Valencia girls fourth, Jaguar boys 10th

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This season, the Valencia High girls cross country team has seemed like a fast, loud sports car. But at some of its meets, the Lady Jaguars simply haven’t run quite fast enough to catch some of the fastest cars they could catch.

In Saturday’s David Allen Memorial Invite, held at Los Lunas High, the Lady Jaguars place fourth as a team, beating Estancia on the tiebreaker of the sixth-best VHS runner placing higher. But Valencia coach Lynette Padilla said the team could do more, and she said her team agreed.

Jason W. Brooks-News-Bulletin photo: Valencia’s Gerardo Gutierrez and teammate Dakota Wallace both posted personal-best times in in Saturday’s David Allen Invite. The Jaguar boys were ninth and the Lady Jaguars placed fourth amid a tough field, and all three county teams are set to compete in the Rio Rancho Jamboree this Saturday.

“We know we can do better,” said Padilla. “Actually, all of our varsity girls were disappointed with their race.”

The Lady Jags had a team score of 151. They placed fourth behind their local and District 6-4A rival, Los Lunas, who had 117, and second-place Santa Fe Indian School (102). Los Alamos ran away with the team title with a score of 20.

The Jaguar boys were ninth with a score of 210, placing behind Socorro and ahead of Los Lunas. Both VHS teams are set to compete in Saturday’s Rio Rancho Jamboree.

Carisma Lovato was the top VHS girls finisher at the David Allen Invite, but she struggled, said Padilla. She was 11th, and her twin sister, Consuelo, placed 37th.

“Carisma and Consuelo both had less-than-stellar meets,” she said. “We really expected Carisma to be in the top three. She complained of pain — that undiagnosed leg thing that afflicts her, still.”

Carisma Lovato finished nearly one minute behind race winner Rachel Fledderman, of Sandia Prep. The second-best VHS girls finisher was Grace Vickers, who was 30th, and Corina Baca, who was 31st. Sara Lopez was 42nd, and senior Belinda Lucero placed 45th.

On the boys side, senior Adam Larson was the top finisher for Valencia, finishing 26th with the 18:31.30.

Senior Allan Quezada was 28th with a time of .18:33.95. After two seasons as a state contender, Quezada has not posted the times or places this season that he has in the past.

“I have no comment on Allan’s race,” said Padilla.

Carlos Caro was the next VHS finisher, placing 36th in the 86-runner field. Gerardo Gutierrez was 55th, Luis Soto was 65th and Dakota Wallace placed 68th.

“Adam and Carlos had a decent meet,” said Padilla. “Gerardo and Dakota both PR’ed (broke their personal-best times), so we’re proud of their efforts and gradual improvements from week to week. Luis had an off meet.”

With the District 6-4A meet a little more than two weeks away, Padilla is hoping the group can put the Los Lunas meet of its minds.

“It wasn’t a great meet for us,” said Padilla. “We just hope to have everyone present and performing at their best at Rio Rancho.”

The Jamboree is a gigantic meet, with teams from every classification, running on the same course that will be used for next month’s state championships.

After Saturday’s Rio Rancho Jamboree, the Jaguar teams are scheduled to head to Grants on consecutive Fridays. The Grants Invite is set for Oct. 26 at a course at the New Mexico State University campus in Grants, where the Nov. 2 District 6-4A championships will be held as well.

The district meet determines which runners and teams will compete in the Nov. 10 state championships.


-- Email the author at jbrooks@news-bulletin.com.