ALBUQUERQUE – As Alejandro Trujillo was nearing the final turn in the grueling 400-meter final, May 6, during the Class 3A State meet, he wasn’t sure if he had what it took to win.
“I just saw him way ahead of me, I just told myself to keep pushing, and you’re going to win this,” Trujillo said of Desert Academy’s Max Logan. “It’s amazing. This is what I’ve worked for all year. All the hard work and practice has paid off.”
It turns out Trujillo was in fact fast enough to get past Logan, and ended up taking first by just .45 seconds for a State title.
Capitan teammate Price Bowen added points for the team with a fourth-place finish in the same race.
Bowen is also a pitcher and catcher for the Capitan baseball team, as he got the victory over Tucumcari just three days before in the Class 3A State playoffs.
“Everything we do in baseball helps with track, everything we do in track helps with baseball,” Bowen said. “It’s a system that works together perfectly.
“Alejandro ran a great race, but unfortunately he’s leaving, so he can’t teach me anymore,” he added, commenting on Trujillo’s graduation next week.
Team-wise, neither the Tiger boys or girls had enough points to earn a trophy, but there were several individual efforts like Trujillo’s that brought Capitan glory.
In fact, Trujillo was the first leg of the Tigers’ medley relay team, a team which also saw juniors Jacob Smith, Bowen and Tanner Lowrance win the State title in that race.
The Tigers led pretty much wire-to-wire, as Trujillo already had a sizeable lead when he handed the baton to Smith on the second 200-meter leg.
That lead increased just a bit more when Bowen took the baton for the 400-meter leg, but Dexter was closing in a bit when Lowrance got the final handoff for 800 meters.
After that, it wasn’t so much a question of whether Dexter would win, just how far back of Lowrance the Demons would be when he crossed the finish line first for a team time of 3:45.80.
An even younger Lowrance – freshman Wyatt – turned in the race of his life just a bit earlier, turning on the jets in the final few meters to blow past Pecos’ Josh DeHerrera and take second in the 1,600-meter run.
To say DeHerrera was surprised when he saw Lowrance running past him near the end is an understatement.
“My coach (Kim King) told me I have more potential than I know, and that it’s all mental,” Lowrance said. “I just had to focus to do well.”
Lowrance and Cottonwood Classical’s Tyler Gibson were the only two runners to spoil Pecos’ celebration party, as four of the top six finishers were Panthers.
Lowrance’s time of 4:45.46 was about 20 seconds better than his personal best. He also shaved off an amazing 42 seconds in his 3,200 meter run on Friday, taking sixth overall.
That’s not bad for a freshman, who looks to win these races in the next three years.
“I want to be there,” Lowrance said, talking about the top of the podium. “
For the girls, things were a bit more disappointing. Junior Adrianna Romero wasn’t happy with her appearances in the 400-meters or triple jump, neither of which she placed.
Even more frustrating, though, was her effort in high jump, an event she came in seeded fourth with a top height of five feet. She had also cleared 5-6 in practice.
She struggled to get over the bar at 4-8 in Albuquerque, and couldn’t make any height after that to place anywhere.
Fellow junior Dakota Hazen salvaged the day with her second-place finish in pole vault, clearing the bar at 9 feet, but couldn’t get over that bar at 9-6. Like Trujillo, she’d been able to clear the magical height in practice, but still couldn’t do it during competition.
However, both she and volunteer pole vault coach Gary Caughron expect her to win next season, and break the record.
Hazen and teammate Shelby Herron – who tied for fifth with Estancia’s Kaitlyn Calhoon – were the only athletes to earn team points for the Lady Tigers.
Girls coach Kim King said Capitan’s individual performances were pretty much what she expected, and she is happy.
“We’ve got kids coming here to State and showing more than they have all season. That’s what it’s about,” King said. “Some kids just show up to this meet and look fantastic. We love to watch them run.”