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Hondo track seeking more success

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Melissa Guillen runs her leg of the 4x200 relay at last year’s Class 1A State meet in Albuquerque.

HONDO – Training for a track and field season isn’t easy, regardless of what your facilities are like.

Try training for a track meet without an actual track.

That’s the situation facing both Hondo and Corona.

We’ll get to the Cardinals in the next story, but for now, the Eagles are having to postpone any preparation for the spring due to their successful basketball seasons.

Both the boys and girls were seeded fourth in the state in Class 1A and earned a home game in the first round of the State playoffs, meaning running in the great outdoors has to be placed on the back burner.

Also, Hondo’s coaches haven’t exactly been in a track and field frame of mind.

Alice Velasquez, coaching the girls, was also leading that Lady Eagle basketball team into the State tournament.

Still, she knows the seasons are changing and is looking ahead – a little bit.

“Boys and girls won district last year, and we had plenty of state qualifiers, ended up seventh with the girls there,” Velasquez said. “We do what we can with what we have.”

Tim Harris will lead the boys’ side of the program, but he’s also busy right now as an assistant for both the boys and girls basketball teams.

“We have a good group of athletes here,” Harris said. “It should be fun with these kids. We’re really looking forward to both boys and girls having a good program this year.”

Training is another question. There is a track at Hondo, but it’s the asphalt kind – a driveway that encircles the football field. It’s also short, and has a steep incline up to the highway.

Athletes returning from last year’s girls squad include Fallon Velasquez, who was fifth in Class 1A in javelin last year as an eighth grader, junior Joyce Ann Cooper in distance running, and Melissa Guillen and Kyra Lucero in the sprints.

On the boys side, Buddy Prudencio’s speed should make a difference, and Velasquez is hoping Simon Gonzalez can translate his basketball skills into success at high jump.

“We’ve got plans, we just don’t know if the kids have the same plans we do,” Velasquez said.

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