Track and field championships Taos pair leap to long jump titles

By James Barron
jbarron@sfnewmexican.com
Posted 5/18/19

ALBUQUERQUE – Taos standouts Jonah Vigil and Faith Powell aimed for state records Friday.Only Powell came close to doing it.The Tigers' jumping duo continued their sterling success, as …

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Track and field championships Taos pair leap to long jump titles

Posted

ALBUQUERQUE – Taos standouts Jonah Vigil and Faith Powell aimed for state records Friday.

Only Powell came close to doing it.

The Tigers' jumping duo continued their sterling success, as both won the long jump on the first day of the Class 4A/5A State Track and Field Championships at Great Friends of UNM Track Complex. Vigil repeated as the 4A champion and won his third boys long jump title when he leaped 22 feet, 101/4 inches on his first attempt in the finals.

Powell came a half-inch away from the 4A mark in the long jump. Her leap of 18-61/4 was almost a foot and half better than runner-up Ashley Strader of Moriarty (17-1).

Taos' Abigail Gunther won the 4A pole vault, clearing a height of 11-0, but she wasn't able to break the 11-6 state record. She tried, but failed to clear 11-7. The wind, which gusted up to 35 mph, may have had an impact. Los Alamos' Rebecca Green won the 4A discus, but her toss of 134-6 was short of the 136-2 record.

Vigil's day in the long-jump pit got off to a shaky start. He jumped well behind the board but still recorded a 20-61/4. It was the start of an uneven performance, as he jumped 22-41/4, then 19-41/2 to end the preliminaries. Vigil finally hit his stride with his first jump in the finals, and it helped that Artesia's Eric Cueto applied pressure. Cueto jumped 22-6 in his opening jump in the finals to temporarily take the lead.

"It kinda got into my head because of my first jump," Vigil said. "I didn't hit the board at all, so it kinda got into my head that I might really lose this. Then I jumped 22-4, and I was like, 'All right. I just have to match that.' "

Vigil settled down and did what he was expected to do -- dominate. He ended up as the top seed for the finals in the 100, 200 and 400 meters. He was the only 4A runner to break 11 seconds in the 100, as he sped away in his heat for a time of 10.98 seconds. His 400 time was 48.21 – off his state record-setting performance of 47.01 in May 2018.

Santa Fe High's Judith Allison qualified for the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles in the 5A meet, although she barely made it into the 100 hurdles as the No. 8 qualifier. She will be the second seed in the 300 hurdles behind Rio Rancho Cleveland's Hanna Keiss, whose 45.38-second performance was 0.34 faster than the Demonettes senior.

Gunther will be the top seed in the 4A 300 hurdles after recording a 46.66, and she will be No. 3 in the 100 hurdles after running it in 16.22. Powell grabbed the top seed for the 400 finals after finishing 59.08, and is the second seed for the 200 finals with a 25.92.

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