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Multiple local runners headed to State

By Todd Fuqua

No one is for sure, but it seems this is already the most successful season the Capitan cross country team has ever had.

Running at the District 4/5/6-3A meet in Tucumcari, Capitan’s girls finished third as a team, getting a spot in the State meet this weekend in Rio Rancho.

Additionally, Tanner Lowrance and Kort Sparks earned spots in the top 10 to go as individuals.

The girls bested Tucumcari by just four points to secure their trip to Rio Rancho.

“Every girl on that course did their job,” said Capitan coach Kim King. “Jenna Herbert came out of nowhere. Emma Lindsey, the same thing. Lyndee Bason and Lilly Scruggs were both out due to injury, so we didn’t know we’d have this good of a chance.”

This was a week after the Tigers ran at the Ruidoso Warrior Invitational, a meet in which winning or placing wasn’t the real goal.

“We just wanted them to go out, run strong and feel good,” King said. “Knowing we had district in a week, we didn’t try to break any records. They did what they needed to do.”

Mescalero also ran in its district meet at Roswell, with four individuals placing high enough to get to State.

Alex Kaydahzinne was third overall, while Tai Old Chief took ninth for the boys. On the girls side, Julene Valdez was eighth and Annette Casitillo 12th overall.

“Tai did very well, with all the competition among the boys,” said Mescalero coach Adam Herrera. “Alex beat his competition handily, and Tai was a little nervous, but he ran hard against kids that had beat him throughout the year. He left it all on the course.”

Ruidoso had a similar day at Moriarty in the District 4-4A meet, with the girls finishing third and individual boys Cisco Bob and Aaron Forester running fast enough to qualify for State.

But coach Trevor Rabourn thought he might have both teams going to State.

“We had four boys finish in the top 16, so I thought we were there,” Rabourn said. “But we were just four points away from Silver in third.”

The boys competition was quite competitive, with Moriarty winning on their home course with 50 points, and just 17 points separated the Pintos from Ruidoso in fourth place.

For the girls, Naomi Chavez had the best finish at 10th place, with the rest of the team bunched close together around 20th place.

“Hope Christian ran away with it with 17 points, that’s pretty close to a perfect score,” Rabourn said. “That meant the rest of the field would be bunched together.”

Rabourn expects Bob to break into the top 20 at State, “maybe the top 10 if he has a good day.

“Aaron’s been consistent all year,” Rabourn added. “For the girls, I’d love for us to be in the top 10, if thy run well.”

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