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Cross country: Mayoral, Harrison, UTEP win Lobo Invitational

The winners of Saturday’s University of New Mexico Invitational — the high school portion — offered one familiar face in front and another not quite as much.

Cleveland’s Amanda Mayoral and Kirtland Central’s KaShon Harrison rolled to victories at the season’s first major prep cross country meet, outrunning stellar fields on a steamy morning at the UNM North Golf Course.

The UTEP men and women swept the college divisions, with UNM sophomore Kendall Kelly from Bosque School the women’s individual champion.

High school

It’s already at the point with Mayoral, the Storm’s relentless junior, that she is more in competition with herself than with the girls chasing her.

She defended her UNM title, finishing the 5K race in 19 minutes, 9.80 seconds. Cibola senior Juanita Johnson was almost exactly five seconds behind.

“She knows how to go,” Johnson said. “It’s all about keeping up with her enough that you don’t lose (touch) with her.”

Mayoral said she waited longer than usual to establish control of the race, which featured nearly three dozen schools.

“I saw some girls out in the front, so I kind of just chilled behind them,” said Mayoral, who was undefeated as a sophomore, all the way through the Class 6A state meet. “Then I started to push around the 3K mark, which is a little late, in my opinion.”

Mayoral’s lead wasn’t seriously threatened, which is a recurring theme when she’s in a race.

And as she sets out on a junior year in which she’ll be heavily favored whenever and wherever she runs, this becomes more about comparing her own times to last year than it is about other rivals this year. On that note, she ran 19:09.33 seconds last year.

“To keep (that edge), I have to stay motivated,” she said. “In your junior year, it’s hard to stay motivated. It’s a lot harder because of the colleges (recruiting you) and all that stuff.”

Rio Rancho’s girls opened the season with a terrific showing, putting five girls in the top 14 and scoring 50 points. Albuquerque Academy (109) and Cleveland (137) rounded out the top three.

The Rams placed three runners in the top 10: Reina Paredes in fifth, Alliana Atencio in eighth and Molly Klein in 10th.

Harrison is certainly a name familiar in running circles in the Four Corners, but on Saturday he won the Lobo meet and did so impressively, crossing in 15:33.90 — 15 seconds ahead of runner-up Jericho Cleveland of Volcano Vista.

Kirtland Central's KaShon Sherman Harrison surprised a star-studded field to win the prep boys race. (Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal)

Kirtland Central’s KaShon Sherman Harrison surprised a star-studded field to win the prep boys race. (Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal)

There was plenty of metro-area star power up front, with Cleveland, Eldorado’s Connor Laktasic, Academy’s Jordan Lesansee and Rio Rancho’s Devin Paredes completing the top five.

But it was Harrison who owned the course, and the morning.

“Before the race, I always think of my strategy, like who’s gonna stay with me,” Harrison, a sophomore, said. “But I guess no one was up with me.”

Cleveland said he knew a little about Harrison from last season.

“When he was a freshman, I saw him run some good times,” said Cleveland.

The Academy boys, with 85 points, beat Eldorado (102) in the team standings.

College

Kelly wants in when UNM heads to Notre Dame for a meet at the end of the month, and hoped her performance Saturday might have gotten her onto the flight.

She only competed in three meets last fall, but hopes to improve on that number this season.

From left, UTEP's Cosmas Boit, Antony Kosgei and Daniel Cheruiyot cross the finish line together as the Miners won the collegiate men's division of the Lobo Invitational.  (Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal)

From left, UTEP’s Cosmas Boit, Antony Kosgei and Daniel Cheruiyot cross the finish line together as the Miners won the collegiate men’s division of the Lobo Invitational. (Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal)

“(Coach Joe Franklin) made it clear that this was our shot at Notre Dame,” Kelly said. her winning time was 18:34.70, well ahead of runner-up Gladys Jerotich of UTEP.

“I put some hard work in over the summer,” Kelly said. “So I knew I was ready. I’ve run this course plenty of times.”

As expected, most of UNM’s star runners didn’t compete Saturday. It was their first meet as a team since winning the national title last November.

UTEP’s women filled slots 2-5 and easily won the team title with 21 points. The Lobos were next at 42, with New Mexico State (59) third.

The UTEP men had a 1-2-3 sweep, all from Kenya, led by Cosmas Boit, whose winning time was 15:12.20 in a close finish ahead of teammate Daniel Cheruiyot. The Miners scored 18 points. UNM (37) was second, NMSU (70) third.

Saturday — UNM North Golf Course

COLLEGE

Men’s Team

1, UTEP 18; 2, New Mexico 37; 3, New Mexico State 70.

