Sepulveda Meet Features the Elite
It really was an incongruous sight.
In one lane Monday afternoon at the University of New Mexico track, there was Los Alamos’ Chase Ealey, an athlete some coaches describe as the state’s best female thrower in 30 years. She doesn’t possess the prototypical sprinter’s physique, to say the least.
Next to her, there was Sandia Prep’s slight Krista Armstead, a pure sprinter in every sense of the word.
Ordinarily, this duo would never be afforded the opportunity to race head-to-head, but that’s one of the sheer delights of the Marilyn Sepulveda Invitational.
And when the two future Division I stars met in the 100-meter final in the state’s most elite all-star meet, it provided perhaps the signature moment of the day.
Ealey (Oklahoma State) stunned Armstead (Washington), winning by .09 seconds, 12.29-12.38.
“I’ve watched her race in other races, and she’s so fast,” an elated Ealey said. “I was so nervous. On the ride down here, I was real nervous.”
Ealey’s win further cemented the Hilltopper senior’s reputation as one of New Mexico’s most unique and special talents. Yes, she has forged a well-deserved reputation as a stellar thrower — and she backed that up by easily winning the shot put — but Ealey can really move.
“I think,” Ealey later said with a smile, “that I get more credit for my throws.”
If this victory doesn’t open up people’s minds, nothing will.
It wasn’t just a win in the Sepulveda, which is closer to a true state title than next month’s state meet is — it was beating Armstead. Which is incredibly rare.
It was, in fact, the first Armstead loss since a national meet in the summer of 2010. It was the first time anyone from New Mexico had beaten her, she said, since her freshman season.
“I feel like I ran a good race,” Armstead said. “There were just some tinges here and there.”
At last year’s Sepulveda, Armstead swept the 100 and 200, plus both hurdles. It was unprecedented. On Monday, she appeared only once. She later pulled out of the 200, saying a hamstring and hip flexor were bothering her.
La Cueva’s Kaylin Martin was the other double winner on a windy, sometimes chilly Monday. Martin took the 100-meter high hurdles and 300-meter intermediate hurdles after missing the 2011 Sepulveda with a hamstring issue.
“I was determined to run this year,” she said. “I think it’s my training. It’s my last year, and I want to make the best of it.”
♦ For the boys, there were five double champions, led by Mayfield senior Ricky Milks who was extremely impressive as he took both the 100 and 200.
“I just tried to stay relaxed,” Milks said. “Last year at state, I came out way too fast (in the 100), and I got third. It was a horrible race.”
Del Norte’s Jackson Thomas swept the 1,600 and 3,200. In the latter, the final event of the day, he pulled away with a strong kick in the second half.
Hope Christian’s Jonathan Millar (shot put, discus), Hobbs’ Isaiah Lintz (long jump, triple jump) and Bloomfield’s Seth Booker (hurdles) were the other double winners.
— This article appeared on page D1 of the Albuquerque Journal