Los Lunas girls, boys hope to repeat as district champs

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It was a record-setting year for the Los Lunas girls track program, tying for third at the Class 4A state championships as Nicole Jenrette broke a state record in the long jump.

Jenrette is now at Sam Houston State, and the Lady Tigers are still the team to beat in district 6-4A.

The boys are even stronger, returning to defend their district title after only losing Darrin Drummond and Gabe Almager to graduation.

Both Tiger teams will renew their quest for a district title when they host the Los Lunas Invite on March 9.

Both coaches noted that, while looking forward to the event, it takes a lot to put on the meet, especially as the first of the year.

"It is hard, because you can't really coach," said boys coach James Harmon. "Someone is always asking a question, and you have to track something down instead of being with your kids."

Girls coach Larry Padilla said the meet is in the hands of the volunteers that help make it a great event.

"What is really hard about track is that it is really parent dependent," said Padilla. "We need volunteers to help run the meet."

The boys team will be fast, and, with some help from Greg Wortman and Alan Morales, strong in the throwing events.

"We pretty much have the whole squad back," said boys coach James Harmon. "Our relays look very good right now."

Jacob Holland will step in for Drummond in the medley relay. Other than that, the Tigers have everyone coming back.

Sprints are set with the speedy Jalen Chavez in the 100 meters and Holland in the 200.

Harmon said that several other sprinters would have a chance to prove what they can do throughout the season.

"We pretty much did go to state in every area," said Harmon, noting that the bar has been raised. "This year we have to win something."

The girls also have some strong sprinters with Alexis Lafave plcing second at state in the 200 meters. Freshman Cera Chavez is also an impressive sprinter.

"All of our seniors are the distance kids," said Tiger girls coach Larry Padilla.

Kendra Lente, Eliyah Lucero, Jordan Benavidez and Mariah Gallegos are the leaders in the distance events for Los Lunas.

The Tiger boys have some strong competitors at 400 meters in state placers Jaden Torres and Randy Moore, along with Chavez.

Michael Brown runs the 800 meters and is improving each time out.

"Michael is one of the hardest-working kids I have ever seen," said Harmon.

The jumps are where both teams have some hope of improving this year.

Katie Inman could make a big impact after basketball season. She qualified for state last year in the long jump.

The boys high jumpers, Moore and Holland, could both qualify for state this year.

Holland is the top triple jumper and Jalen Chavez leads the long jump.

The district meet is scheduled to be hosted by Los Lunas on May 12 and 13.


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