Boys cross country: Gilna wins big in final home meet of his prep career

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By Mike Cote

How good are the Albuquerque Academy Chargers?

Curtis Beach, arguably the best all-around prep athlete in the state of New Mexico, was only the sixth-best runner on their team at Friday’s Los Alamos Invitational cross country meet.

The Chargers put on an impressive performance Friday in taking top honors in the Los Alamos Invitational boys race, the final meet of the regular season for the 11 full teams involved. The meet was held at Los Alamos Golf Course.

Academy, a nationally-ranked team, finished with a scant 34 points Friday, placing five runners in the top 10 individually, topping second-place Cibola by nine points.

Los Alamos finished third in its home meet with 73 points.

As impressive as the Chargers were on Friday, however, they were overshadowed by hometown runner Gareth Gilna’s impressive individual performance. Gilna, Los Alamos’ top runner, grabbed the top individual honor going away with his time of 16 minutes, 4 seconds, a time which was among the best ever posted at the meet.

“My game-plan was to get out hard and stay out there, take risks,” Gilna said. “The course is hard. It’s one of the hardest courses we run.”

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