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Running with heart

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Meadow City Invite proves therapeutic for some runners

By Dave Kavanaugh

It has been a trying month for Leandro Garduño and the rest of his family.

But Saturday was all right — a ray of sunshine amid the clouds.

Garduño, a standout cross country runner at Memorial Middle School, lost his stepfather Felipe a couple of weeks ago to an extended battle with cancer.

It was devastating news for him and sister Esperanza, a varsity runner at West Las Vegas. Esperanza didn’t compete in the Belen meet with her teammates so she could be with her family.

But Leandro opted to run that weekend anyway.

“He’s running with a lot of heart now,” said his mother Maria, who said her son has become even more dedicated to the sport. “There’s a lot of heart there.”

If running is therapeutic, as many longtime distance enthusiasts attest, Leandro got himself plenty of therapy on Saturday in the Meadow City Cross Country Invitational at the Gene Torres Golf Course.

He raced to victory in the middle school run to kick off the event at 8:30 a.m., then returned for the high school varsity run three hours later, finishing a respectable 29th.

Cheering him on from the various vantage points along the trail were his mom and Esperanza, who ran 38th in the varsity girls’ race for the Lady Dons.

While Saturday’s meet represented some sort of healing for the Garduños, it also meant another chance to get better for others.

Annabella Miller continued her strong fall showing, racing to fifth place in 20:04 and pacing the Robertson girls in a varsity girls’ run dominated by Class 5A power Rio Rancho.

On the boys’ side, West Las Vegas’ Moises Coca and Mora’s Casimiro Fresquez cracked a frontrunning pack loaded with Rio Rancho and Belen athletes. Coca was eighth in 17:02, and Fresquez 11th in 17:29.

Coca had himself an especially eventful day. Later in the afternoon, he and others from the Gallinas Volunteer Fire Department were summoned to emergency duty, helping rescue several hikers trapped on a cliff overlooking the Montezuma pond.

HIGH SCHOOL VARSITY GIRLS
1. Molly Kline, Rio Rancho, 18:43
 2. Sierra Delware, Rio Rancho, 19:48
 3. Joana Fernandez, Rio Rancho, 19:50
 4. Valene Madalena, Jemez, 19:54
 5. Annabella Miller, Robertson, 20:04
 6. Dottie Smith, Rio Rancho, 20:29
 7. Megan Agena, Rio Rancho, 20:47
 8. Gloria Zuni, Los Lunas, 20:54
 9. Kielee Kinghorn, Los Lunas, 21:01
10. Jade Aldheide, Jemez, 21:08
11. Victoria Cordova, Belen, 21:23
12. Vivian Lueras, Los Lunas, 21:37
13. Reyna Martinez, Rio Rancho, 21:38
14. Miranda Varoz, Española, 21:44
15. Cameron Ly, Rio Rancho, 21:49
16. Shannae Williams, Los Lunas, 21;50
17. Elena Garcia, Robertson, 21:52
18. Santiana Marrujo, Mora, 21:55
19. Esperanza Martinez, Robertson 21:57
20. Amy Gonzales, Cimarron, 21:58
21. Morgan Diefendorf, Robertson, 22:17
22. Janae Henderson, Jemez, 22:20
23. Bethany Hammon, Los Lunas, 22:22
24. Sage Mijares, Jemez, 22:24
25. Divina Romero, West Las Vegas, 22:26
26. Danika Hurtado, Mora, 22:30
27. Francesca Serrano, Española, 22:35
28. Eve Lovato, Los Lunas, 22:47
29. Aubrey Maestas, West Las Vegas, 22:59
30. Samantha Sanchez, Española, 23:01
31. Rebekah Hutchinson, Robertson, 23:02
32. Shantell Boylan, Española, 23:04
33. Victoria Abeyta, Los Lunas, 23:05
34. Analisa Chavez, Mora, 23:07
35. Leah DeAguero, Española, 23:16
36. Analisa Campos, Española, 23:21
37. Zena Stevenson, Cimarron, 23:32
38. Esperanza Garduño, West, 23:41
39. Eluateria Patino, Jemez, 23:55
40. Tabitha Davis, Belen, 23:59
41. Luzia Manuel, Mora, 24:30
42. Holli Araiza, Cimarron, 24:53
43. Denita Toya, Jemez, 25:20
44. Karteri Gachupin, Jemez, 25:26
45. Shauntae Rivera, Mora, 26:28
46. Kaylee Mulkey, Cimarron, 26:37
47. Kayla Tarr, West Las Vegas, 26:40
48. Renee Saavedra, West Las Vegas, 26:42
49. Margarita Fernandez, Mora, 26:43
50. LouAnna Valencia, West Las Vegas, 26:58
51. Faith Gonzales, West Las Vegas, 26:59
52. Alexis Trujillo, Española, 29:32

