N.M. state track and field

Cuba girls surprise field at state meet

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

ALBUQUERQUE, May 10, 2012

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(Times photo - Paul Natonabah)

Ramah's Taea Hill takes the baton from her teammate Chantell Coble in the second leg of the 1-600-meter medley relay during the Class 1A-2A state track and field championships May 5 in Albuquerque. The Lady Mustangs won the relay.

A t the conclusion of the New Mexico Class 2A state track and field meet there were plenty of praises to go around for Cuba coach William Marino.

In unprecedented fashion the Lady Rams surprised the field and overtook defending state champs Santa Fe Prep in the final event - the 4x400-meter finals.

And although Santa Fe Prep won that event with a time of 4:15.50 and Cuba finished a distant third, the Lady Rams gained enough points in other events to win the first-place trophy with 47 points, one point ahead of the Lady Griffins at the University of New Mexico track field.

"It went down to that final event," Mariano said. "Our goal was to come to state and be here as a team and do what we can."

The Lady Rams captured two state titles on the opening day last Friday afternoon with Kaylin Lovato winning the discus and Danielle Montoya doing the same in the triple jump.

Lovato tossed the 1-pound disc 107-2 while Montoya leaped 32-7 in the triple jump.

That earned Cuba 14 early points, but the Lady Rams got a big lift when Felecia Chavez set a new Class 2A state record in the javelin event with a 131-5 effort.

"Certainly if want to start your championship day off - that is it right there," Marino said. "It definitely got the kids going."

After that, it was fellow senior Chaez Ortiz who paced the Lady Rams as she garnered three second-place finishes starting with the long jump (15-9), followed by the 200- (26.87) and the 400-meter dashes (59.73).

Ortiz also placed sixth in the 100 meters with a time of 13:02 and ran the final leg of the 4x400 relay team.

Cuba got another four points when Montoya placed third in the 300 hurdles with a time of 49.71.

Ramah, which placed 11th with 14 points, won the 1,600-medley relay with a time of 4:32.32. They beat second place Hagerman by almost two seconds.

The Lady Mustangs got a top-three performance from eight grader Jordyn Lewis as she cleared the high-jump bar at 5 feet.

For Rehoboth, senior Brooke Hamilton led the Lynx with a first place in the 300 hurdles and won that event despite a broken right foot.

"I think during the race the adrenaline was going so I didn't feel it all until I crossed the finish line," Hamilton said when asked if she felt any discomfort. "It was really stiff (on Saturday morning) and I just moved it around and it was OK."

In the long jump, Rehoboth had Shelby Peterson place fourth with a 15-4 effort.

For Laguna Acoma, Melissa Saavedra paced the Lady Hawks with a fifth place finish in the 3,200 meters with a time 12:36.83, which was a minute behind winner Caroline Kaufman of East Mountain.

The LA girls' medley team also placed fifth in Saturday's finals with a time of 4:38.67.

In Class 1A, Brandi Maestas was the area's top finisher as the Gallup Catholic senior placed fourth in the javelin (104-11).

"I'm not too happy because when I was practicing (earlier Saturday) I was throwing around 113," Maestas said, while noting that a 110 mark set by Georgia Tucker of Fort Sumner won the event. "I think it was just nerves and maybe the heat."

Also in Class 1A, Tse Yi Gai sophomore Marilyn Werito finished in sixth place in the 3,200 meters with a time of 13:36.55.

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