ALBUQUERQUE — The gloomy weather was out of the ordinary this season. The winners were not.
Sandia’s Steven West and Cleveland High’s Leah Futey on Saturday ran to victories at the drizzly — but only marginally soggy — Albuquerque Metro Cross Country Championships at Nusenda Community Stadium.
Rio Rancho’s boys and Cleveland’s girls were the team champions, the Rams Metro champs for the second year in a row.
West faced a rare challenge from Volcano Vista’s Thomas Croshaw. Those two had a large lead most of the way, but it was West, New Mexico’s dominant 5A runner, who ultimately had the better late kick and won the 5-kilometer race in 15 minutes, 38.4 seconds.
Croshaw finished in 15:43.3.
The third-place runner, Cody Sullivan of Rio Rancho, finished 50 seconds behind Croshaw.
Sullivan and his Ram teammates carried off the humongous metro trophy. Collyn Tomoyose of the Rams was fourth, Mason Steel sixth, Mateo Herrera seventh and Skyler Galbraith ninth as Rio Rancho scored 29 points.
Volcano Vista (46) and Cleveland (95) were second and third.
In the girls’ race, Futey led from nearly the first step, following her blueprint this season of opening up an early lead and putting everyone else in chase mode.
Her winning time was 18:34.0. Dani Figueroa of Albuquerque High was a distant runner-up (19:15.9), and Addison Julian of Albuquerque Academy placed third.
The Storm and Academy both scored 62 points in the team standings, but Cleveland had the edge for first as its sixth-place runner was 30th and the Chargers’ sixth-place runner was 34th. The margin was that slim.
The Rams and Storm distance teams are in action again Saturday morning at the annual Albuquerque Academy Extravaganza, expected to draw many the state’s top runners.
The girls’ race gets the gun at 9 a.m.; the boys’ start is at 9:40.