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Some stars, some surprises highlight Meet of Champions

Jonah Vigil of Taos takes off in the long jump. He won the event with a personal-record mark of 23 feet, 4 inches at the Marilyn Sepulveda Meet of Champions. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

The stars were out, and they sure did their thing.

There were a couple of surprises along the way Monday afternoon at the Marilyn Sepulveda Meet of Champions at the University of New Mexico track complex, but the day largely belonged to the star power.

That included the top name at this meet, Taos senior Jonah Vigil.

The Adams State-bound Vigil set a personal record in the long jump at 23 feet, 4 inches. It was such a great jump, he didn’t have to return for the finals.

Just as well, because the 400-meter final was being held just as everyone in the long jump pit tried to challenge Vigil.

Running conditions were not ideal Monday on an overcast day with just enough wind to carve into everyone’s times, but Vigil still won easily. His time (48.09 seconds) suffered somewhat as a breeze hit runners in the face entering the last turn.

Vigil didn’t approach his sizzling 46.99 seconds of a year ago at this meet, but that was less of a concern to him than thinking big picture, with state only 3½ weeks off.

“I want to go mid-46,” Vigil said. “That’s my goal for the year.”

Athletes from the northern half of the state made an impact throughout the day.

Coming into the 800-meter final, Justice Johnson of St. Michael’s had the second-slowest qualifying time of the 11 boys who raced. But it was Johnson with a terrific kick that got him to the finish line first, in 1:58.19.

The closest finish of the day was found in the girls’ 100-meter high hurdles, where Santa Fe Prep’s Hayden Colfax leaned at the finish to edge La Cueva’s Israel Swanson by one-hundredth of a second, 15.23-15.24.

Just as Colfax lunged, she lost her balance. The former gymnast took it in stride, so to speak, doing a forward roll just after the finish line. No harm done.

“I had no clue who won,” Colfax said later. “I was just leaning as much as I could.”

She said she had only raced against Swanson on the indoor circuit, but found this victory immensely satisfying.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “In the smaller meets, you’re not seeing as many people. It’s nice to run in a meet like this, where you have pressure on all sides.”

Late in the day, the 3,200-meter finals provided a stark contrast.

Eldorado’s Jasmine Turtle-Morales, as expected, dominated the girls’ final, winning by 23 seconds. But the boys’ race proved to be one of the most compelling of the day.

As the bell lap began, four runners — Epherem Zerai of Sandia Prep, Ty McCray of Miyamura, Stevie Salas of La Cueva (who had captured the 1,600 earlier) and Eric Scharton of Hope Christian — were tightly bunched, with Zerai out front by a single stride.

But with about 80 meters to go, Scharton found an extra gear the others could not match, and the Huskies sophomore turned out to be one of the meet’s most pleasant surprise stories as he won in a PR time of 9:53.71.

“It’s pretty cool,” said Scharton. “I haven’t been in too many big events so I didn’t expect that.”

Expect what? “To win,” he said, smiling.

The girls’ 1,600-meter final was a terrific showcase for Albuquerque Academy senior Jane Archibeck, who frankly blew the doors off an excellent field that included several Academy teammates and University of Colorado-bound Alisa Meraz-Fishbein of Albuquerque High, who ultimately ran second.

“It was a good effort,” Archibeck said. “Everyone I was running against was very talented.”

Archibeck is going to Notre Dame, and said she was thinking about running for the Fighting Irish. About halfway through this race, she took off.

“After the second lap, I tried to pick it up, and see if I could hold it until the fourth lap,” she said. And she did.

Sandia High sophomore Adriana Tatum and her brilliantly effortless running style breezed to victories in the 100- and 200-meter dash finals. She won the 100 by half a second and the 200 by a full second.

  • Hope Christian pole vaulter Vince Quezada set a personal record by going 14 feet to win that event;

n Academy eighth-grader Sterling Glenn upset Los Alamos’ Rebecca Green (who was third) in the girls discus with a personal-best throw of 125 feet, 11½ inches, although Green came back a short time later to win the shot put with Glenn finishing second;

  • New Mexico School For the Deaf senior Deven Thompson, hard to miss at 6-feet-10, was the runner-up — by just a single inch — in the boys shot put;

n Noah Fay of Rio Rancho and Connor O’Toole traded wins in the hurdles, with Fay taking the 110-meter high hurdles (with O’Toole a close second) and O’Toole the champ in the 300 intermediate hurdles;

  • Another Ram, Owen Olney, was the high jump champion, clearing 6-4;

n Zach Jaramillo and Teagun Glenn, teammates at Academy, went 1-2 in the boys javelin, and Glenn also won the shot put;

  • Taos’ Faith Powell was a double champion, winning the high jump (5-4) and the triple jump (38-7);
  • Among the athletes from the smallest towns, Capitan’s Lyndee Bason had the best showing, finishing a close second to Clovis’ Mikyla Harkley in the girls long jump.


