Prep track and field: St. Mike's wins hard-earned third straight 3A boys title - Albuquerque Journal

Prep track and field: St. Mike’s wins hard-earned third straight 3A boys title

Cottonwood Classical’s Nana Ashford won the Class 3 triple jump, helping the Coyotes to a second-place finish. (Glen Rosales/For the Journal

Cottonwood Classical came oh so close to winning its first boys Class 3A state track and field championship Saturday.

In the end, however, the Coyotes came up just short to powerhouse St. Michael’s, which won for the third straight time dating back to 2019 behind 69.25 points to 57.

With three events left, ¼-point separated the Horsemen, Cottonwood and upstart Socorro in a three-way battle royale in one of the six team championships decided Friday and Saturday at the UNM Track and Soccer Complex.

In boys, Hagerman won its second straight 2A title 112-46 over Pecos, and Magdalena also made it back-to-back with a 90-64 win Fort Sumner.

In the girls classifications, St, Michael’s repeated in 3A, 104-51½ over Santa Fe Prep while the Academy for Technology and the Classics won its first girls blue trophy in 2A 66-58 over Rehoboth Christian. Melrose won in Class 1A, 104-65 over Gateway Christian, breaking a two-time streak by Logan.

The 3A boys competition, the Coyotes were boosted by the performance of senior Nana Ashford, who accounted for 15¼ points on his own, finishing second in the high-point competition.

He won the triple jump in 43-feet, 5-inches even though he was newcomer to the event, picking it up less than a month ago.

Being in such a close race throughout the day sparked his drive, Ashford said.

“I felt like it just motivated me to perform better and setting bigger goals,” he said.

He also ran the anchor on Cottonwood’s 4X200 that finished sixth, ran the opening leg of the 4X100 that finished fourth and was fourth in the individual 200.

The star of the afternoon, Fenyx Morningdove of Santa Fe Indian School, walked away with four individual first-place finishes, sweeping the 200 and 400 dashes, sandwiched around the 300 hurdles and the javelin.

“I went and competed in the 400, 300, 200 and I was seeded first coming into (Saturday) and I was really just wanted to focus on one race at a time,” he said. “I wasn’t worried about the 300 hurdles when I was running the 400 and in the end I just wanted to compete to the best of my abilities and I went out and got all three. And eventually I went and finished first in the javelin so it feels nice to have competed (Saturday).”

While Morningdove was capping his career in grand style, St. Mike’s freshman Raylee Hunt was introducing herself to the state’s track world. The precocious distance runner won high point for the 3A girls with 27 points by winning the three distance races, and she was the force behind the Horsemen’s romp.

St. Michael’s freshman Raylee Hunt reacts to the news that she set a Class 3A record in the 800-meter run Saturday at the 1-3A state track and field. championships. (Glen Rosales/Journal)

“Quite literally, it’s the best thing in the entire world,” said Hunt, daughter of former Roy basketball Kristie Hartley and former Western Kentucky soccer player Lee Hunt. “I think winning individually is one thing, but as a team, everyone comes together, does their thing and its amazing.”

Hunt set a record in the 800 in two minutes, 19.74 seconds to replace Desert Academy’s Taylor Bacon, who ran 2:19.93 in 2015.

“Are you joking?” she asked when informed it was a record. “I thought I had missed it. I feel so good, I thought I had missed it by a few tenths and I was going to be so sad. But I’m so happy now.”

On a picture-perfect day, Hunt’s mark was one of six record-setting or tying performances.

Among those Cecilia Campos of new 1A school Chesterton Academy, Campos went 2-minutes, 28.21 seconds in the 800, erasing the 2:29.35 mark Angela Lackey of Quemado set in 2019.

Gateway Christian’s Hannah Lilley used advice from her dad to throw a 121-4 in the javelin to oust the 113-9 mark that Pine Hill’s Maurie Daniels hit in 2021.

“I started out not throwing too well but I just tried to focus on on my form, the basics and my dad was there helping me and my sister,” she said. “So it was really cool to be able to do it.”

Jayda Brittenum of Melrose, who tied for 1A girls high point with teammate Gracie Odom at 22½ points, scorched through the 100 in 13.06, lowering the 13.13 mark Hannah Torres of Mountainair set in 2019.

“I didn’t think I was going to break the record but the 100 is my favorite race so I was like, ‘Oh yeah,’ and I went out there and did that. It’s the shortest race and it’s the most fun. It’s a close race most of the time so it s the most fun to run and to watch.”

While Amyah Chosa of Jemez Valley is happy with the 35-4 she threw in the shot put to take the 1A record that Paityn Nicholson of Melrose set in 2021, she has her eyes on the school’s record of 43-2¾, set by her sister Jazmine Chose in 2014 when the school was in 2A.

And to put a finish on the St. Mike’s girls’ performance, Jacque(CQ) Gorman went 10-0 in the pole vault to equal Sydney Pyles of Sandia Prep.

Right tying the record, however, she had to run the 300 hurdles and when she returned to the pole vault pit, she had nothing left.

“My legs were dead,” she said. “It was hard trying to get some speed out of them. But it was amazing just being out there with these amazing girls, giving me so much support.”

(Click here for meet results and final team standings.)

Home » Sports » Prep track and field: St. Mike’s wins hard-earned third straight 3A boys title

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