Chavez breaks Taos meet record

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Mora runner wins second straight boys’ race; Robertson’s Erica Herrera eighth on girls’ side

By Dave Kavanaugh

Forty-three seconds.

In terms of rush-hour traffic, that’s not a whole lot of time — maybe enough to check your cell phone or to surf the radio for better music.

In terms of a cross country race, it’s plenty.

Alonzo Chavez of Mora shredded the old course record of the Taos Invitational by 43 seconds on Saturday, easily winning the individual boys’ championship.

Chavez’s time of 16 minutes and six seconds is now the fastest time on record for the meet, which covers a 3.1-mile distance. The previous fastest time was 16:49, according to Mora head coach Mark Cassidy.

The individual effort helped lead the Rangers to a sixth-place team finish in the boys’ race and continued a strong season for Chavez.

Chavez won a race for the second week in a row after taking the top prize in the ATC Invite on Sept. 8 in Santa Fe. He was third in the big season-opening meet hosted by the University of New Mexico; that race was loaded with big-school competition.

Alonzo is the son of Danny and Bernadette Chavez; his older brother Henrique is starring for New Mexico Highlands’ nationally ranked men’s cross country team.

Mora tied with Class 5A Santa Fe High for sixth in the Taos boys’ meet with 153 points.

Host Taos, Pojoaque Valley, and Española Valley were the top three on the boys’ side.

Robertson had some solid times, with a couple of Cardinal boys finishing in the 20s in terms of placing. The Cards ran only three and thus did not get a team score. A minimum of five varsity entrants are required to generate a team score.

Robertson’s Erica Herrera finished eighth with a time of 22:26 to pace the local effort.

Not far behind her was teammate Esperanza Martinez (11th in 22:50) and Mora’s Natalia Marrujo (13th in 22:57).

The Lady Cardinals fielded the minimum five varsity runners and placed in the meet; Mora’s Rangerettes had just four runners and thus did not score as a team.

RHS coach Patrick Garcia noted that he was missing several key girls’ runners, including Karlene Montaño, Rebekah Hutchinson and Annabella Miller.

This coming weekend will be another busy one for high school distance runners.

Pecos hosts the Ron Valdez Memorial Invitational on Saturday morning, and the meet will feature Mora along with the host Panthers and a number of other schools.

Robertson will run in Belen.

West Las Vegas and coach Leroy Armijo head to Albuquerque Manzano.

(See Page 8 for more on the WLV team).

Varsity boys’ highlights:
1. Alonzo Chavez, Mora, 16:06
21. Joshua Alcon, Mora, 19:08
23. Leonard Romero, Robertson, 19:16
26. Jude Madrid, Robertson, 19:34
33. Julio Serna, Mora, 19:55
Joseph Montaño, Robertson, 20:24
48. Xavier Romero, Mora, 23:35  50. Amrick Vasquez, Mora, 24:10

Varsity girls’ highlights:
 8. Erica Herrera, Robertson, 22:26
11. Esperanza Martinez, Robertson, 22:50
13. Natalia Marrujo, Mora,  22:57
23. Elena Garcia, Robertson, 23:25
25. Chantel Rivera, Mora
31. Santiana Marrujo, Mora
44. Shauntae Rivera, Mora
48. Myranda Aragon, Robertson, 30:53
49. LeaAnn Sandy, Robertson, 31:43