Makayla Grijalva | News-Bulletin photo
Valencia High School 11th grader, Martin Chavez, tries his hand at the new X-treme Ninja Course by Greenfield at the high school. Inspired by obstacles popularized by the popular television show ”American Ninja Warrior,” the course is the first of its kind in the southwest United States.
TOMÉ — From peg boards and rotating rings to swinging ropes and quad steps, Valencia High School students can now show off their strength through a new obstacle course at the campus.
The new X-treme Ninja Course, unveiled earlier this year at the school, is filled with several strength and agility challenges inspired by the popular television show “American Ninja Warrior,” short of the infamous Warped Wall.
“This brings some new tools that we can use with our students that they never had before,” Los Lunas Schools Superintendent Arsenio Romero said. “So, we are excited because we’ll possibly be able to host regional-type events here. We’re looking at how this can be used for JROTC, for many of our athletes to be able to support them, and also, just bring in the community and have some fun out here.”
On May 2, Los Lunas Schools held a grand opening ceremony for the course, which was officially completed in February. The small showcase allowed LLS administrators to see the course in action, with some students trying their hand at the obstacles. Romero even hopped on to successfully make his way through the cheese board section.
“I think the possibilities of how this course can be used are just at the tip of what the reality is, so more to come,” Romero said. “We are looking forward to seeing how we are going to use it.”
Tiffany Gutierrez, LLS supervisor of construction management, saw the project from its earliest idea stages until final completion. After being a part of the team that looked at several options for a new addition to campus, she said they felt this would add the most value to students.
“We just thought it was a really great thing for the students coming back from COVID, having a place to blow off steam, do some training,” she said. “It also is used for our P.E. course and athletes in training.”
In addition to the X-treme Ninja Course, Gutierrez also is overseeing several other outdoor enrichment projects across the district, including a new JROTC obstacle course at Los Lunas High School and new playgrounds at four district elementary schools.
At Valencia Elementary and Tomé Elementary, some sixth-grade students were able to participate in their school’s playground committee, and have a say in their facilities.
“They picked the equipment that was best used for their school. They got to help design the colors of it, and met with the vendor to choose colors,” Gutierrez said. “They got to see their playground come to life.”
Makayla Grijalva was born and raised in Las Cruces. She is a 2020 graduate of The University of New Mexico, where she studied multimedia journalism, political science and history.