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Mora runners, coach start strong

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By Ruth Fort

Coach Mark Cassidy has had a stunning season coaching the Mora boys’ cross country program.

With several of his boys placing among the top ten throughout the season, Cassidy’s debut guiding the distance runners has been a success.  

Henrique Chávez was the only returning runner top ten state contender for Class A-AA from the 2008 team.

Cassidy had never coached cross country but said he was excited to take it on this year. With a very young and inexperienced team he has brought home individual medals and team trophies.  

The Rangers include Henrique Chavez, 12th grade; Adam Laumbach, 11th grade; Derek Hurtado, 10th grade;  Josh Alcon, 9th grade; Alonzo Chavez, 9th grade; and Isaac Duran, 9th grade.

In the Class 1A-2A state championship meet held Nov. 7 at Rio Rancho High School, the Mora boys finished 11th as a team, with Henrique Chávez finishing fifth as an individual with a time of 16:41. Chavez’s time — one of the highlights of the year for the Rangers — was just three seconds out of third place behind a terrific one-two battle waged by Pecos’ Antonio Varela and Navajo Pine’s Timothy Chee.   

Another highlight came earlier in the season as the Mora boys placed third at the Northern Rio Grande held at Pendaries Golf Course in Rociada.

Henrique Chavez ran third to pace the Rangers in that race. Derek Hurtado was 10th, Josh Alcon 14th, Alonzo Chavez 17th, Adam Laumbach 21st, and Isaac Duran 24th.

The Rangers finished as district runner-up to mighty Pecos on Oct. 30, in a meet hosted by Mora.

Henrique Chavez ran a team-best fourth to break up the pack of Pecos Panthers up front. Hurtado, Alcon and Alonzo Chavez ran ninth through 11th; Laumbach was 14th and Duran 19th for a respectable pack time.