Mora XC teams make state cut

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Las Vegas Optic

Pecos and Mora will be among the teams vying for state cross country titles this Saturday in Rio Rancho after strong efforts in the District 2 1A-2A meet on Friday in Pojoaque.

Both Mora boys’ and girls’ teams qualified for the state meet by picking up dual fourth-place finishes in the 13-team district meet.

Top five make the cut for state, noted second-year head coach Mark Cassidy.

For the Rangerette runners, the team qualification is a first, Cassidy said.

“I was really pleased,” he said. “I just wanted us to get (at least) fifth so we could qualify, but we got fourth.”

Pecos’ Antonio Varela finished the boys’ race in 17:02 to capture the individual district championship and lead the Panthers to a second-place team finish, along with their umpteenth qualification for state.

The Rangers, meanwhile, were paced by Alonzo Chavez and Joshua Alcon, who ran 16th and 17th, respectively.

Derek Hurtado was 23rd, and Mora teammates Manuel Martinez (33rd), Julio Serna (36th), Ryan Romero (43rd), Isaac Duran (57th) and Daniel Medina (60th) rounded out the Rangers’ placings.

Santa Fe Prep won the boys’ team title, followed by Pecos, Peñasco, Mora and Tucumcari.

On the girls’ side, Mora had strong races from Santiana Marrujo and Chantel Rivera, who finished 15th and 16th, respectively. Angel Valencia was 23rd, Santana Padilla ran 42nd and Analisa Chavez placed 44th.

That pushed the Rangerettes past Santa Rosa’s Lady Lions in the standings.

Santa Fe Prep won the girls’ team championship, beating out Peñasco. Tucumcari was third, followed by Mora and Santa Rosa.

Hailey Lucero from Mesa Vista won the individual honors with a time of 20:57.

The state meet for all classifications will be held Saturday morning on the campus of Rio Rancho High School.