Oñate runner makes history

Oñate runner makes history

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Knights sophomore snares city’s first 3,200 state title By For the Las Cruces Bulletin After more than 50 years of New Mexico high school competition in the 3,200-meter race, Las Cruces finally has a champion in the event. Oñate High School sophomore Thomas Salas snared the individual 3,200-meter title at the 2015 NMAA State Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque earlier this month. “Thomas is very hard working,” Oñate track coach David Nuñez said. “He is totally committed to becoming the best in both the academic and athletic arenas. “That is what makes him special, he is not only a great runner, but equally a great student.” The runner is currently the top student in his school’s sophomore class. Salas topped second-place-finisher Justin Kerstetter – a senior from Manzano High – with a time of 9:55:84, three seconds better than Kerstetter’s mark. The Knights star comes from a lineage of runners. His parents, David and Kelly, both ran track during their high school years – for Mayfield High and Alamogordo High respectfully – then moved on to run track for New Mexico State University. His grandfather, Tom Burns, was also the boys’ track and cross-country coach at Alamogordo during the 1990s. Nuñez said Salas is always willing to learn. “Thomas is very coachable,” he said. “He is eager to learn the things that will make him a successful runner and I really enjoy coaching him for that reason.” Alongside Salas, Oñate also saw a team full of strong performers take first place at the state championships. See History on page A23 Oñate High School sophomore Thomas Salas won the 3,200 meter race at the state track and field championships in early May. COURTESY PHOTO

Lewis Harry

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