Cowgirls win CSM track meet

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By The Staff

And the winner is ... the New Mexico Highlands Cowgirls!

Highlands’ women surprised the field by capturing a team title in the Colorado School of Mines Alumni Extravaganza indoor track and field meet this past weekend in Golden, Colo.

The Cowgirls outscored Adams State 108-105 to mark the first time in the program’s history that the team finished in front of the Grizzlies — a perennial national power — in a track competition.

In addition to Adams State, fellow Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference foes Western State, Colorado Mines, Colorado State-Pueblo and Colorado-Colorado Springs were in the 10-team field.

“This is a very early meet and nobody had full squads, including us, but any time we can beat the rest of the top teams in the conference, well, that’s pretty exciting,” DeVries said.

Something that has DeVries very excited is that the Highlands women put up over 100 points in the meet without the services of three-time All American Angella Graham. Graham, the 2009 RMAC track Athlete of the Year, is expected to open her season Jan. 16 at the University of New Mexico Lobo Opener.

“Last year a lot of teams might have looked at us as a one- or two- person team,” said DeVries, “but this meet shows we have athletes who can compete and score in just about every area at the conference level.”

“We didn’t have a single individual event winner, but just about everyone we took contributed to the win.”

Returning All-RMAC sprinter Candace St. Louis  proved to be in good early-season form.

The senior from Trinidad, Colo., raced to a school-record of 7.81 for the 60-meter dash, just six-hundredths off the provisional national qualifying mark, in her first race of the season. St. Louis was second in the event despite being placed in a slower heat by meet organizers. St. Louis had a busy day, contributing more points in the 800 and 1,600 relays and running another school record in the 300-meter dash.

Senior Ebonee Carter also got her season off to a great start, placing third in the shot put in a new school record of 11.99 meters.

The team has worked hard this fall under the direction of assistant coaches Patrick and Howard Johnson, DeVries said, and those efforts were rewarded Saturday.

DeVries hailed an exciting finish by his squad:

“With just three or four events to go we trailed Adams by about 20 points, but we had strong events coming up. With three events to go, Adams still had us by nine, but they took second and we took fifth in the 1,600 relay to stretch the lead to 16 points. We had the only team entered in the 4x800 relay (the second to last event of the day) and had in fact decided earlier not to run the event since we were the only team entered. I went to the girls and told them we had a chance to win, and they wanted to run. The 4x800 team of Carolina Garcia, Brieanna Roper, Reyna Montaño and Ashley Lovato ran and garnered the 10 first-place points to put us just six points behind, with only the high jump to be contested. We had two potential scorers in that event while Adams had nobody entered.”

“Freshmen Shanoaleigh Roseby (second) and Kim Vandergeest (eighth) each came through with points and pushed us ahead for the team victory.”