Men’s Individual

1, Cosmas Boit, UTEP, 15:12.20; 2, Daniel Cheruiyot, UTEP, 15:12.20; 3, Antony Kosgei, UTEP, 15:12.40; 4, Jesus Mendoza, UNM, 15:53.0; 5, Evans Kiprono, UTEP, 16:07.50. Other Lobos: 6, Jared Garcia, 16:12.0; 8, Taylor Potter, 16:22.20; 9, Tyler Valdez, 16:26.0; 10, Chris Graham, 16:35.70.

Women’s Team

1, UTEP 21; 2, New Mexico 42; 3, New Mexico State 59.

Women’s Individual

1, Kendall Kelly, UNM, 18:34.70; 2, Gladys Jerotich, UTEP, 19:07.60; 3, Lilian Koech, UTEP, 19:07.60; 4, Winny Koech, UTEP, 19:22.90; 5, Kayla Pallares, UTEP, 19:23.10. Other Lobos: 8, Reiley Kelly, 19:37.0; 9, Ruth Haynes, 19:44.30; 11, MacKenzie Everett, 19:58.08; 13, Samantha Dicker, 20:12.20.

HIGH SCHOOL

Boys Varsity Team

1, Albuquerque Academy 85; 2, Eldorado 102; 3 (tie), Cleveland and El Paso Americas, 115; 5, Rio Rancho 119; 6, Volcano Vista 166; 7, St. Michael’s 275; 8, East Mountain 278; 9, Los Alamos 300; 10, Pecos 303; 11, Sandia 309; 12, Kirtland Central 355; 13, Cibola 373; 14, La Cueva 389; 15, Pojoaque Valley 453; 16, Navajo Prep 469; 17, Albuquerque High 588; 18, Del Norte 606; 19, Miyamura 624; 20, Española Valley 637; 21, Cuba 680; 22, Gallup 703; 23, Cottonwood Classical 704; 24, Robertson 723; 25, Piedra Vista 724; 26, Thoreau 731; 27, Sandia Prep 762; 28, Bosque School 787; 29, Window Rock, Ariz., 793; 30, Belen 796; 31, Hope Christian 844; 32, St. Pius 866; 33, Atrisco Heritage 870; 34, Santa Fe Prep 890; 35, Moriarty 915; 36, Manzano 925; 37, Navajo Pine 984; 38, Cimarron 1,139.

Boys Varsity Individual

1, KaShon Harrison, Kirtland Central, 15:33.90; 2, Jericho Cleveland, Volcano Vista, 15:48.30; 3, Connor Laktasic, Eldorado, 16:05.20; 4, Jordan Lesansee, Albuquerque Academy, 16:09.50; 5, Devin Paredes, Rio Rancho, 16:10.20; 6, David Apodaca, Cleveland, 16:21.10; 7, Kimball Jones, Cibola, 16:26.60; 8, Brian Lujan, El Paso Americas, 16:28.90; 9, Yonas Haile, Cleveland, 16:29.50; 10, Rafael Sanchez, Los Alamos, 16:30.80.

Girls Varsity Team

1, Rio Rancho 50; 2, Albuquerque Academy 109; 3, Cleveland 137; 4, Taos 156; 5, Volcano Vista 158; 6, Eldorado 203; 7, Cibola 257; 8, El Paso Americas 295; 9, Window Rock, Ariz., 303; 10, Albuquerque High 320; 11, La Cueva 321; 12, St. Pius 364; 13, East Mountain 366; 14, Hope Christian 431; 15, St. Michael’s 446; 16, Los Alamos 460; 17, Piedra Vista 463; 18, Pojoaque Valley 471; 19, Sandia 492; 20, Robertson 527; 21, Navajo Prep 538; 22, Manzano 583; 23, Gallup 604; 24, Española Valley 618; 25, Cottonwood Classical 625; 26, Santa Fe 651; 27, Miyamura 660; 28, Kirtland Central 680; 29, Santa Fe Prep 822; 30, Belen 892; 31, Del Norte 905; 32, Moriarty 954; 33, NACA 966; 34, Cuba 974.

Girls Varsity Individual

1, Amanda Mayoral, Cleveland, 19:09.80; 2, Juanita Johnson, Cibola, 19:14.70; 3, Chamique Duboise, Window Rock, Ariz., 19:18.30; 4, Elizabeth Reyes, Taos, 19:27.70; 5, Reina Paredes, Rio Rancho, 19:27.80; 6, Cora Cannedy, Taos, 19:28.0; 7, Isabella Schrader, Volcano Vista, 19:29.60; 8, Alliana Atencio, Rio Rancho, 19:33.90; 9, Jasmine Morales, Eldorado, 19:34.50; 10, Molly Klein, Rio Rancho, 19:34.80.

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