KC's Mackey joins the best at Sepulveda meet

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

ALBUQUERQUE, April 12, 2012

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(Times photo - Paul Natonabah)

Kirtland Central's Christian Mackey throws the shot put Monday at the Marilyn Sepulveda Track and Field Classic at the UNM Sports Complex in Albuquerque. Mackey finished in third place with his final throw of 47-51/2.

Del Norte's Thomas Jackson sprints for the finish line and wins the 1,600-meter run Monday at the Marilyn Sepulveda Track and Field Classic in Albuquerque. Thomas swept the 1,600-meter and the 3,200-meter runs.

T hey are considered the cream of the crop.

On Monday a handful of area athletes competed in the exclusive Marilyn Sepulveda Invitational at the University of New Mexico track field.

One of those athletes was Kirtland Central's Christian Mackey.

The bulky sophomore competed in the shot put and launched the 12-pound ball 47 feet, 5.5 inches and took home the third-place medal.

"Last year I missed qualifying for state by three inches so I've been trying to get qualified and I got on first meet," Mackey said. "Since then I've been improving on my throws."

For many, including Mackey, the Sepulveda meet is the closest thing to an all-star meet since it invites the eight top athletes in the state from all five classes.

"It's a good privilege and an honor to be invited," Mackey said. "I just hope that I'll get invited the next two years."

Mackey wasn't the only Kirtland Central athlete to get invited as Easton Sherwood finished seventh in the pole vault as he cleared the bar at 12 feet, 6 inches.

Lady Bronco Hannah Washburn tied for third in that same event with a 9-06 effort while Shantel Foutz placed third in the 100-meter hurdles. She crossed the finish line in 15.17 seconds.

Zuni senior David Masangya, who earned his first invitation to the Sepulveda, finished eighth in the boys' triple jump. Of the six attempts, his best effort was on his third try when he leaped 39-21/2, which was more than two feet off his PR.

"It wasn't so good," Masangya said of his performance. "I wanted to do well here, but I didn't have any good jumps."

Nonetheless he was ecstatic about competing against guys from bigger schools.

"It's a good feeling that I am one of the best triple jumpers in the state," he said. "To be able to compete with (Class) 5A and 4A schools is awesome."

Representing Shiprock was Herbert Beyale III as the long distance runner finished a respectable fifth in the two-mile race, which was won by Del Norte's Jackson Thomas.

Beyale improved his PR by 10 seconds and finished his race just well over 10-minute mark. Rehoboth's Tyrell Natewa finished in 10th place with a time of 10:11.

Bloomfield's Seth Booker was one of five double champions as he took both hurdles. The Bobcat senior turned in a scorching time of 14.55 in the 110 hurdles, which was four tenths faster than second place finisher Daniel Lacey of Farmington.

Two hours later, Booker added the 300 hurdles with a time of 39.16.

"It feels great to win both hurdles," Booker said. "I mean, to have eight guys who almost beat the state qualification by a second is pretty amazing."

Besides Booker, the Bobcats had Austin Johnson and Mikey Loy make both hurdling events in the Sepulveda. Johnson placed fourth in the 110 and seventh in the 300. Loy, meanwhile, took sixth place honors in the 110 and fourth in the 300.

In other events, Kallan Pablo of Bloomfield finished eighth in the javelin with a throw of 111-06 while Piedra Vista's Madison Hunt finished third in the shot put and ninth in the discus event.

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