Officials laid out a new course this year for the Albuquerque Metro Cross Country Championships.
It didn’t matter to Amanda Mayoral and Jericho Cleveland.
Cleveland’s Mayoral and Cleveland, from Volcano Vista, repeated as individual champions at the metro meet Saturday at Nusenda Community Stadium.
For Mayoral, it was her first race since Sept. 16. She missed the Albuquerque Academy meet while on an official visit to Oklahoma State, and she took off last week during Volcano Vista’s meet.
Mayoral finished in 18 minutes, 14.17 seconds, about nine seconds in front of St. Pius’ Jacque Piñon.
“I really wanted to be aggressive. It’s a new course, and there’s no room to experiment on a new course,” said Mayoral, a Storm senior who also is looking at New Mexico and Texas A&M for college. She plans visits to both those schools soon, with the Lobos visit coming up in a couple of weeks.
Eldorado’s Jasmine Turtle-Morales, Zoe Hunter of Academy and Nicole Lawrence of Cibola rounded out the top five.
Mayoral wrote the words “mi gente” on her left forearm; it translates to “my family.” Many of her family members in Puerto Rico were severely impacted by Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island last month.
The Academy girls scored 49 points, 29 lower than runner-up Rio Rancho. The Chargers had four runners in the top 10.
Volcano Vista’s Cleveland won yet again in dominant fashion, completing the 2.99-mile course in 15:38.99. David Apodaca of the Storm was a distant second, 24 seconds behind. Cleveland High’s Yonas Haile, Academy’s Julian Garcia and Cibola’s Ryan Harlow completed the top five.
And Cleveland adopted a new tact Saturday on his way to first place.
“The plan from the beginning was to take the field out pretty hard, and see if I could string some guys out,” he said.
But why try this now?
“It’s just the feeling of wanting to test your strength against the other guys,” Cleveland said, adding that this change was likely a one-time thing. “I didn’t feel my best today, maybe because of that new strategy.”
Let by Apodaca and Haile, Cleveland High’s boys won the team title, scoring 48 points. Academy (76) was the runner-up.
The Rio Rancho (High) Jamboree, the largest meet of the regular season in the state, with dozens of large and small schools entered, is this coming Saturday.
Albuquerque Metro Championships
Saturday — Nusenda Community Stadium
Team: 1, Cleveland 48; 2, Albuquerque Academy 76; 3, Volcano Vista 116; 4, Cibola 127; 5, La Cueva 130; 6, Albuquerque High 130; 7, Rio Rancho 151; 8, Sandia 152; 9, Eldorado 256; 10, St. Pius 289; 11, Atrisco Heritage 290; 12, Del Norte 315; 13, Manzano 391; 14, Valley 425.
Individual: 1, Jericho Cleveland, Volcano Vista, 15:38.99; 2, David Apodaca, Cleveland, 16:02.16; 3, Yonas Haile, Cleveland, 16:12.76; 4, Julian Garcia, Albuquerque Academy, 16:28.94; 5, Ryan Harlow, Cibola, 16:29.78; 6, Walker Quale, Albuquerque High, 16:35.32; 7, Liam Pino, Albuquerque High, 16:35.58; 8, Justin Hickey, Albuquerque Academy, 16:37.74; 9, Chase Hawkins, Rio Rancho, 16:38.07; 10, Daniel Beam, Rio Rancho, 16:41.99.
Team: 1, Albuquerque Academy 49; 2, Rio Rancho 78; 3, Eldorado 80; 4, Cleveland 101; 5, Volcano Vista 148; 6, Sandia 162; 7, La Cueva 191; 8, Cibola 226; 9, St. Pius 231; 10, Manzano 242; 11, Atrisco Heritage 264.
Individual: 1, Amanda Mayoral, Cleveland, 18:14.17; 2, Jacque Piñon, St. Pius, 18:23.13; 3, Jasmine Turtle-Morales, Eldorado, 18:40.77; 4, Zoe Hunter, Albuquerque Academy, 19:06.37; 5, Nicole Lawrence, Cibola, 19:14.18; 6, Reina Paredes, Rio Rancho, 19:16.82; 7, Andi Almodovar, Rio Rancho, 19:18.81; 8, Jane Archibeck, Albuquerque Academy, 19:21.67; 9, Carly Wall, Albuquerque Academy, 19:23.51; 10, Celeste Martinez, Albuquerque Academy, 19:29.95.