Oñate Track and Field athletes tally gold at Rolla Buck White Sands Invite
While many Las Cruces students casually enjoyed the last weekend of Spring Break, high school track and field athletes spent Saturday, March 19, competing at the Rolla Buck White Sands Track and Field Invitational in Alamogordo.
With no hint of the previous weekend’s windy misery in sight, athletes from mainly southern New Mexico and El Paso took advantage of the almost perfect weather to achieve some of their best performances so far this season. And before the day was done, a solid crew of Oñate High Knights had met the victory challenge.
Leading the charge was a strong Oñate contingency whose efforts earned them each double individual victories in their prospective events. Senior Keyarha Wilson took first place in the high jump, with a new personal best mark of 5-07, and first in girls long jump (15-02.5). Senior teammate Jennifer Ramirez won the 100-meter hurdles (15.79) and 300-meter hurdles (46.82). Both girls maintain their reign as the state’s top performers, Wilson in high jump and Ramirez in both hurdle events.
Oñate senior Meghan Aguilera and junior Thomas Salas went two-for-two in the distance events; Aguilera clinched a pair of season best times in the 1,600 meters (5:24.92) and the 3,200 meters (11:40.96), with Salas racing to his own personal record in the 1,600 meter run with a time of 4:33.44, and adding another first place in the 3,200 run (9:53.41).
Contributing to Oñate’s successful performances on Saturday were seniors AJ Zemek in the boys 800 meters, with a season’s best of 1:57.98 and the new top 6A spot, and Luis Duarte in Javelin with a throw of 159-05, ranked second in 6A. Oñate’s Ramirez, and sisters Meghan, Sidney and Brianna Aguilera captured the final four medals for the Knights with the winning 4 x 400 meter relay time of 4:17.47.
Oñate head coach David Nunez praised his entire team.
“Things are starting to come together for our boys and girls teams,” he said. “We are seeing improvement each week and that is what we work for.” Other top performances came from Mayfield senior Celeste Walz with a first season win in the girls discus at 114-0, and the Centennial boys sprint medley Relay team of Adam Flores, Christian Benavidez, Diego Lopez and Zach Montoya, with their second win of the season in 3:51.47.
In the girls varsity team scores, Alamogordo captured the win with 104.33 points, Oñate second (91) and Centennial third (58). The boys varsity team title went to Alamogordo (140), Silver City in second (76) and Oñate third (71).
Las Cruces High School hosts the next meet Saturday, April 2 at the Field of Dreams.