NMMI runners sweep District 4AA championship
November 2, 2013New Mexico Military Institute
HAGERMAN — The NMMI cross country team swept through the District 4AA meet Friday, winning both individual titles and the boys' team title.
Amira Hindi finished first for the Lady Colts, with Sierra Walker just behind in second. Juan Carlos Estremadoyro took home the boys crown, leading the Institute to the boys team championship.
““We did good, both team-wise and some individual races were great.,” said Colt coach Jan Olesinski. “The girls, Hindi and Walker, they ran a very good race. We didn’t have a teams, but we finished first and second. And they ran good. Time-wise and everything was very good.”
The Hagerman course was flat and straight — following first a paved road then a dirt track alongside the railroad tracks — but Olesinski said the times (both Hindi and Walker finished under 21:00) were good, even with some wind. And Hindi said the course style may have helped her.
“Usually a course turns. This one was just straight there. Straight back,” she said. “It turned out good this time, because I’m used to running on my ranch, just straight dirt roads, so that’s what it reminded me of.”
And while Hindi had run all season and the district title was her second in two years, Walker hadn’t run most of the season after suffering shin splints early. So that made her finish ahead of four Cobre and two Hagerman runners even better.
“Sierra, she did so good,” Hindi said. “She’s been out practically all season, so she did great.”
So despite feeling the effort of the run — “It hurts right now. It feels bad,” — Walker liked getting back into the swing of things.
“It felt good. I liked it,” she said.
The boys individual race was expected to be a three-way battle between Estremadoyro, Hagerman;s Joaquin Chavarria and Cobre’s Isaiah Soliz, and that is what happened. But it wasn’t a neck and neck race. Estremadoyro said it started close, but then the gap widened.
“I start together with the second place (runner, Chavarria), but when we started back, I pushed forward and he was like little by little getting back.”
By the time they got to the finish, Estremadoyro was 24 seconds ahead of Chavarria and 41 seconds in front of Soliz.
“It feels really good. I liked this course. It was flat,” the sophomore said of his win.
The Cobre and the Institute boys were the only complete teams in the entire meet (there were no girls teams), and after Estremadoyro finish, the Indians took a brief lead. But NMMI’s two, three and four runners (Alexander Kivela, Jonathan Graff and Jacob Pinon) came in just after the top two Cobre runners, and with Joshua Pinon and Daniel Marquez in ninth and 10th, it was a much easier road to the title than in 2012.
“I think it was close but it was easier than last year,” Olesinski said. “Last year we tied and went to six runners. This year we won with better five runners than Cobre had. And Hagerman didn’t have a team, but they had a very good runner who placed second. Our sophomore from Mexico ran a very good race and he won, so it all came out good. All the guys ran good and they knew they had to compete a little bit to win, and that’s what they did.”
Next up for the Colts is the state championship Nov. 9 in Rio Rancho, and even though the course is a lot tougher, with lots of ups and downs, both Estremadoyro and HIndi say they’re ready.
“It’ll be fine. I’m looking forward to it,” Estremadoyro said.
“I want to be in the top rankins,” HIndi said. “Somewhere up top. Better than last year (36th), that’d be nice.”
District 4AA championship
Boys, team — 1, NMMI, 27; 2, Cobre, 33
Boys, individual — 1, Juan Carlos Estremadoyro, 17:23; 5, Alexander Kivela, 19:11; 6, Jonathan Graff, 19:16; 7, Jacob Pinon, 19:23; 9, Joshua Pinon, 19:58; 10, Daniel Marquez, 19:59; 15, Jack Esposito, 24:03; 18, Armand Martinez, 26:10
Girls, individual — 1, Amira Hindi, 20:30; 2, Sierra Walker, 20:46