Thu Apr 11th, 2019
The Southern Ute Drum
Considered for a leg on a possible relay crew, Charlize Valdez had a decision to make.
Undoubtedly wanting to compete in as many events as possible at her team’s home meet, the 10th Annual Abel Velasquez Invitational on Saturday, April 6, it probably wasn’t one she truly wanted to make. But it was one which would ride best on her actual legs.
“Charlize was really adamant that she wanted to spend the day focusing on her mile, and it really paid off for her; she had a two-second p.r. from our last weekend,” said Ignacio Track & Field girls’ head coach Aimee DeSouchet. “And she was hungry! Her first lap, we were all like, ‘O.K., just do what you do!’”
And the sophomore did pretty well. Improving in the 1,600-meter run from a season-opening, sixth-place 6:06.77 at the March 30 Bloomfield Bobcat Invitational, Valdez crossed the finish line in a fourth-place 6:04.28—earning IHS four points towards a tenth-place haul of 21.
“She was really stoked about it; it puts her in a good place this early in the season,” DeSouchet said. “I think she’s pretty close to that [State-qualifying] top-18, if not already in there.”
Leading the way overall for the Lady Bobcats was freshman Lexy Young, who improved upon a fourth-place 29.30 in the 200 meters down in the Land of Enchantment to a first-place, 10-point 28.48 before not only her home fans but also San Juan Basin League rivals and other schools from in and outside Colorado.
“Unfortunately, that time was not wind-legal,” admitted DeSouchet. “The wind picked up…kind of pushed her over that two-mile-per-hour boundary that the state will accept for [State] qualifying. But her time from last week is already kind of up there, which is cool.”
“She ended the race, talked to Coach (Alfonso) Garcia,” DeSouchet recalled, “and was like ‘I’m sorry I didn’t push it more!’ Like, ‘I feel like I was not even sprinting at the end!’”
“Being so young, you really don’t know your boundaries. And I think she’s still just figuring out how fast she really is,” the skipper continued. “So I think she had a really cool day seeing ‘Oh, I got…under 29 seconds!’ That was a really cool boundary to break, for her.”
Young also took third in the 100, clocking 13.88 seconds, with senior Kiana Valdez sixth (14.16). Sophomore Vanessa Gonzales also cracked the top-ten, taking eighth in 14.28 ticks. Kiana Valdez also tied for seventh in the long jump (13’1”) with Charlize Valdez (12’4.5”) right behind in ninth and Young (12’0.5”) 14th.
Junior thrower Helaina Taylor earned 15th in the shot put with a best throw of 21 feet, 8 inches, and placed 18th in the discus with a peak toss of 52’11”.
“Being new to the technique and everything…. Consistency isn’t something that’s going to come right away,” said DeSouchet, “but she did p.r. in both the discus and shot. Progress is progress, you know? She’s got a wonderful attitude.”
Up next, the Lady ’Cats will travel to Bayfield Saturday, April 13, for the Pine River Invitational, then attack Durango’s Ron Keller Invite the following Saturday, April 20. Both meets are to begin at 9 a.m.
“We made some awesome progress—both boys and girls—this week, and will take that success for what it is and put it into the attitude moving forward,” DeSouchet stated.
2019 ABEL VELASQUEZ INVITATIONAL GIRLS’ STANDINGS
1.Durango 121, 2.Bayfield 92, 3.Pagosa Springs 73, 4.Del Norte 53, 5.Dulce (N.M.) 50, 6.Dolores 46, 7.Montezuma-Cortez 45, 8.Dove Creek 42, 9.Mancos 22, 10.IGNACIO 21, 11.Tohatchi (N.M.) 1.