Taos County All-Stars: Gilbert "Gilly" Valdez


Fearless and talented, the young harrier from Peñasco has emerged as the heir apparent to local running legend, Isaiah “Zay” Rodarte, who graduated in 2016 and holds the state records in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs. Valdez burst onto the running scene with a victory in his debut cross-country race at the Peñasco Invitational Aug. 26 and claimed the District 5-2A title in Raton Oct. 28. His eighth-place finish at state in Rio Rancho in the fall was coupled with a seventh and sixth place in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs, respectively, in the spring.