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Track and field: Weeks places third at Great Southwest Invite

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By The Staff

Emily Weeks was so sure that her long jump finish wouldn’t get her into the finals, let alone the medal round, that she left to go see her new niece.

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An official at the Great Southwest Track and Field Invitational told Weeks, a graduate of Los Alamos High School, that her best jump of the meet was in the 17-foot range. That information, however, was a little lacking.

Weeks’ official finish at the meet was 19 feet, 4-1/4 inches, good enough for third place even without the benefit of her final jumps.

The Great Southwest Track and Field meet is one of the most prestigious prep events in the region. Some of the top athletes from the area are invited to take part in the meet, which was held at the Great Friends of University of New Mexico Track and Field Complex this weekend.

Along with top New Mexico athletes, other states represented at the GSW included Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

In all, six athletes from Los Alamos High School took part in the meet, including Weeks, who had the best finish among the six with her third-place leap.

Weeks’ jump was more than two feet better than her seed heading into the competition — she was seeded 28th overall — but finished within five inches of both Arizona’s Jasmine Todd and Kansas’ LeTristan Pledger, both of whom had jumps of 19-9.

Also from Los Alamos, distance runner Holly Walker and thrower Alex Nichols both cracked the top 10 in the final standings this weekend.

Walker, a 2010 Los Alamos graduate, placed eighth in the girls 3,200 meters, posting an 11:49.92, while Nichols, who also graduated this year, finished ninth in javelin with a mark of 121-4.

Earlier in the meet, Los Alamos’ Lindsay Benage competed in the girls heptathlon, finishing 18th overall with a total of 3,302 points in the seven events. Her best finish in those events was 13th, which she scored in both the high jump — an event in which she finished first at the state track and field meet in 2009 and second in 2010 — and the long jump.

Also at the meet this weekend, one longstanding record held by a former Hilltopper athlete was broken. David Smith, an unattached athlete, toppled the boys high jump record that had been held by Kevin Dotson since 1995. Smith’s mark of 7-2 1/2 bested Dotson’s meet record by half an inch.

Here are the final local results from the Great Southwest Track and Field Invitational.

Girls long jump

1. Jasmine Todd, Arizona, 19-9; 2. LeTristan Pledger, Kansas, 19-9; 3. Emily Weeks, 19-4 1/4.

Girls discus

1. Erica Brand, Kansas, 150-0; 2. Kearsten Peoples, Kansas, 147-6; 3. Jillian Rushin, Missouri, 144-1; Alex Nichols, 97-1.

Girls javelin

1. Avione Allgood, Nevada, 155-9; 2. Hannah Carson, Arizona, 147-8; 3. Tori Tucker, New Mexico, 143-3; Alex Nichols, 121-4.

Boys discus

1. Clint Harris, Texas, 173-4; 2. Heath Skelton, Texas, 170-8; 3. Brett Sharp, Texas, 168-8; Oliver Funsten, 154-8.

Girls 3,200 meters

1. Heather Bates, Colorado, 11:18.49; 2. Summer Harper, Utah, 11:20.34; 3. Macee Nielson, Utah, 11:04.01; Holly Walker, 11:49.92.

Girls 1,600 relay

1. Texas A, 3:45.37; 2. Texas B, 3:50.60; 3. Colorado A, 3:52.13; New Mexico C (Amanda Goodluck, Kessi Walsh, Madison Ahlers, Cesserie Ballou), 4:06.22.

Girls heptathlon

1. Lindsay Vollmer, Missouri, 5,133; 2. La’Tristain Pledger, Kansas, 4,873; 3. Brittany Lewis, Colorado, 4,810; Lindsay Benage, 3,302.