One point can mean a lot; it did for the Belen High School girls track and field team last Thursday when they edged the hosts by that much to win a triangular meet at Grants.
The Lady Eagles scored 70 points to best Grants’ 69. Laguna-Acoma scored 35 points.
Belen milked as much as it could get from some events, like the javelin.
“I said ‘who wants to do it?’ And they said they’d do it,” Lady Eagle head coach Jim Edwards said of sophomores Jocelyn Chavez and Alicia Taylor.
Chavez, the Lady Eagles’ best all-around athlete, surprised everyone. “She threw a 67-1 and placed fourth without ever picking up a javelin before,” Edwards said. “And Alicia, who does the pole vault, never picked up a javelin before.”
Taylor threw the javelin an inch shy of 50 feet in her first effort and placed seventh behind teammates Crystal Sedillo in fifth and Stephanie Sanchez, who won the event with a throw of 87 feet.
The Lady Eagles took first in eight events. Sanchez also won the shot put with a heave of 27-5. Sedillo took first and Sanchez placed second in the discus — both marking at 81 feet. Jessica Braswell had a personal best leap of 9-2 in the pole vault to win that event.
On the track, Chavez won the 200-meter dash in 28.95 seconds. Arlene Espinoza won the 800-meter run in 2:42.77. What Edwards described as a “thrown together” team of Chavez, Melissa Zamora, Janelle Beryel and Emily Schultz won the 400-meter relay in 56.62. And Schultz inched closer to the state qualifying time in the 100-meter hurdles, winning in 17.50 seconds.
Schultz’s time was a personal best and one of many established by Lady Eagle athletes last week. Among the others were Heather Mason in the shot put, Sanchez, Sedillo and Jennifer Trujeque in the discus, Schultz and Beryel in the long jump, Estelle Carter in the 300 hurdles, Caryn Jarvis in the 400 and Espinoza in the 800.
Eagle boys — Belen placed second in the boys meet, scoring 80 1/2 points. The host Pirates won the meet with 97 1/2. Laguna-Acoma scored 37.
The highlight for the Eagle boys was sophomore Derick Jaramillo, who qualified for next month’s Class 4A state meet in the triple jump. Head coach Kevin Benavidez said he hadn’t planned to have Jaramillo compete in the event, saving him for running events later in the day. But Jaramillo found himself with some time to kill, so he went out and qualified for state with a mark of 43-9.
Jaramillo later went on to win the 100-meter dash. Other first-place finishes were turned in by Rodney Harrison in the 400, Stefan Marr in the 800, Jace Rivera in the discus and shot put, Jesse Trujillo in the javelin and Sherwin Price in the high jump.
Price was attempting to clear the state qualifying height of 6-2 when he missed. “He’ll get it,” Benavidez said.
Taking second place for the Belen boys were Dominic Villella in the shot put, Nick Carter in the 100, Brandon Mascarana in the 400, Joseph Garcia in the 3200, Kyle Merrell in the 300 hurdles and Belen’s 400-, 800- and 1600-meter relay teams. The 1600 team of Jaramillo, Harrison, Marr and Luis Salas ran its fastest time of the year in 3:39.
The coach also cited Mascarana and Jason Romero for their efforts. “Jason Romero is cutting his time down in the hurdles every week, and Brandon is cutting time in his 400,” he said.
Belen’s track and field teams are gearing up for a busy weekend. On Thursday, the Lady Eagles will travel to Las Cruces for a meet. On Friday and Saturday, both the girls and boys teams will participate in a two-day meet hosted by Albuquerque Academy.
Track & Field