Eighth-grader Keitta Torres got things started off right for the Belen High School track and field team at its District 3-4A meet on Saturday.
In the first event of the day, the 100-meter dash, the youngster showed her stuff and finished ahead of the pack. The Lady Eagles also picked up wins in the next two events. Sophomore Emily Schultz won the 100 hurdles, while Jocelyn Chavez took first in the high jump.
“We won our first three events, and that was pretty exciting,” Lady Eagle head coach Jim Edwards said.
Stephanie Sanchez, who already qualified for the state meet in the javelin, finished second in that event with a throw of 105-3.
Like the Lady Eagles’ quick flight to the top, their stay was also a short one. Belen only won one other event at the meet, when Torres won the 200 meter dash. Torres trimmed .40 seconds off her previous best, going from a 26.83 (before the meet) to a 26.4. With the two wins, Torres qualified for two events at the state meet on Saturday.
The Lady Eagles finished the meet in fifth place, with 69 points. Albuquerque Academy took first place. The Lady Chargers amassed 138.5 points to cruise past Silver High, who finished second with 112 points. Las Cruces Oñate was third with 79, ten points better than the Lady Eagles. Deming brought up the rear with 47.5 points.
Lady Eagles athletes scheduled to compete at the state meet are Torres in the 100- and 200-meters, Sanchez in the javelin, Jessica Braswell and Alicia Taylor in the pole vault, Emily Schultz in the 100 hurdles, and Jocelyn Chavez in the high jump and triple jump.
Eagle boys — The Eagle boys placed fifth at the meet with the lone bright spot coming from the state favorite, Jace Rivera. Rivera won both the discus and shot put at the district meet.
Sherwin Price finished second in the high jump with a leap of 6-0, four inches short of Oñate’s Willie Hamilton’s winning height.
Academy won the district crown as a team with a total score of 168.5, followed by Silver High with a 96 team score. Deming was third with 65. The Eagles squeaked by Oñate to seize the fourth overall spot with a team total of 59.
The Belen boys didn’t qualify any additional athletes for the state meet, which begins Thursday in Albuquerque at the University of New Mexico Track and Field Complex.
Competing for the Eagles at state will be Derick Jaramillo in the triple jump and in the 400-meter relay with Robert Rimorin, Nick Carter and Rodney Harrison.
Sherwin Price will be competing in the high jump, and Jace Rivera will be throwing for his fourth-straight shot put title and his first-ever discus title.