RUIDOSO – Upon first glance at the standing for this year’s Ruidoso Invitational, Oct. 21, it doesn’t appear local teams did all that well.
Ruidoso was the only school with full boys and girls squads – Capitan had enough girls for a team score – and no individuals finished in the top 10.
But according to Ruidoso runner Cisco Bob, the Warriors’ times are improving, and with the district meets coming up next week, the timing couldn’t be better.
“I was pretty fast in the first half, and I had a good finish, but I still feel like we have room for improvement,” Bob said. “I’m not worried about peaking too early. I think it will be right where I want it to be next week.
“I feel I have a really good chance of being either district champ or runner up,” he added, referring to the District 3/4-4A meet next week at Moriarty. “I think I’ll do really good.”
Bob had the best time of any local runner on the day, running 18:57.98 and finishing 20th overall. Tanner Lowrance ran the course in 19:42.41 to take 39th.
The fastest local girl was Naomi Chavez at 24.13.35, finishing at 36th.
Mescalero was also present on the course, with Alex Kaydahzinne turning in the Chiefs’ best time at 19:56.86 to take 46th.
On the girls’ side, Julene Valdez was 66th with a time of 26:24.47.
Based on their times alone when compared with other district runners, Mescalero coach Adam Herrera said Kaydahzinne and William Old Chief probably have the best shot at getting to State.
He also said his runners have benefitted from the challenges brought on by other runners in their district.
“It pushes the kids. They have to be kids from Elida and Gateway now as well,” Herrera said. “In the past, some of the kids qualified simply because they showed up. Now they’re working a little harder and know what they have to get to State.”
As for the girls, Herrera was still happy with how the Chiefs ran.
“Julene’s time should get her qualified for state,” Herrera said. “Everybody’s times seem to be improving, even if it’s just a little bit at a time.
“There’s room for two more there as well, so I’m hoping maybe Annette (Castillo) and TeddiLeigh (Chavez) will be there,” he added.
Castillo finished with a time of 28:28.79, while Chavez was two spots behind her at 28:52.06.
For the Capitan girls, Adrianna led the way with a time of 24:29.08 to finish 45th.
All teams are in district meets this weekend. The top three teams and top 10 individuals earn spots to the State meet, scheduled for Oct. 4 at Rio Rancho.