Prep notes: Sandia cross country star West wins big national meet - Albuquerque Journal

Prep notes: Sandia cross country star West wins big national meet

Sandia’s Steven West pulls away from the pack during a Sept. 30 cross country meet at Bullhead Park. On Saturday, he won the Garmin RunningLane XC Championships in Huntsville, Alabama. (Mike Sandoval/For the Journal)

Steven West was already New Mexico’s cross country star runner this year. But last weekend, the Sandia High senior earned the biggest victory of his career.

The two-time Class 5A state champion won the Garmin RunningLane XC Championships in Huntsville, Alabama.

“It’s massive,” West told MileSplit.com after his win. “Yeah, wow. National meet. I would have never imagined this would have happened.”

West’s time in the 5,000-meter race was 15 minutes, 9.30 seconds. Wyatt Haughton of Shawnee Mission East High in Prairie Village, Kansas, was the runner-up, finishing in 15:12.0.

• Hope Christian’s Rendon Kuykendall, who has signed with Duke, also raced nationally last Saturday, placing 29th at the Nike Nationals in Portland, Oregon. Kuykendall had placed fifth at the Southwest regional last month; West was 11th in that same competition.

BRACKETOLOGY: Albuquerque Public Schools has released its boys and girls brackets for the metro basketball championships, which run Jan. 3-7. And as APS had promised months ago, the format has been freshened and the field expanded – not in size but in scope.

There are no more seeds in this tournament, which remains 16 teams.

Second, APS, as district athletic director Adrian Ortega said last spring, has populated the brackets with some decidedly non-metro teams.

The Hobbs and Santa Fe boys are competing, as are the girls from Hobbs, Gallup and Santa Fe.

The championship games are Jan. 7 at Albuquerque High, at 4 p.m. (girls) and 6 p.m. (boys).

In the meantime, there are several tournaments beginning Thursday around the metro area, including the annual Joe Armijo Classic at Albuquerque Academy.

Several of the city’s top boys teams are entered, including Atrisco Heritage, the second-ranked team in Class 5A, plus No. 6-ranked Eldorado, as well as the host Chargers and Hope Christian, both of whom are ranked in the top four in Class 5A. The featured first-round matchup is Hope-Atrisco Heritage at 11:30 a.m.

The Armijo girls bracket has a pair of top-flight games on Thursday, including 5A’s second-ranked Volcano Vista (which just had a 46-game win streak snapped on Tuesday) against No. 5 Centennial at 9:45 a.m., and Hope Christian, rated No. 3 in 4A, versus Eldorado at 8 a.m.

The semifinals for both genders are Friday; the girls final is 6:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by the boys at 8:15 p.m.

At Cleveland, the Storm boys are hosting the Phil Griego Invitational.

The fifth-ranked Storm and No. 9 West Mesa both are in the field, plus reigning Class 2A state champion Menaul. The Mustangs play Menaul at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. The championship game is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. Saturday.

GOING TO FLORIDA: Two prep soccer standouts, defenseman Kaiden Giron of Hope Christian and forward Jordan Candelaria from Sandia, are slated to participate in Saturday’s High School All-American Games.

Giron and Candelaria will play for the West rosters in the contests in Panama City Beach, Florida. Candelaria already has signed with the University of Cincinnati’s women’s soccer program; Giron is undecided.

The girls game begins at 9 a.m., the boys at 11 a.m. (Mountain time) and both can be streamed on PrepSoccer.com.

INVITE: La Cueva senior safety Colt Mangino is the latest New Mexican to be invited to play in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, later this month.

REMINDER: There is a celebration of life scheduled at 1 p.m. Sunday for former Sandia High baseball coach Chris Eaton.

Eaton died late last month. The celebration of his life will be held at Sandia Prep in the west gymnasium.

Home » From the newspaper » Prep notes: Sandia cross country star West wins big national meet

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