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Here comes some talent at Meet of Champions

The Marilyn Sepulveda Meet of Champions has always had one overriding theme: It’s all about the quality of the athlete, not the size of their school.

The 28th annual Sepulveda begins this afternoon at the University of New Mexico track and field complex. The meet has become a bit of a rite of passage as boys and girls from the state’s smallest schools are presented with a chance to topple their peers in the largest classes.

Of course, a good number of Class 5A’s premier athletes will be in attendance today, as field events begin at 3 p.m., followed by track finals at 4:15 p.m.

And, while there aren’t many elite athletes from the smallest classes listed on the heat sheets, there will still be a few – from tiny towns such as Logan and Texico and Capitan and Fort Sumner. Not to mention the presence of 6-foot-10 Deven Thompson of the New Mexico School for the Deaf in Santa Fe, who is entered in the shot put.

The meet headliner is Taos sprinter Jonah Vigil, who set this meet on fire a year ago when he ran the 400-meter final in 46.99 seconds, the only New Mexico prep athlete to have broken that 47-second mark in a competition. He returns in the 400 and also the long jump, and he is the No. 1 seed in both events.

Vigil, whose best time in the 400 this season is 47.78 seconds, recently committed to Adams State in Alamosa, Colo.

• Locally, some other other boys to watch include: Rio Rancho’s Owen Olney, who just cleared 6 feet, 6 inches in the high jump last Friday, the best mark of the season among today’s finalists; dueling Albuquerque Academy javelin throwers Zach Jaramillo and Teagun Glenn, far and away the state’s two best in that discipline; La Cueva hurdler Connor O’Toole, the top qualifier at both distances (110 high and 300 intermediate); and Academy’s Lucas Jepsen, who will challenge Vigil in the long jump and should be a factor in the 200.

Among the girls to watch: Los Alamos thrower Rebecca Green; Clovis jumper Mikyla Harkley; hurdlers Israel Swanson (La Cueva) and Sevilla Duran (Sandia Prep); and Sandia sophomore sprinter Adriana Tatum in the 100 and 200.

The final event of the day is the 3,200-meter run, just after 6 p.m.

The list of events, with their starting times, can be found today on page B4.

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