Girls track and field: LA wins, Weeks tops school record

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By Mike Cote

When you’re hot, you’re hot.

The 2009 season has been going like gangbusters for the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls track and field team and Friday’s home quadrangular was no exception.

The Hilltoppers breezed to a win at Friday’s meet, held at Sullivan Field. Along the way, a long-standing school record toppled courtesy of Emi Weeks.

The hefty victory by Los Alamos Friday came just four days after the team’s biggest win of the season so far — Monday’s Albuquerque Public Schools Invitational.

Friday, Los Alamos scored 215 points, just a point shy of doubling-up second-place Belen.

Technically, the girls meet didn’t end up being a quadrangular as one athlete from Class A Menaul made the trip up to compete. That athlete, Emiko Chavez, had a pretty good showing for herself, scoring nine points.

Weeks, one of Los Alamos’ top athletes, broke the 26-year-old Los Alamos record in the long jump Friday with her leap of 17 feet, 4-1/4 inches, nipping the mark set by Vicky Rojas by a quarter of an inch.

Weeks, who wrote Rojas’ mark down on a piece of paper and attached it to her bedroom mirror, jumped up and down in excitement after realizing she now owned the best long jump in school history.

Los Alamos won all but four events on the day and had multiple athletes score in all but one event in hardly ideal conditions.

“It was a hard week for the girls,” Los Alamos head coach Paul Anderson said. “Cold weather, racing Monday. Their legs were fatigued, but there was still some good performances out there.”

Amelia Weaver had one of the top performances of the day for Los Alamos, winning both the 400 meters and the pole vault.

The pole vault is an event Weaver took up just recently. Two weeks ago was her first time competing in pole vault and Weaver cleared 8 feet to qualify for state.

Friday, Weaver cleared 8-6 to win.

In the 400, Weaver finished with a time of 1:01.40, a little more than a half-second better than Hope’s Kessi Walsh. But as Weaver was finishing the race, she felt a twinge in her quadricep which made her slow up and miss out at possibly beating her personal best time in the event.

“If I could’ve held onto my quad, I would’ve gotten close to 60 (seconds) flat,” she said. “But it’s state-qualifying, which is the important thing.”

Los Alamos had an inkling it would be a good day Friday right off the bat, when Weaver won the pole vault ahead of teammate Catherine Chen and sisters Taylor Ealey and Chase Ealey took 1-2 in the shot put.

The two sisters will be a part of a healthy contingent from the Hilltoppers heading to the Marilyn Sepulveda Meet of Champions, scheduled for Monday.

“It’s really cool,” Chase Ealey said. “My sister says I should be more excited about it, but I didn’t think about it too much.”

Taylor and Chase Ealey were the only two competitors to break 30 feet in the event. Taylor Ealey, a junior, lofted a 37-foot, 3-inch toss on her second attempt to win the event, while Chase Ealey, a freshman, went 34 feet, 8 inches on her second throw to earn second.

If Taylor was looking for a teammate to push her – for the past two seasons she’s been Los Alamos’ best thrower — Chase said she’s more than happy to fill that role.

Chase Ealey went on to win the 100 meters, edging out Hope’s Aasha Marler, while Taylor Ealey won the javelin, topping teammate Alex Nichols in second place by nearly 13 feet.

Jessica Stokes was also a dual winner Friday, taking both the 100 and 300 hurdle titles.

With 14 Hilltoppers already qualified for state and three meet victories under their belts this season, Los Alamos has to be on the shortest of short lists of Class AAAA title favorites.

“I feel like we’ve got a good shot at it,” Weaver said. “This week we shuffled things up...but we’ve still done well (Friday). Once we get everyone at their strongest positions and start peaking, hopefully around state time...you never know, but if we go in like this, we have a good shot.”