LAGUNA-ACOMA – Coming in ahead of the pack as a team getting is becoming the norm for the Laguna-Acoma Hawks boys’ cross country team.
The Hawks won their home meet last Saturday with a score of 23 points. Gallup took second with 44 points and East Mountain took third with 62 points followed by Jemez Valley with 108 and Pine Hill did not score.
The Hawks’ Patrick Keyope won on his home course with a time of 18:08.
“He ran a smart race, and he got ahead, and he did not let the kid from East Mountain pass him,” Head Coach Dan Otero said. “That kid from East Mountain likes to sit back and then sneak up and pass you but Patrick did not let him do that.”
Otero said the Hawks are running well and meeting expectations he has set for them so far this season. Jacob Riley did not compete for Laguna-Acoma because he is nursing an injury, but Otero says that with a little rest he should be fine.
“He just looks tired and has not been running as well as he has in those first few meets,” Otero said.
Otero said that with Riley out with the injury, Josh Paytiamo needed to have a good race because the team was short a runner for this meet.
“He knew that once Jacob was not going to run that he had to step it up,” Otero said.
The Lady Hawks runners did not fare as well in the home with a fourth-place finish out of four teams. East Mountain took home first for the girls with a score of 25. They were followed by Gallup with 54 points, Jemez Valley with 64 and Laguna-Acoma with 67 points.
The coach said he continues to work on the mental side of their running because he believes the girls are getting intimidated when they see the schools they will be running with.
“It doesn’t matter what the name is on the uniform, you are running against a person, and the size of the school does not matter,” Otero said.
Otero said his Junior Varsity boys won their race with a perfect score of 15. Justin Chino took first-place for the Hawks.
Laguna-Acoma will have their chance when they race against some of the state’s top teams on Friday at the Albuquerque Academy. The boy’s varsity begins at 3 pm