The Mountainair boys track and field team had to jump many hurdles to get 48 points and a third-place finish at 2A state track on Saturday.There were 64 of them to be exact as Kasey Reese and three teammates all scored in both the 110 and 300-meter hurdles.
The Lady Mustangs finished eighth with 18 points. The Estancia girls finished eighth with 18.33 points while the boys were twelfth with 15 points in 3A.
Reese got gold in both and had three teammates who also scored in the 110 and two more who did the same in the 300. But it wasn’t all about the hurdlers to Mustang coach Vince Zamora.
“We were planning on the hurdlers [doing well] but we’ve worked hard–it’s the best crew I’ve had in my six years coaching,” Zamora said. “All the kids we needed to get points did–in the relays and other events.”
Jason Padilla got silver in the pole vault (11′) on Friday and the 4 x 400 relay team also got second to end the event Saturday (3:40). Padilla said he was thrown in the the pole vault four years ago. “We needed points and I had never thought of it before. Now I try to get him to demonstrate the pole vault and he says ‘Heck no’.”
But Reese’s win in the 110 (15.95) with a lean at the finish line to beat Jal’s Freddy Carrillo for the first time ever was a highlight as well as his win in the 300 (40.74) which saw he and Escalante’s Andres Blea fall at the finish.
Reese said his 110 time was “my fastest ever. Carrillo tapped the second-to-last hurdle and I got my opening.”
Reese’s 300 win was accidentally called a state record and would have been had he been competing in 1A. He did also get a bronze in the triple jump (39’6.75″)Andrew Lopez, Irijah Chavez and Chandler Roberts finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively in the 110 to give the Mustangs 13 points in that event. In the 300, Lopez was third (42.77) and Roberts fourth for 14 more.
“I was focusing on my form,” Lopez said. “I hit a hurdle but recovered enough to still finish fourth.”
Chavez, holding his long curly locks, said he “won by a hair (over Roberts). No, I’m not cutting my hair.”
“I started hurdles with Kasey (Reese) when we were little,” Roberts said. “I like both races but I find the 300 a hard race, more of a challenge.”
Javier Irizarry ran the anchor leg in the 4 x 400 and was the only member of that team who didn’t run hurdles. “Jumping and running is not my thing. I can’t jump and run at the same time but I try harder than the runners behind me.”
The Estancia boys coach Stewart Burnett and girls coach Eric Lucero were unavailable for comment. Several performers did well individually including Scarlett Gonzales (second in discus at 102’1″) and Brian Walker (third in pole vault at 11’6″).
Priscilla Padilla of Estancia was second in long jump (17′.5″) and she said she started bad. “I told the coaches my legs aren’t going. I went to my grandpa and he said to go back to my original form.”
Padilla then added 18 inches to her previous jumps. “I went to talk to the Capitan girl (the favorite) and she said nobody had ever talked to her before. We talked about that there’s more to it than just jumping, you have to love it.”
Mountainair girls coach Lynelle Chavez said she was pretty satisfied with her young team. “Our first goal was to qualify, next it was making the finals and then getting on the podium. We accomplished what we came for.”
Lady Mustang Estrella Griego got bronze in the pole vault (7’6″). “I was being doubted and it felt amazing to do this in my second year of pole-vaulting. I really wanted it bad”
Chavez said that Griego gave up the hurdles and the open 100 to do the pole vault. “She has worked so hard– she was sitting in seventh coming in and moved up to third.”