Taos boys break two state track records

Relay team, Jonah Vigil set state records

By Sheila Miller
Posted 5/23/19

Jonah Vigil: Speed, agility and personal recordsNo one at a track meet wants to miss a chance to see Jonah Vigil run. Spectators at the state meet were treated to …

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Taos boys break two state track records

Relay team, Jonah Vigil set state records


Jonah Vigil: Speed, agility and personal records

No one at a track meet wants to miss a chance to see Jonah Vigil run. Spectators at the state meet were treated to four first-place performances in track (plus one in long jump) and two state records, one individual and one relay.

Friday's long jump state championship title went to Vigil with a leap of 22 feet 10.25 inches.

During the prelims on Friday (May 17), Vigil cruised the 100-meters with a relaxed-looking gait and a time of 10.94. In Saturday's finals, Vigil flew to a new state record of 10.51 seconds, breaking the record set by James Hillard of Lovington well before Vigil was born - in 1984.

Vigil seemed surprised to have broken the record, indicating that usually it takes him a while to get out of the blocks and he has to catch up to everyone else. On Saturday, however, he got out without any delay, and the difference with that clean start was the state record.

His ability to get out of the blocks quickly was no accident. He's been working on his reaction time all season, training himself to respond more quickly to sound.

Hillard's record of 21.20 seconds in the 200 meters, also set in 1984, came within a 10th of a second of being broken on Saturday. Although both Vigil and Abdul Khweis qualified for the final, only Vigil ran. He ran faster than the 5A state record time of 21.53, but he didn't quite make it under Hillard's 4A record. Vigil's newly set personal record is 21.40 seconds.

Vigil and Khweis also qualified in the 400 during Friday's preliminaries, and both ran in the final Saturday. Vigil didn't break his own record of 47.01, but he did win the race with a 47.75 - almost two full seconds ahead of Lucas Jepsen of Albuquerque Academy.

There was only one race left for Vigil: the 4 x 400 meter relay. Vigil was the Class 4A Male High Point Athlete again this year.

The 4 x 400 meter relay

During Friday's prelims, John Esquibel, Adrian Rodriguez, Missael Hermosillo and Jonathan Garcia took the top spot in their heat with a 3:29.89, securing a spot in Saturday's final.

The 4 x 400-relay is the last event of the competition and a crowd favorite. This year, coach Mitchel and the Tigers knew they had a shot at the state record, so they assembled the team they hoped could do it.

Before the race, the Tigers "got in a circle and gave a prayer," Vigil said. They all got "a little emotional."

Abdul Khweis ran the first leg, getting an early lead. Hermosillo ran a strong second leg, getting the stick to Jonathan Garcia some meters behind the Albuquerque Academy team. Garcia gained ground on the Academy team and maintained the Tigers second-place position.

With the Academy runner already in the turn, Garcia completed the handoff to Vigil, who took off like he was running a 100 rather than a 400. With a full sprinter's stride, Vigil devoured the distance between himself and Lucas Jepsen, the Academy anchor. By the back stretch, Vigil had caught and then passed Jepsen.

Anyone else wouldn't have been able to maintain the pace that Vigil set for himself. Vigil, however, continued to add space between himself and second place, finishing at least 10 meters ahead of Jepsen and more than 80 meters ahead of everyone else.

Although it doesn't officially count, Vigil's split in the 4 x 400-meter relay is his fastest ever: a 46.5.

"I knew I had to do it for my team," Vigil said.

The team ran a 3:19.44, handily breaking the old record of 3:21.10.

After the race, an emotional Hermosillo said, "It was just an honor to run with my older brother Jonah and all the rest of the team."

"I poured out my heart on the track," said Hermosillo, "for the team, and, of course, Jonah."

Abdul Khweis

In addition to the 4 x 200- and 4 x 400-meter relays, Abdul Khweis qualified for state in three individual events: the 200-meters, the 400-meters and the 800-meter runs.

In Friday's prelims, Khweis ran in four races, the 200-, the 400- and the 4 x 200-meter relay, qualifying for the final heats in all three races.

During the finals on Saturday, Khweis finished fourth in the 400-meters with a time of 50.76 seconds. He and the rest of the 4 x 200-relay team won his second of three medals on the day, though Khweis didn't run in either the 200-meter dash or the 800-meter run.


The Taos Tiger boys qualified for state in every relay: the 4 x 100-, the 4 x 200-, the 4 x 400- and the sprint medley. For results of the 4 x 400-meter relay, see above.

The 4 x 100-meter relay team of Nathaniel Martinez, Missael Hermosillo, Justin Good and Jonathan Garcia ran a 44.5 second race in Friday's preliminaries, nearly missing the finals.

The 4 x 200-meter relay team of Nathaniel Martinez, Missael Hermosillo, Jonathan Garcia and Abdul Khweis ran a 1:32.09 in the prelim races on Friday and placed fifth on Saturday with a 1:32.42, winning 2 points for the team and a place on the podium.

The sprint relay team of Missael Hermosillo, John Esquibel, Adrian Rodriguez and Justin Madrid placed second in their heat in the preliminaries on Friday, qualifying for the finals with a 3:39.39. In Saturday's final heat, the team ran Missael Hermosillo, Jonathan Garcia, Adrian Rodriguez and Justin Madrid, and won third place with a 3:40.62.

Derreck Chacon

Derreck Chacon ran in the 110-meter hurdles on Friday with a time of 17.31 seconds and in the 300-meter hurdles, also on Friday, finishing in 44.33 seconds.

Justin Good

In addition to running on the 4 x 100-relay team, Good competed as a thrower at state.

Good threw both discus and javelin at the state meet. In the discus, he threw 124 feet 10 inches, placing 10th and nearly making the finals. In the javelin throw, Good's best flight was 133 feet 7 inches - enough for 13th place.


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