Belen High School added five more names to the list of athletes it will send to the Class 4A state track and field meet next month.
For the Lady Eagles, Stephanie Sanchez joins Jessica Braswell, Jocelyn Chavez and Alicia Taylor as those destined for the state meet. And Nick Carter, Rodney Harrison, Sherwin Price and Robert Rimorin added their names to the list, along side Derick Jaramillo and Jace Rivera as state-bound boys.
Sanchez, a sophomore, surpassed the state qualifying distance in the javelin last Thursday at the Dona Anna Classic in Las Cruces. She won the event with a throw of 106-8.
“She’s been close all year and finally got one out there far enough to win the meet,” said Lady Eagle head coach Jim Edwards.
Now that Sanchez is in, Edwards said he’s looking for ways to get Sanchez to throw even further.
“She’s been just doing a five step (approach). Now that she’s qualified, we’re going to get her to go to a full approach,” the coach said.
In addition to her first place finish in the javelin, Sanchez was second in the shot put. Also placing second at the meet was Emily Schultz in the 100-meter hurdles. Schultz was fourth in the 100 dash.
Chavez out-classed the Class 5A athletes at the meet by taking first place in both events she’s already qualified in for state. She won the high jump, clearing 5-0, and won the triple jump with a mark of 33-9. The sophomore improved to 34-11 a day later at the Richard Harper Memorial meet at Albuquerque Academy.
It was at the two-day meet at Academy where the four Belen boys beat state qualifying marks.
In a preliminary heat on Friday, Belen’s 400 relay team ran the distance in 43.9 seconds. The key was the addition of Rimorin to the team.
“We borrowed him from the baseball team,” head coach Kevin Benavidez explained. “He hasn’t practiced with us much. I just know he can run fast.”
Rimorin is a replacement for Sherwin Price on the relay. The coach said he wasn’t sure if Price would be able to run relay events because of a sore quadricep.
Still, the injury didn’t keep Price from qualifying for state in the high jump for the second-straight year. The junior cleared the qualifying height of 6-2 and finished second.
Senior Jace Rivera, already a three-time state shot put champion, keeps getting better. He won the shot put with a mark of 59-4 – two feet better than his previous best. Rivera also won the discus. “He looked good in the ring. His technique was really good,” coach Benavidez said.
Also for Belen, Carter was fifth in the 100 finals after running a personal best time of 10.98 in the preliminaries; Jaramillo, who previously qualified for state in the triple jump, placed third in that event with a mark of 42-9; and hurdlers Kyle Merrell and Jason Romero scored points by reaching the finals.
The Belen boys placed sixth out of 12 schools at the meet with 29 points. The host Chargers won with 102. Manzano was second with 69 and La Cueva was third with 68.
The Lady Eagles placed eighth out of 11 teams with 14 points. Eldorado won with 118.5.
At the Las Cruces meet, the Belen girls were fourth, out of seven teams, with 54 points. Las Cruces Oñate beat cross-town rivals Mayfield (119) and Las Cruces High (90) for the team title.
Belen will host the Jim Burke Invitational this Saturday. The meet begins at 9 a.m.
Track & Field