Aguirre wins another 4A discus state title

Jake Newby
jnewby@pnj.com
Shiprock's Kylie McKinley clears the final hurdle in the girls 4A 300-meter hurdles on Friday at the University of New Mexico Track & Field Complex in Albuquerque.

ALBUQUERQUE — From a team standpoint, there's a lot left to be determined after the first day of the 4A track and field state championship meet here.

But some individuals — like Bloomfield's Gabriel Aguirre — wasted no time making an impact on Friday.

The senior easily won his second consecutive state title in the discus throw with a distance of 151.7 feet — more than five feet farther than the second-place finisher. It was also five feet farther than his own title-winning distance last year.

If Aguirre can win the shot put — like he did at state last year and at district last week — he could become the first four-time boys state champion thrower in Bloomfield High School history. Bobcats coach Robert Griego said that potential feat is a testament to Aguirre's work ethic.

"He puts in a lot of ring work at practice, throwing in there. He's worked so hard on technique, and he's stayed consistent," Griego said. "It's the throwers that stay consistent that are going to win."

With only half of the field events in the books halfway through the meet, team scores are low and relatively hollow. Bloomfield's boys sit in fourth out of 11 schools with eight points. Kirtland Central ended the day in ninth place with 5.33 points.

After the first day, Shiprock didn't make it into the team ranking, but the Chieftains could get a big day today out of Adrian Gibson, who is ranked No. 1 in the 110-meter hurdles and won the preliminary race in that event on Friday.

"We wanted to see how (Gibson) matched up with a kid from Hope Christian, and he just did everything right," Shiprock coach Brian Paniagua said. "He got everything together at the end."

Out of the District 1-4A girls squads, only the Lady Chieftains made it into the team rankings, earning 1 point. But Shiprock will push for the podium in a handful of events, including the 1,600-sprint medley, where the team of Kylie McKinley, T'yana Harry, Ashinee George and Destiny Rockwell took fourth overall in the prelims. McKinley also took third in the 300-meter hurdles prelims.

Kirtland Central's Aidan Cockrell clears the hurdle in the 4A 300-meter hurdles on Friday at the UNM Track & Field Complex in Albuquerque.

Kirtland Central's Kambree Pierro qualified for the finals of both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, and KC coach Leland Adair said she could have had an even bigger day.

"I don't want to make excuses, of course, but (Kambree) didn't do as well as usual in the high jump with the sun and the heat and fresh off the 4x200," Adair said. "But she got past all of that to do fine in the hurdles, and I think she'll be fine again tomorrow."

The finals of the remaining field events begin at 8 a.m. today, and the running events get going at 11 a.m., all at the University of New Mexico Track and Field Complex.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.