Moriarty’s Antonio Muñoz captured three silver medals, Nicole Wells and Isaac Dominguez both took home a bronze, and several others got to climb the podium at the Class 4A state track and field championships, May 13-14 at the UNM track complex in Albuquerque.
Near the end of the two-day meet, Muñoz looked as though he had earned a fourth silver medal with his 4×400-meter relay team, but Moriarty was disqualified on a technicality.
Moriarty’s 4×400 team of Jaden Astorga-Bohanon, Dominguez, David Vaquera, and Muñoz got DQ’d—after they won the race.
“They were the number-one seed going into it,” Moriarty head track coach Peter Romero said.
And the team looked poised to take home the gold medal as Astorga-Bohanon bolted out of the starting block and dashed around the track.
“Jaden ran an amazing first leg,” Romero said.
Astorga-Bohanon handed off to Dominguez who maintained a good pace before giving it to Vaquera. Vaquera then passed the baton to Muñoz for the final lap, trailing Los Alamos by a few strides. Munoz chased the Los Alamos anchor for a moment before turning on the jets and blowing past him to win the race.
“At that point, everybody was as excited as can be,” Romero said. “Then you hear over the loudspeaker to report to the officials’ tent. They don’t call you down to congratulate you.”
Romero said he went to the officials’ tent with no idea what was happening and was told one of Moriarty’s relay runners crossed over the lane and interfered with another team’s runner.
“They called us for interference,” Romero said. “It just went from pure joy to pure disappointment. It was pretty heartbreaking.”
Earlier in the day, Muñoz picked up a silver medal by anchoring the final leg of the boys 4×200, with Vaquera, Astorga-Bohanon, and Chris McGrath. The team set a school record with a time of 1:30.19.
“They actually set it yesterday [in the preliminaries], and they re-set it today, and they PR’d,” Romero said.
Muñoz also took second place in the 100 and the 200 individual opens, finishing behind Los Alamos’ Melaki Gutierrez in both races by hundredths of a second.
Muñoz said he almost missed competing in the 100.
“I was late, I didn’t hear them announce it,” Muñoz said. He clocked 10.99 seconds in the race, behind Gutierrez’ 10.96.
The 200 was even closer. Muñoz streaked down the final stretch in the middle lane and appeared to have won by a nose over Gutierrez in the outside lane.
But the scoreboard showed Gutierrez in first place with 22.17, and Muñoz second at 22.18— 1/100 of a second behind.
“I thought I did [win], I was happy, and then I saw the scoreboard and I was like, ‘You’re kidding!’ It was crazy,” Muñoz said. “But it’s still a pretty big day.”
Astorga-Bohanon, who clocked a 22.07 the day before in the preliminaries, settled for a fifth-place finish.
“My quad hasn’t been feeling right, but I can’t do much about it,” Astorga-Bohanon said.
Moriarty’s other podium-finishers included Nicole Wells, who earned a third-place finish in the triple jump.
Dominguez, whose strong kick near the end of the boys 300 hurdles got him a third-place finish.
“Coming down the final 100 [meters], I was like, ‘This is my kick,’ and I think I passed three or four people,” Dominguez said, adding, “This is my second year ever doing this, so third in state’s pretty dang good.”
The girls 4×400 team of Brooklyn Olivas, Victoria “Tori” Alvarado, Payton Edwards, and Matea Cronin finished fourth, just over a second behind Portales.
The girls 4×200 team of Sadie Barela, Edwards, Alvarado, and Cronin finished fifth, less than a second behind Artesia.
Edwards—who ran the second leg in the 4×200 and handled the third leg of the 4×400—said she was happy her teams ran solid races.
“Our times were good, and we all ran pretty well,” Edwards said, adding, “Honestly, for me, I was just hoping that we got a place because last year we got seventh in every single one of our races, which is one shy [of a podium finish].”
“It was very exciting cuz I knew my team was getting it,” added Cronin.
The boys 4×800 team of Henry Schuett, Herman Archibeque, Derek Michel, and Matthew Romero finished sixth, 3/100 of a second behind Lovington.
Schuett, who ran the anchor, got passed at the very end by Lovington’s anchor.
“It was right at the finish line, and I was just running and there he was, I couldn’t hear him at all, and I was just like, ‘Oh, no!’ I didn’t even know he was there,” Schuett said. “It was hard, a lot of competition, but it was still a lot of fun and it’s pretty cool to end my senior season with a medal.”
Romero said he “couldn’t have been happier” with how Moriarty performed.
“I thought we had a really good track meet,” Romero said. “It was hundredths of a second and a disqualification from being a great track meet.”