the Tiger relay teams.
The Los Lunas boys got their only points from their relay teams. Jordan Hendren took Stearley’s place on the 400-meter relay team, which placed sixth. Also running for the Tigers were sophomores Johnny Sanchez and Matt Walker and senior Chris Potter.
Hendren and Walker also helped the Tigers score a point in the medley relay. They were joined by seniors Danny Kastelic and Orlando Sanchez.
Sanchez was back on the track after a three-week layoff. The District 3-5A cross-country champion, Sanchez will be counted on to score points for Los Lunas in the distance events.
“It’s coming,” he said. “I’ll be ready for the district meet.”
The district meet is just a month away. With time winding down, coach Chavez said his team has to get ready for a big kick.
“We’re still looking for a lot of people to improve, but we’re pretty much on track,” he said. “It’s coming down to crunch time now. We’re still waiting for some people to step up.”
Lady Tiger head coach Tara Trujillo said her team scoring six points, and placing 12th in a field of 15 schools, doesn’t look good, but it isn’t that bad either.
“We were right there. We got a lot of sevenths, a lot of eighths,” she said, adding that the meet included some of the top schools in the state. “And to be right in there, at least close and within striking distance, is encouraging.”
Eldorado won the meet with 92 points. Academy and La Cueva tied for second with 54.
Trujillo was also encouraged that most everyone lowered their personal-best times.
One group that failed to do so but still managed to score points for Los Lunas was the medley relay team. Colleen Page, Chelsey Hastings, Cassie Sanchez and Monica Padilla finished the race in 4:48.
The Lady Tigers only other point scorer was sophomore Keri Hall, who cleared 4-6 in the high jump.
The coach pointed out she had an extremely young team with her on Saturday. Junior long jumper Nicole Galvan was the only upperclassman. Everyone else is either a sophomore or freshman.
“They’re not used to competing at that level yet, but they’re right there,” Trujillo said. “I think we’re going to surprise some people at district. I really do.”
Track & Field