VARSITY GIRLS’ TEAM RESULTS
1. Rio Rancho, 19 points
2. Los Lunas, 64 points
3. Robertson, 87 points
4. Jemez, 92 points
5. Espanola, 129 points
6. Mora, 150 points
7. West Las Vegas, 168 points

HIGH SCHOOL VARSITY BOYS
1. Jared Garcia, Belen, 15:53
2. Aaron Valenzuela, Belen, 16:27
3. Josh Pyeatt, Rio Rancho, 16:46
4. Fernando Lucero, Rio Rancho, 16:47
5. Caleb Eppes, Rio Rancho, 16:47
6. Mike Goke, Rio Rancho, 16:54
7. Robert Walden, Rio Rancho, 16:55
8. Moises Coca, West Las Vegas, 17:02
9. Manuel Guerrero, Belen, 17:07
10. Jacob Subratie, Cimarron, 17:16
11. Casimiro Fresquez, Mora, 17:29
12. Henry Sime, Cimarron, 17:35
13. Norman Sanchez, Española, 17:37
14. Antonio Trujillo, Española, 17:41
15. Brian Baldonado, Belen, 17:46
16. Sammy Martinez, West Las Vegas, 17:48
17. Edwin Bergeron, Rio Rancho, 17:51
18. Nathalian Candelaria, Los Lunas, 17:54
19. Thomas Gallegos, Cimarron, 17:58
20. Isaiah Abeita, Los Lunas, 18:03
21. Carlos Estrada, Española, 18:11
22. Aaron Martinez, Española, 18:14
23. Kevin Villanueva, West Las Vegas, 18:21
24. Korrin Williams, Jemez, 18:25
25. Zachary Montoya, Española, 18:28
26. Michael Salas, Robertson, 18:32
27. Santiago Laumbach, Mora, 18:54
28. Matthew Niemiec, Cimarron, 18:56
29. Leandro Garduño, Robertson, 18:58
30. Adam Castillo, Jemez, 19:02
31. Warren Roybal, Mora, 19:13
32. Krystian Gomez, Belen, 19:17
33. Chris Coca, Cimarron, 19:25
34. Daniel Hammon, Los Lunas, 19:26
35. Reuben Mulkey, Cimarron, 19:30
36. Marcus Kewanwytewa, Jemez, 19:31
37. Levi Smith, Cimarron, 19:34
38. Atreyu Garcia, Belen, 19:36
39. Ryan Baca, Española, 19:38
40. Joe Montaño, Robertson, 19:45
41. Roman Prevot, Belen, 19:58
42. Keanan Mora, Jemez, 20:11
43. Travis Romero, Mora, 20:12
44. Conrad Atencio, West Las Vegas, 20:17
45. Caleb Valdez, Española, 20:19
46. Gabriel Montoya, Mora, 20:20
47. Devin Maes, West Las Vegas, 20:39
48. Marcus Magdalena, Jemez, 20:40
49. Jalen Jacobs, Robertson, 20:58
50. Antonio Yepa, Jemez, 20:59
51. Vance Niles, Jemez, 21:08
52. Justin Riel, Los Lunas, 22:01
53. Xavier Romero, Mora, 22:56
54. Brandon Dahilig, Mora, 22:58
55. Peter Torres, West Las Vegas, 23:03
56. Brandon Maddux, West Las Vegas, 23:08

VARSITY BOYS’ TEAM RESULTS
1. Rio Rancho, 25 points
2. Belen, 55 points
3. Española, 89 points
4. Cimarron, 94 points
5. West Las Vegas, 124 points
6. Mora, 139 points
7. Jemez, 157 points

Editor’s note: You can find more coverage of the Meadow City Invite and the NMHU XC Jam in the Optic later this week.