BHS teams still doing a lot with a small group

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Continuing their theme of the last couple of years, the small Belen High track and field teams will likely be small again.

The Eagle teams open their 2012-13 season at the Los Lunas Invite on Saturday, March 9. They host the Jim Burke Invitational at BHS on Saturday, March 16.

Amber Saiz accounted for most of the Lady Eagles' 19 points at last year's Class 4A state championships in Albuquerque, which tied BHS with Artesia for ninth place. The senior won the 800 meters title, placed fifth in the 1600 meters and anchored the medley relay team that finished a close second.

Saiz, who is at Eastern New Mexico University on a track and cross country scholarship, is gone, along with sprinter Annie Blair and now-New Mexico Highlands distance runner Tayler Hendren, who also graduated.

The Eagle boys didn't take many athletes to state, and their sixth-place medley finish earned them their only point, and they placed 22nd overall.

Sophomore Ari Valdez and junior Maria Sabinas were on the girls medley team that placed second at state. Sabinas is already working out with the team, and Valdez is expected to join the squad after basketball season.

Alexis Begay, another basketball player, took fifth in the 100 meters as a freshman. Gabby Mendoza placed ninth in the javelin, and she wants to qualify for state in the event early in her senior season.

Brandy Ortega went to live in Korea with her mother last year, but the senior is back in Belen and returns with experience in jumps and sprints earlier in her career.

Lindsey Aragon was a major contributor in relays as an eighth-grader last season.

Victoria Cordova will run the 1600 and 3200 meters, and Dinee Vallejos and Kaitlyn Prevot are newcomers who could make an impact.

Boys sprinters Joseph Lash, Estevan Carrasco and Adron DeLaCruz, along with distance runners Tyler Valdez and Jared Garcia, should all contribute.


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