OBSERVER SPORTS DIGEST for Nov. 3, 2019

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — State cross country meet is Saturday
Rio Rancho High School again is the site for the state cross country meet, which begins Saturday, Nov. 9, at 9:15 a.m. with the opening ceremony.
The hometown Cleveland and Rio Rancho high school teams compete in Class 5A: The 5A girls’ race starts at 10:30; the boys’ race begins at 12:35.
The CHS boys are the two-time defending 5A champs; the Storm girls have won two of the last four titles, winning in 2015 and ’17.
Tickets (cash only) cost $10 for adults, and $5 for senior citizens, students and military members.
Mascarenas off to great mat start
Last weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, Cleveland High School wrestler Tristan Mascarenas competed in the USA Wrestling Preseason Nationals.  The event is considered one of the premier preseason wrestling tournaments in the country. Mascarenas finished 3rd overall with a 5-1 record, losing in the semifinals to the 17th ranked wrestler in the country.  “Tristan finished in 5th place at this same tournament in 2018, so it was good to see him improve on his finish from last year,” said Cleveland High School coach Evan Copeland. His top 3 finish at Nationals secured him All-America status for the second straight year. Mascarenas, a senior, had wins over wrestlers from Illinois, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
“I went out there with a goal to become a national champion, unfortunately I fell short of that goal,” said Mascarenas.  “That being said, it’s only preseason and there’s still lots of room to improve upon before the big show in February.  So, for right now, I just have to get back to work and prove I’m not only the best in the state but the best in the country.”
In February, he won the Class 5A 113 pound division state championship and ended the season with a 41-1 record.
Middle school tennis updated
Once again, Rio Rancho Public Schools was represented by three teams in the Middle School Tennis League that recently concluded. A recent tournament in Albuquerque featured 600 players from 48 teams, with Rio Rancho’s entries co-sponsored by Rio Rancho Parks and Rec and the Northern New Mexico Tennis Association.
In Coed Bracket 2, Mountain View defeated Albuquerque Academy, 5-4, in the finals.  MVMS had defeated AHSA (7-2) and Garfield (8-1) in earlier rounds. The Lions edged Lincoln Middle School (5-4) in the semifinals. Mountain View is coached by members of the Storm’s district championship team,  Taylor Mick-Keck and Bryce Schuman.
In the Coed Bracket 2 competition, Lincoln defeated Wilson (8-1) and Eisenhower (8-1) before bowing to Mountain View. Jeremy Dudar coached the LMS team, which finished second in the Rio Rancho regular season.
In the Coed Bracket 1, the Bears, a combined team of Eagle Ridge and Rio Rancho middle schools, lost to Belen (6-3). In the consolation bracket, they rallied to defeat Academy (5-4), before bowing to Hope (7-2) in a match featuring several closely contested sets. Hope went on to defeat Hoover for the consolation championship.
The Bears, who won the Rio Rancho League regular season, were coached by former Rams head coach Dave Shambach and future varsity Lady Ram netter Amanda Mendoza.
Rams boys alumni hoops game set
The annual RRHS boys basketball alumni game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 30, in the RAC at 2:30.
Prior to that game, an eighth-grade boys’ game between Eagle Ridge and Lincoln middle schools will tip off at 1.
Interested Rams alums should contact coach Wally Salata at wally.salata@rrps.net.
Baseball camp returns to Rio Rancho
U.S. Baseball Academy is the nation’s largest network of instructional programs with more than 225 camps nationwide, including a baseball camp in Rio Rancho.
At U.S. Baseball Academy Spring Training, players learn from high school and/or college coaches right from your area, including Rams coach Ron Murphy. This is not a lecture clinic. With a low player-coach ratio, each player gets individual attention in a small-group atmosphere. And with numerous age-specific sessions, instruction is appropriate for all ability levels. Overall, it’s the type of professional instruction to which young players don’t normally have access.
With tuition starting at $139 ($23/hour of instruction) for the whole program, the value is unrivaled. Visit usbaseballacademy.com for more information.
BMX nationals back in Duke City
The City of Albuquerque, in conjunction with Visit Albuquerque, announced recently that the USA BMX Spring Nationals will return to the Duke City in 2020 at the City of Albuquerque BMX Track east of Isotopes Park. The Spring Nationals are becoming an Albuquerque tradition — with 2020 marking its 16th straight year in our city.
“We are delighted to bring back one of Albuquerque’s most exciting sporting events in 2020,” stated Mayor Keller. “Albuquerque has a proven track record of success hosting national events like the Spring Nationals. With our climate and our local love of sports and the outdoors, we know this year will be another good one.”
According to Visit Albuquerque, in 2019 the USA BMX Spring Nationals in Albuquerque welcomed over 750 riders and had an estimated $1 million in direct visitor spending impact.
In 2019, over 50 riders qualified in Albuquerque for the 2019 UCI BMX World Championships and made the trip to Belgium. The 2020 Spring Nationals in Albuquerque will again be a world-qualifying event and will advance riders to the world championships in Houston.
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