A record-setting day for Taos Track

By Sheila Miller
The Taos News
Posted 5/2/19

Saturday (April 27) the Taos High School hosted Clayton, Española Valley, Pojoaque Valley, Ratón and Shiprock for the Tiger Relays track meet. The brisk …

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A record-setting day for Taos Track


Saturday (April 27) the Taos High School hosted Clayton, Española Valley, Pojoaque Valley, Ratón and Shiprock for the Tiger Relays track meet. The brisk morning gave way to a warm and sunny day offering plenty of opportunities for Taos athletes to win a sunburn to go with the prom dresses they'd wear later in the evening.

The excitement of prom was hours away, however, for the focused Tigers who translated the advantages of competing at home into two school records, one for Abigail Gunther and the other for Faith Powell.

Faith Powell

"And then there's Faith," an athlete explained to his parents as they walked across the field to watch her attempt to high jump 5 feet 8 inches, "who is the best at everything she does."

That sums it up nicely. At the Tiger Relays, Powell even bested herself, setting a school record and a personal best when she cleared 5 feet 8 inches in the high jump on her first attempt.

Rumor has it that a coach at a school where Powell would like to go told her she needed to be high jumping 5 feet 6 inches. In Faith Powell style, she responded by doing not only that, but more.

Powell also won the other two individual events in which she competed: the 200-meter dash and the long jump. At state, Powell has a shot at the state records in high jump, long jump and triple jump.

Abby Gunther

For those who have never watched anyone pole vault, the vaulter, carrying a pole, runs top speed toward a bar that rests between two supports. The athlete sticks one end of the pole into a depression in the ground and uses the other to fling his or her body into the air and over the bar. Success is landing safely on the other side without knocking the bar down.

Abby Gunther can pole-vault higher than the walls of the overwhelming majority of residential buildings in Taos and higher than the underside of a fair number of highway overpasses and bridges. In particular, Gunther set a school record and a personal best by clearing 12 feet even at the Tiger Relays on Saturday. Her jump qualifies her for the New Balance National competition this summer.

Gunther is adept in clearing much shorter obstacles, too - in particular, the hurdles.

"Yes, but we're all going to get smoked by Abby," one Taos athlete said to another while preparing for the 100-meter hurdles.

And so it was. Gunther won the 100-meter hurdles in 16.59 seconds - about 1.4 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher - and the 300-meter hurdles in 47.9 seconds. It was over 5 seconds before the next runner crossed the line. Gunther also finished third in the 200 meters.

Other highlights


Jonah Vigil won the 100-meter dash, again breaking 11 seconds. He won the 400 in 48.11 seconds and the long jump with a distance of 21 feet 11 inches.

Tigers Jonathan Garcia, Justin Good and Derrick Chacon came in 1-2-3 in the 200 meters, respectively, and Joshua Martinez tied for fifth in the 100 and finished seventh in the 200.

Taos has all four of the top spots in the 400, with Adrian Rodriquez in second, Missael Hermosillo in third and John Esquibel in fourth. In the 3200, Eddie Duran and Zach Trujillo ran step-for-step together for most of the race, with Duran finishing first and Trujillo second. In the 800, Duran was third and Joseph Trujillo fifth. Justin Madrid scorched the competition in the 1600, finishing first with a time of 4:38.43. Abdul Khweiss come in fifth, Duran sixth and Zach Trujillo eighth.

Derrick Chacon won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, with Josiah Duke in third for both races and Louis Hay in second for the 110. The Taos relay teams won the 4 x 100, 4 x 400 and sprint medley relays.

The long jump podium was all Taos: Vigil, Hermosillo, Garcia, Rodriquez, Estevan Cantu and Duke. Madrid won the triple jump. Xavier Duke, Estevan Salazar, Josiah Duke and Cantu came in 2-5 in the high jump.

Good won the javelin throw and the discus, while Tyler Gomez won sixth in the shot put and finished fifth in discus. Santiago Salazar tied for fourth in shot put and Uriel Chavez finished sixth in discus.


Enrika Vigil, Jackie Jaggers and Tigerlily Guzman finished third, fifth and sixth in the 100-meter dash. Jaggers also finished fifth in the 200. Trina Karlberg, alome Marsh and Lilly Henderson came in third, fourth and sixth in the 400. Ella Katz took second in the 800 meters and won the 3200 with a time of 13:00.12. Alyx Mastor won the 1600 with a 5:40.76 finish. Cassandra Ruiz came in second in 6:02.79.

In the 100-meter hurdles, after Gunther, Madelyn Quintana came in third, Marika Gallegos fourth and Aaliyah Rael fifth. In the 300-meter hurdles, the post-Abby order was Gallegos in third, followed by Taylor Donaldson, Rael and Dahnyell Martinez.

The Lady Tiger relay teams won the 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 and placed second in the 4 x 100 and sprint medley relays.

Jacquelyn Wither finished sixth in shot put; Estrella Madrid, Noelle Good and Larissa Duran placed second, third and fifth in discus; Emily Cordova won javelin, with Madelyn Quintana in second.

After Powell, Quintana finished third in the high jump with a high of 4 feet 10 inches. Vigil came in fourth and LeeAndra Tafoya come in sixth. Pole vault was a Tiger affair. First Gunther, second Mastor, and Rael, Mikayla Martinez and Karyssa Gutierrez placing 4-5-6. After Powell in the long jump were Trina Karlbery in second, Dahnyell Martinez in third and Grace Goler in fifth. Goler won the triple jump.


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