Track and field: LA athletes invited to take part in Great Southwest meet

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By The Staff

Outstanding performances by Los Alamos High School’s top track and field athletes were rewarded with invitations to appear in a prestigious postseason meet.

Hilltopper athletes earned a total of 10 invitations to appear in the Great Southwest Track and Field Classic, which officially started today at the Great Friends of the University of New Mexico Track and Field Complex in Albuquerque. In all, eight Hilltopper female athletes and two male athletes were invited to attend.

The Great Southwest meet is considered the top prep track and field event in the region. Standout athletes from Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and New Mexico take part in the meet, which will continue through Saturday in Albuquerque.

The local athlete taking on the biggest challenge this weekend is LAHS graduate Lindsay Benage. Benage, the 2009 Class AAAA high jump champion and 2010 high jump runner-up, was scheduled to take part in the girls heptathlon event.

The heptathlon combines seven different events and points are awarded in each event based on finishing mark.

Benage is the second-highest rated New Mexican in the event and 14th overall.

Also invited to compete this weekend are standouts Chase Ealey, the two-time state 100 meters champion and the 2010 runner up in AAAA girls shot put and Kyle Pittman, Los Alamos’ star distance runner who was asked to take part in the 1,500 meters and the 3,200 meters.

All of Los Alamos’ invitees finished in the top three at the AAAA meet, held May 7-8, in the events they qualified for at the GSW.

Many of the competitors in the GSW meet have captured or flirted with national prep records, including 2009 boys decathlon winner Curtis Beach of Albuquerque Academy.


Here are Los Alamos’ entries for the 2010 Great Southwest Invitational meet (name, event, seed mark)

Madison Ahlers

Girls 400 meters, 59.42; girls 1600 relay.

Lindsay Benage

Girls heptathlon, 3,800 points.

Kim Carson

Girls high jump, 5-2.

Chase Ealey

Girls 100 meters, 12.05; girls shot put, 30-8 3/4.

Taylor Ealey

Girls javelin, 122-9.

Oliver Funsten

Boys discus, 162-2.

Alex Nichols

Girls discus, 105-7; girls javelin, 128-6.

Kyle Pittman

Boys 1,500 meters, 3:55.12; boys 3,200 meters, 9:20.00.

Holly Walker

Girls 3,200 meters, 11:35.85.

Emily Weeks

Girls long jump, 17-4; 800 relay.