Marilyn Sepulveda Meet of Champions

Monday — UNM Track


100—1, Montez Wright, Clovis, 11.11; 2, Caezer Chavez, Deming, 11.12; 3, Blaine Grant, Volcano Vista, 11.25. 200—1, Sam Sparks, Santa Fe Prep, 22.77; 2, Teasi Richardson, Manzano, 22.85; 3, Will Dodson, Rio Rancho, 22.86. 400—1, Jonah Vigil, Taos, 48.09; 2, Thomas Williams, Volcano Vista, 49.64; 3, Montez Wright, Clovis, 51.25. 800—1, Justice Johnson, St. Michael’s, 1:58.19; 2, Garrett Yancy, Volcano Vista, 1:59.03; 3, Alex Ortiz, Cottonwood Classical Prep, 1:59.79. 1,600—1, Stevie Salas, La Cueva, 4:38.81; 2, Skyler Forman, Albuquerque Academy, 4:40.85; 3, Ty McCray, Miyamura, 4:42.33. 3,200—1, Eric Scharton, Hope Christian, 9:53.71; 2, Epherem Zerai, Sandia Prep, 9:55.53; 3, Stevie Salas, La Cueva, 9:56.15. 110HH—1, Noah Fay, Rio Rancho, 14.88; 2, Connor O’Toole, La Cueva, 14.97; 3, Jordan Spencer, Rio Rancho, 15.34. 300IH—1, Connor O’Toole, La Cueva, 38.96; 2, Joah Flores, Volcano Vista, 39.32; 3, Noah Fay, Rio Rancho, 39.51. High jump—1, Owen Olney, Rio Rancho, 6-4; 2, Jackson Kinney, Hobbs, 6-4; 3, David Patterson, Rio Rancho, 6-2. Pole vault—1, Vince Quezada, Hope Christian, 14-0; 2, Pacer Hill, Clovis, 13-6; 3, Steven Coronado, Logan, 13-6. Long jump—1, Jonah Vigil, Taos, 23-4; 2, Lucas Jepsen, Albuquerque Academy, 21-4½; 3, Hayden Lee, St. Michael’s, 20-11¾. Triple jump—1, Brad Thomas, La Cueva, 45-1¼; 2, Jonathan Chambers, Menaul, 44-2½; 3, Lucas Aspen All-Stier, Albuquerque Academy, 43-7¼. Shot put—1, Teagun Glenn, Albuquerque Academy, 51-5; 2, Deven Thompson, New Mexico School For The Deaf, 51-4; 3, Konner Babb, Hobbs, 49-5. Discus—1, Chris Cruz, Silver, 152-0; 2, Philip Blidi, Portales, 147-7; 3, Tyler Lyon, Albuquerque Academy, 142-4. Javelin—1, Zach Jaramillo, Albuquerque Academy, 173-0; 2, Teagun Glenn, Albuquerque Academy, 165-2; 3, Ian Thomas, Kirtland Central, 165-0.


100—1, Adriana Tatum, Sandia, 12.04; 2, Tamara Johnson, Manzano, 12.56; 3, Justyse Martin, Alamogordo, 12.58. 200—1, Adriana Tatum, Sandia, 24.67; 2, Hannah Duffy, La Cueva, 25.71; 3, Jaelyn Bates, Volcano Vista, 26.50. 400—1, Aryanna Gomez, Volcano Vista, 59.07; 2, Yasmin Chaparro, Deming, 1:00.47; 3, Mariah Garcia, Manzano, 1:00.84. 800—1, Reagan Gorzeman, Mayfield, 2:20.43; 2, Aisha Ramone, Kirtland Central, 2:22.23; 3, Savannah Ames, Albuquerque Academy, 2:22.71. 1,600—1, Jane Archibeck, Albuquerque Academy, 5:11.73; 2, Alisa Meraz-Fishbein, Albuquerque High, 5:18.52; 3, Grace Alley, Albuquerque Academy, 5:19.33. 3,200—1, Jasmine Turtle-Morales, Eldorado, 11:33.27; 2, Emily Schoellkopf, Albuquerque High, 11:56.20; 3, Vivian Micano, Albuquerque High, 12:03.62. 100HH—1, Hayden Colfax, Santa Fe Prep, 15.23; 2, Israel Swanson, La Cueva, 15.24; 3, Bailey Rasmussen, Piedra Vista, 15.86. 300IH—1, Sevilla Duran, Sandia Prep, 44.88; 2, Judith Allison, Santa Fe, 45.41; 3, Mia Roy, Sandia, 46.10. High jump—1, Faith Powell, Taos, 5-4; 2, Emily Ho, La Cueva, 5-0; 3 (tie), Ashley Strader, Moriarty, and Jazmine Tuning, Los Alamos, 5-0. Pole vault—1, Kiara Quezada, Farmington, 12-0; 2, Abigail Gunther, Taos, 11-6; 3, Sowelu Lottimer, Moriarty, 10-6. Long jump—1, Mikyla Harkley, Clovis, 17-11; 2, Lyndee Bason, Capitan, 17-10¾; 3, Savanna Lawson, Sandia, 17-1. Triple jump—1, Faith Powell, Taos, 38-7; 2, Mikyla Harkley, Clovis, 38-4¼; 3, Hayden Colfax, Santa Fe Prep, 37-7¾. Shot put—1, Rebecca Green, Los Alamos, 38-6; 2, Sterling Glenn, Albuquerque Academy, 38-2; 3, Brooke Payton, Alamogordo, 37-0. Discus—1, Sterling Glenn, Albuquerque Academy, 125-11½; 2, Brooke Payton, Alamogordo, 122-2; 3, Rebecca Green, Los Alamos, 118-2. Javelin—1, Mariah Humphrey, Silver, 144-3; 2, Nia Johnson, Albuquerque Academy, 127-0; 3, Bailey Beene, Goddard, 126-8.

Rebecca Green of Los Alamos competes in the shot put at the Marilyn Sepulveda Meet of Champions. She won the event. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)