The Richard Harper Memorial Track Meet was held at Albuquerque Academy on Friday and Saturday, showcasing all three local teams.
Los Lunas boys placed eighth overall, while the girls placed 17th.
Valencia girls came in at 14th.
Neither Belen boys or girls placed first, but they had very strong showings from their athletes.
Belen boys coach Joseph Garcia said he is happy with the progress of the Eagles’ relay teams. Their 4×200-meter and 4×400-meter relay teams placed 12th and 13th at the meet.
“The relay teams are coming along,” said Joseph Garcia. “They’re getting their times every week. I have a bunch of really young track athletes. They’re a bunch of hard-working athletes.”
For Belen’s girls, sophomore Natalie Martinez placed 14th in the 800-meter with a time of 2:29.59. The 4×400 relay team came in at seventh place. Sophomore Serena Saiz placed ninth in the shot put.
“I was impressed with all the kids,” said girls’ coach Joseph R. Garcia. “They run with their hearts. The caliber of athletes at that meet — you’re running against 5A schools. They’re powerhouses. To be up there and compete at that level was exciting.”
Valencia senior Austin Nagy placed seventh in the javelin throw. The Jaguars boys’ head coach LeDarrius Cage felt the team could have done better if they weren’t dealing with injuries that weekend.
“We were missing some key guys on Saturday so we had to scratch out on a few of them,” said Cage. “At district, we should have everyone at 100 percent. We are a young team, but I think we can surprise teams at district.”
On the girls’ side, Valencia junior Raquel Chavez placed sixth in the 800-meter run with a a time of 2:24.18. Senior Saydie Moss placed eighth in the shot put and fourth in the javelin throw.
“I thought the girls did incredibly well,” said Valencia girls coach John Clafton. “I really felt that they rose to the occasion and as a team we witnessed several personal records broken.”
Los Lunas junior sprinter Andrue Garcia placed third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.18 seconds, and he placed second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.20 seconds.
Los Lunas girls’ 4×200-meter team placed 10th, and their 1600-meter sprint medley team placed sixth.
Sophomore Amanda Sparks placed 10th in the pole vault. Junior Sandy Quintana placed eighth in the triple jump.
Up next for all three squads is the district meet, which begins at 9 a.m., May 10.
Joseph Garcia’s thoughts on the district meet reflects a theme given from all of the coaches.
“We should be where we need to be around district time,” said Garcia. “I’ve been telling them practice is where it all starts. If we practice hard during the week, we’re going to run hard during the weekend.”