ALBUQUERQUE — Two San Juan County high schools are at the top of the 4A rankings after the first day of the New Mexico Track and Field Division 3A-5A Championships at the University of New Mexico.
At the end of the day on Friday, preliminary results after five events showed Farmington High School boys as third in the 4A division and Aztec High School girls as first in the 4A division. Piedra Vista High School girls were ranked number 2, five points behind Aztec.
Four San Juan County students won first place in division 4A. Kayleigh Graham, a Piedra Vista High School senior, took home a state title in the shot put for the second year in a row with a throw of 38 feet. Also for the second consecutive year, Christian Mackey, a Kirtland Central High School senior, won the discus with a throw of 162 feet and 2 inches.
Also on Friday, Aztec High School senior Kayli Farmer won the girls high jump for the second year with a jump of 5 feet and 2 inches, and Avery Rasher of Farmington High School won the boys high jump with a jump of 6 feet and 4 inches.
Rasher, a junior, competed in the high jump at state last year and took second. He said the biggest challenge this year was the approach with the high jump. When he found out he had won, he said he was "super happy."
"It felt amazing," Rasher said.
Aztec junior Sarah Root was among the athletes to score points for her team on Friday, and she hopes to pick up more points today.
Root took second place in the long jump Friday with a jump of 17 feet and 7 inches.
"I was really excited," she said. "That's where I was seeded, so I'm glad I came through."
Root later competed in the 300-meter hurdles, where she took first in her heat.
As she approached the final stretch, Root's foot caught on one of the hurdles.
"I thought I was going to fall, but I got back on my feet," she said.
She finished the race with a time of 47.7 seconds.
Root and two other San Juan County runners are the top-seeded girls in the finals for the 300-meter hurdles. River Hess of Farmington High School and Zhianna Flores of Piedra Vista High School both won their heats. Flores finished with the fastest time — 44.12 seconds — while Hess ran a 47.74-second race.
"This will be the first time Sarah, Zhianna and I run together," Hess said.
The girls' main competition will come from Kristina Conatratto of Valencia High School, who finished just behind Root in the first heat of the hurdles on Friday with a time of 47.73 seconds.
Valencia High School will also be competition for the Scorpion boys 4X200 meter relay team, which has had its eyes set on the state record all year.
During the preliminary heat Friday, the boys pulled up just shy of the record with a time of 1 minute and 28.67 seconds, which is one-tenth of a second slower than the state record.
But the boys hope to break the record today in the finals.
"If we keep up the hard work we did today and we've been doing all year, we'll do good," said senior Devin Hull, the anchor leg of the relay team.
Valencia's team finished with a time of 1 minute and 28.95 seconds.
While Bloomfield High School might not be looking to break a record in the relay, the Lady Bobcats hope to make school history by winning the 1,600-meter sprint medley relay for the first time today.
The relay team, which consists of eighth graders Vanessa Harris and Sierra Ortiz and senior Lousia Maestas and junior Gabby Munoz, won its heat in the preliminaries Friday.
Maestas said Friday was the team's second time running the relay together. The team won its heat with a time of 4 minutes and 29.70 seconds, less than a second behind the fastest time of the other heat, Sandia Prep High School.
"I thought it was cool," Maestas said. "I just hope we can do it again tomorrow."