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Swim coach wins award for storied career

Albuquerque Academy swimming coach Dave Barney, shown here on June 3, 2015, led the boys swim team to 21 state titles and the girls to 18. He will receive this year’s 2018 Collegiate/Scholastic Swimming Trophy. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

The awards keep coming for Dave Barney.

Albuquerque Academy’s longtime and legendary swimming coach will be receiving a national award on Saturday night in Minneapolis.

Barney, who has guided the Academy to 39 state championships in his glorious 43-year varsity coaching career, is to receive the 2018 Collegiate/Scholastic Swimming Trophy at this weekend’s National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association awards banquet. The award goes annually to the coach (or organization) that has made the most significant contributions to aquatic sports at the interscholastic level.

Barney has led the Academy boys to 21 state titles, the girls to 18 more, the most recent coming last month.

In the summer of 2015, Barney became the eighth New Mexican to gain induction into the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame.

TOURNAMENTS, CONT’D: Rio Rancho High is hosting its annual baseball and softball tournaments this week.

n The baseball Sal Puentes Invitational begins today. Hobbs takes on Highland in the 11 a.m. opener, followed by 7-0 Goddard (last year’s 5A state champion) and Cleveland, last year’s 6A state runner-up, at 1:30. Then it’s Albuquerque Academy (which lost to Goddard in the 5A state final last May) and upstart Clovis (9-3) at 4 p.m., with the host Rams facing Artesia at 6:30 p.m.

Goddard beat Clovis 5-4 in the title game of the Rockets’ tournament last Saturday.

The Puentes semifinals are 4 and 6:30 p.m. Friday, and the final is 3 p.m. Saturday.

n The softball Kristin Griego tournament is one of the largest regular-season events in New Mexico. There are 24 teams entered, and action begins today at Eagle Ridge Middle School (Rio Rancho’s home field) and Cleveland High.

A handful of top 6A teams are in the field, including Rio Rancho, Cleveland, Volcano Vista and Piedra Vista — plus, from the metro area, Manzano, Los Lunas, Belen, Bernalillo and Valencia. The field is top heavy with strong 5A programs.

The championship game is Saturday at 1 p.m. at Cleveland.

Manzano’s Jordan Byrd, center, sprints to a victory in the 100-meter dash during the Richard A. Harper Memorial Track Meet at Albuquerque Academy last year. Byrd will seek a fourth consecutive state title for the 100-meter dash in May. (Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal)

TRACK AND FIELD: Cleveland’s boys and girls (Red group), and Sandia’s boys and girls (Blue) were team winners at last weekend’s Buddy Robertson Invitational meets.

The Storm boys outscored Rio Rancho 104-95½. The Cleveland girls scored 117 points, 17 more than runner-up La Cueva. Volcano Vista, Albuquerque Academy and Eldorado were also among the teams in this stronger half of the Robertson meet.

Cibola finished second to Sandia in both genders in the Blue competition.

n Rio Rancho’s Noah Fay swept the hurdles in the boys’ Red meet and was especially strong in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles. Teammate Keshawn Banks was champion in the shot put and discus. Blaine Grant of Volcano Vista won the open 100 and the long jump.

Cleveland’s Aphiniti Crupper took the 100 and the 200 in the girls’ meet. The distance winners were by three of New Mexico’s elite: Albuquerque High’s Alisa Meraz-Fishbein (800), Eldorado’s Jasmine Turtle-Morales (1,600) and Cleveland’s Amanda Mayoral (3,200).

La Cueva’s Israel Swanson captured both hurdles, Kamirah Decker of Rio Rancho was first in the shot put and discus, and La Cueva’s Lexie Keller won the high jump and the 400.

n Of note in the Blue meet, Manzano’s Jordan Byrd, who in May will seek a fourth consecutive 100-meter state title, swept the 100 and 200 sprints. Cibola’s Marlon Booker ran second in both races, and won the triple jump.

Del Norte’s Sarah Smyth captured the open 200 and 400 in the girls’ Blue division. Valley’s Jacqueline Sanchez won the shot put and discus, and Cibola’s Sasha Medina took first in the high jump and triple jump.

n The next major event on the prep track schedule is March 30-31, the APS Invitational at Nusenda Community Stadium.

THIS AND THAT: St. Pius junior shortstop/pitcher Grant Smith has committed to play baseball at New Mexico State. The Aggies are planning a visit today to watch another Sartan, left-handed pitcher Hayden Walker, as St. Pius faces La Cueva. … The state spirit competition is Friday and Saturday. … Volcano Vista distance runner Jericho Cleveland, who has been battling injuries through the fall and winter, recently placed seventh in the mile at the New Balance Indoor High School Nationals in New York City.

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