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State track & field: Cottonwood’s Freeman wins long jump title

The Cottonwood Classical Prep boys track and field team had a state champion Friday on the first day of the 1A-3A state track and field meet at the University of New Mexico.

Senior Keiran Freeman won the long jump, sailing 21 feet, 4¾ inches. As a team, Cottonwood is tied for fifth place after the first day of finals.

Cottonwood’s girls trail Estancia after a day that included just a small handful of finals in all classifications.

Junior Rhylyn Jones and freshman Ariel Peña of Cottonwood ran third and fourth, respectively, in the 1,600-meter final Friday afternoon, with Terri Dailey of Laguna-Acoma winning the race in a tight finish where all three top runners were within 0.29 seconds of each other.

Natalia Marrujo of Mora in 2A and Alyssa Bargas of Elida (1A), an eight-grader, also were 1,600-meter champions.

There were only two running finals Friday. The other was the boys’ 3,200. Race winners were Julian Garcia of Pecos in 3A, Martin Flores of Hagerman in 2A and Jared Lee of Melrose in 1A.

Lee, a junior for the Buffaloes, shattered the state record in his race. His time was 10 minutes, 36.76 seconds. The previous record was 10:53.07 set two years ago by Thomas Gallegos of Cimarron.

Lee’s was one of three state records established on Friday.

San Jon senior Joseph Benavidez broke the 1A long jump mark. He went 20 feet, 7 inches; the old record was 20-3¾, set two years ago by Cliff’s Heath Henderson.

Junior Alicia Arias of Springer established a record in the girls Class 1A discus, with a throw of 101 feet, 2 inches. The previous best was 98-1 — which was already owned by Arias, last year.

There was an extremely rare tie in the boys Class 1A discus competition, with Deven Thompson of New Mexico School for the Deaf and Dominic Ickes of Cimarron both throwing 127 feet, 9 inches. But Thompson was awarded first based on the tie-breaking procedure.

TEAM: Boys leaders headed into today’s final day of the meet are Reserve in Class 1A, Hagerman in 2A and Laguna Acoma in 3A. Girls team leaders are Springer (1A), Fort Sumner (2A) and Estancia (3A).

TODAY: The remaining field event finals begin at 8 a.m., although the starting times are staggered and they will be ongoing throughout the day. Running finals start at 10 a.m.