Questa Lady Cats team up to return district crown to Q-Town

Lady Cats are district champions for second time in three years - dethrone NRG champs and 5-2A defender, Escalante

By Arcenio J. Trujillo, The Taos News
Posted 5/3/18

The Questa girls effectively redeemed their third place finish at last week's NRG Conference Meet with a stellar performance that yielded a title at home during the district qualifier April 28.

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Questa Lady Cats team up to return district crown to Q-Town

Lady Cats are district champions for second time in three years - dethrone NRG champs and 5-2A defender, Escalante


More than doubling their team score from one week ago, the Lady Cats proved, yet again, that they are a force to be reckoned with in District 5-2A.

Earning only 64 points in last week's Northern Río Grande Conference Track Meet to claim the third spot, the Questa girls effectively redeemed themselves with a stellar performance at home during the district qualifier April 28.

At the NRG meet, the Escalante Lady Lobos were the victors, beating a field of contenders that included three Class 3A teams as well as the five Class 2A teams from this district. With their 96.5 total points, the gap between them and all other opponents seemed too wide to overcome. They were the favorites to win (and repeat) the district title.

However, Coach Deluvina Sanchez and her steely squad saved the best show for last and snatched the crown from the Lady Lobos with a strategic strike that garnered 130 team points and a blue trophy.

"If I have all my athletes available, I stack all events," said Sanchez, alluding to the pile of points brought in by nearly everyone on the roster who finished in places one through six. "Everyone was present for districts, and they all excelled in their performance."

The team results in the girls division were as follows: Questa Lady Cats (130 points), Escalante Lady Lobos (119), Mora Rangerettes (75), Peñasco Lady Panthers (73) and Mesa Vista Lady Trojans (36).

The top standout for Questa was Anna Marie Sanchez, who set the tone for Questa in multiple events with early individual victories. Sanchez began the day with a win in the javelin and a personal best throw of 89 feet.

She also won the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.24 seconds, winning the event for the second consecutive week and also qualifying for state. The senior was instrumental in helping the Lady Cats 4x100 and 4x200-meter relay teams qualify for state by anchoring each team to a second-place finish. Sanchez capped the day by finishing fourth in the 200-meter dash.

Larissa Passino contributed valuable points to the total as well with a clear victory in the discus throw. Her distance of 94 feet, 0.25 inches traveled a full nine feet further than her teammate and runner-up thrower, Cherise Trujillo. Trujillo marked a personal best distance of 84 feet, 11.25 inches.

Passino's throw was her career best and is a mere three-fourths of an inch shy of the school record. The multisport phenom also garnered a second place in the shot put with a distance of 29 feet, 6.5 inches, and fourth place in the javelin.

In the pole vault, the Lady Cats swept the top four spots, amassing blue-chip points that would be used to secure a team victory. Anastacia Gonzales cleared 7 feet, 6 inches to qualify for state and shatter the school record of 6 feet, 10 inches previously held by her. Behind Gonzales was Rebecca Medina. She cleared 7 feet, 0 inches, a state-qualifying effort as well. Joining the top two jumpers were Araceli Gonzales and Annaliese Rivera, who finished third and fourth, respectively.

Adding to all the individual accolades was the performance of the Lady Cats in the two fastest relay races. The 4x200-meter relay team of Leah Martinez, Annaliese Rivera, Christina Cisneros and Anna Marie Sanchez earned second-place with a time of 1:58.94. The 4x100-meter relay team of Martinez, Kiana Passino, Cisneros and Sanchez also garnered a second place with a time of 53.34 seconds: a new school record.

Questa boys

Accompanying the girls to state will be a handful of boys who also qualified at the district meet. Isaac Martinez will participate in the high jump after clearing 5 feet, 4 inches. Mateo Medina and Justin Rael made it to the state competition after successfully placing in the pole vault, and Miguel Romero will get his chance in the triple jump after finishing in the second spot. Lastly, Derek Vialpando will carry his spear to Albuquerque and give it a go in the javelin after his runner-up finish in Questa.

Peñasco qualifiers

Peñasco has dominated the district in long-distance events throughout the 2018 season with Carly Gonzales and Maricela MacAuley leading the competition in both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs. And although the two had previously qualified in earlier meets in those two races, MacAuley won her first career race at the district meet, winning the 3,200-meter run with steady pace and a strong kick. Her time was 13:44.65.

She would place second in the 1,600 to garner 12 points for the Lady Panthers. Gonzales won the 1,600-meter run with a time of 6:23.02 and finished second in both the 800 and 3,200-meter runs.

The two endurance racers will be joined by Jennifer Aguilar, who qualified in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 53.24 seconds, and the 1,600-meter sprint medley team, which came in first with a time of 4:54.50.

Gilbert "Gilly" Valdez will also travel to Albuquerque for the state track and field championships in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs. The only other boy from Peñasco to qualify for state was Matt Lopez. He beat out the competition in the javelin and took first with a distance of 129 feet, 6 inches.

The New Mexico state championships will begin Friday (May 4) with field events starting at 8 a.m. and running events at 10 a.m. Running events on Saturday (May 5) will begin at 11 a.m. Cost to enter the University of New Mexico Track and Field Stadium is $8 for adults and $5 for students, seniors and active military personnel.

State qualifiers

Questa Boys

Isaac Martinez

High jump – 5 feet, 4 inches (12th)

Mateo Medina

Pole Vault – 7 feet, 6 inches (11th)

Justin Rael

Pole Vault – 6 feet, 6 inches (12th)

Miguel Romero

Triple jump – 37 feet, 9 inches (seventh)

Derek Vialpando

Javelin – 129 feet, 3 inches (12th)


Peñasco Boys

Gilbert “Gilly” Valdez

1,600-meter run – 4:58.24 (fifth)

3,200-meter run – 10:34.84 (fifth)

Matt Lopez

Javelin – 129 feet, 6 inches (11th)


Questa Girls

Anna Marie Sanchez

100-meter dash – 13.24 seconds (fifth)

Javelin – 89 feet, 0 inches (ninth)

Larissa Passino

Discus – 94 feet, 0.25 inches (fifth)

Shot Put – 29 feet, 6.5 inches (12th)

Cherise Trujillo

Discus – 84 feet, 11.25 inches (tenth)

Anastacia Gonzales

Pole Vault – 7 feet, 6 inches (fifth)

Rebecca Medina

Pole Vault – 7 feet, 0 inches (sixth)


Peñasco Girls

Carly Gonzales

800-meter run – 2:37.44 (ninth)

1,600-meter run – 5:53.24 (second)

3,200-meter run – 13:26.75 (fifth)

Jennifer Aguilar

300-meter hurdles – 53.24 seconds (sixth)


State qualifiers – Relay Teams

Questa Boys 4x200-meter relay – 1:39.44 (sixth)

Questa Boys 1,600-meter sprint medley – 4:13.14 (tenth)

Questa Girls 4x100-meter relay – 53.34 seconds (fourth)

Questa Girls 4x200-meter relay – 1:58.94 (ninth)

Peñasco Girls 1,600-meter sprint medley – 4:54.50 (sixth)

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