Rio Rancho’s Traiven Williams (7) and Cleveland’s Evan Wysong (6) ran anchor legs on their teams’ 4×100 relay squads; the Rams finished third, the Storm were fourth. (Herron photo)
ALBUQUERQUE – Piling up 91 points, the Cleveland High School boys’ track & field team ran, jumped and threw their way to another state championship, their seventh in a row.
From 2016-19 and from 2021-23, the CHS program has been a dynasty in the state under coach Kenny Henry.
Three-sport standouts Stratton Shufelt and Nic Trujillo – also teammates on the Storm’s 2021 and ’22 football championship teams and on the varsity basketball teams the past two seasons – led the way with an individual championship, while Trujillo – in the fall a member of the University of New Mexico football team – also was on a winning relay team and a runner-up relay team.
La Cueva, with 53 points, was second; Organ Mountain (40) was third.
Rio Rancho High School (37) placed fourth in the 22-team field.
Here are the city’s points-getters (first- through sixth-place finishers):
Finishing first for the Storm were Shufelt in the shot put (55-2.5); Trujillo – who garnered a team-high 12 points — in the high jump (school record/6-10); Isaac Medrano in the javelin (180-2); the medley relay team (Andres Aguirre, Tyler Griffith, Landon Stewart and Caden Nunn/3:36.26) and the 4×400 relay team (Trujillo, Elijah Griego, Michel Haynes and Aiden Joyner).
The 4×200 relay team (Haynes, Trujillo, Stewart and Griffith) was second, as was Nunn in the 800. Jordan Mora was second in the javelin, Griego was second in the 300 hurdles and Wysong set a school record with his runner-up spot in the long jump.
Shufelt was third in the discus. The 4×800 relay team (Nunn, Emmanuel Ruiz, Colin Ross and Kyler Badwarrior) set a school record and was third. Griego was third in the 110-high hurdles.
The 4×100 relay team (Andres Aguirre, Nic Trujillo, Evan Wysong and Tyler Griffith) was fourth, and Wysong was fourth in the 400.
Gabriel Marquez was sixth in the shot put.
“I am super proud of how our boys performed at the state meet,” coach Kenny Henry said. “We talked early in the week about where we were seeded in everything and if we placed exactly where we were seeded, we could/should score 85 points.
“We scored 91, so it was pretty close to what was projected. That tells me our guys did everything they could,” Henry said. “There was not one event that was a disappointment. We had some close second-place finishes that were tough, like Caden Nunn in the 800, Eli Griego in the 300 hurdles, and our 4×200 relay, but they were far from disappointments.
“Maybe the event of the meet for us was the javelin. We went in seeded second and fourth and Isaac Medrano and Jordan Mora went 1-2,” he added. “At that point we knew we had enough points to win as a team.”
Unselfishness has been a key to his team’s success, Henry said.
“A prime example is senior Landon Stewart, who has worked for four years to make it to state. He competed in the prelims of the 4×100, 4×200 and medley relays, (but) on finals day, we took him out of both the 4×100 and 4×200.
“He was definitely hurt to not get to run those in the final, but he didn’t complain or question the decision. Instead, he accepted it as best for the team. And, he made the most of his leg on the medley relay and helped us win that event,” Henry said. “Guys like Landon are what make our team what it is, and I can’t ever forget people like him.”
Can the Storm make it eight straight, Henry was asked.
“As far as next year is concerned, we are excited because 12 guys from this year’s team return.”
For the Rams boys
Maddox Presser finished second in the discus.
The 4×100 relay team (Charles Carreathers, Sebastian Rubio, Gabriel Luna and Traiven Williams) was third, and so was the 4×200 relay quartet (John Raymer, Luna, Kennedy Alexander and Williams). Williams also was third in the 100 and the 200.
Ryan Brown was fourth in the shot put; Tyson Pickens was fourth in the javelin and Skyler Galbraith was fourth in the 3,200-meter run.
Mateo Herrera was fifth in the 3,200.
Noah Braunschweiger was sixth in the javelin.
City’s girls’ teams without trophies
La Cueva (76) won the girls’ meet, followed by Alamogordo (65.5), Hobbs (64) and Rio Rancho (43). The Cleveland girls, with 21 points, were sixth in the 21-team meet.
Rams girls’ highlights
RRHS led by senior Sterling Glenn, who won the discus (125-9) and shot (43-8).
Addisyn Leeds was runner-up in the 100, and Trinity Romero was second in the 400.
Anna Jensen was third in the shot put.
Arianna Valenzuela was fourth in the discus. The 4×400 relay quartet (Makenna Lee, Violet Francisco, Abigail Armijo and Trinity Romero) was fourth.
The 4×800 relay team (Jordyn Griego, Francisco, Brooke Chisholm and Lily Hawkins) was fifth, as was the 4×100 relay squad (Romero, Armijo, Hannah Medina and Leeds).
Abby McGee was sixth in the pole vault.
Storm girls’ highlights
The CHS medley relay team (Deja Smith, Morgan, James, Azeleah Mazon and Leah Futey) was second. Futey, last fall’s cross country champ, was runner-up in the 1,600.
Noella Mamuya was third in the triple jump, and Jaylee Gandert was third in the javelin.
Gandert was fifth in the discus.
The Storm’s 4×200 relay team (Affinity Archuleta, Mazon, Smith and Morgan James) was sixth.
After five seasons at the helm, succeeding Tim Flores, coach Carla Chavez is resigning her post.
“I have been teaching for 25 years and coaching 14 years. All of my teaching years have been in Rio Rancho Public Schools. and all of my coaching years have been at Cleveland,” she said. “I’m resigning because I am retiring.
“I have missed a lot of family functions/time and now it’s time to get back to them. My parents are my priority and I’m going to enjoy as much time as I can with them,” Chavez said. “I will be leaving my teaching job, but maybe come back after a year — I don’t really know yet. Time will tell.”