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Teresa Sandoval took top honors in the season-opening cross country race at Albuquerque Saturday morning.
Sandoval, a junior on the Los Alamos Hilltopper squad, nipped Volcano Vista’s Elisa Woody by less than two seconds at the finish line to win the University of New Mexico Invitational Saturday. The UNM meet, which combines a high school and collegiate race, was run at the UNM North Golf Course.
The first-place finish by Sandoval paced the Hilltopper girls, who won the team title at UNM for the second straight year. The Hilltoppers finished with 63 points, 20 points below the final tally of Class 5A Eldorado, the only other team in the girls field to score under 148 points.
The victory by Los Alamos’ girls immediately cements the team as the one to beat in Class 4A. St. Pius X and Albuquerque Academy, Los Alamos’ traditional foes, and Belen, the only other 4A girls team in the past 11 years besides Los Alamos and Academy to win a state title, were all well back in the final team standings.
Sandoval’s victory also puts her on the short list of contenders for an individual state title. Sandoval finished 10 seconds ahead of the next-closest 4A finisher at the race, teammate Jennifer Mooday, and 14 seconds ahead of Belen’s Arena Lewis.
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