Perez’ pace IHS at Velasquez Invite

Azala Perez
Ignacio's Azala Perez accelerates into the home stretch during the 200-meter dash at the Bayfield Quadrangular on April 4, at which the IHS girls placed fourth and the Bobcat boys third.
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum

Approached during practice earlier in the week, Ignacio senior Mike Perez noted a pride in being highly rated, based on race times so far this season, amongst Class 2A sprinters in the 400-meter dash.

Saturday, April 11, he walked the walk to bolster the talk, clocking a winning 52.89 seconds in the discipline to help the Bobcat boys amass 45 points and place fourth at the 2015 Abel Velasquez Invitational, held at IHS’ own facilities with IHS’ own equipment for the first time in over a decade.

At one-fourth the distance, Azala Perez also prevailed. Helping the Lady Bobcats to a fifth-place (also with 45 points) finish in the team standings, the sophomore won the 100 in a time of 13.90, and both she and her older brother each contributed to a top-five relay.

Azala Perez teamed with senior Sky Cotton and sophomores Isis Gonzales and Jaylynn Herrera to post a 55.05 in the 4×100 and take third, while in the boys’ version Mike Perez helped seniors Keith Joosten and Tyler Riepel and sophomore Woody Pena bring the baton across the finish line in a fourth-place 48.94.

Individually, sophomores Alana Watts and Bryan Gram each contributed second-place points to the cause, in the girls’ shot put (30’1.25”) and boys’ 400 (54.30) respectively.

Joosten and senior Kyle Bailey each bagged third-place points for the Bobcat boys, with a 10’7” pole vault and 5’9” high jump respectively, and Mike Perez placed third in the 200 (25.03 seconds).

For the girls, junior Lillianna Romero followed Watts in the shot with a third-place 25-foot, three-quarter-inch heave, and Gonzales captured third in the 400 (1:12.11).

Cotton took fourth in the long jump with a 14’9.5” best, junior Chrystianne Valdez was fifth in the pole vault (6’7”), and Azala Perez placed fifth in the 200 after clocking a 29.79. On the boys’ side, Joosten placed likewise in the triple jump with a maximum of 36’3.5”, and Riepel took fifth in the pole vault at 10’1”.

Romero also scored a point in the discus with a sixth-place throw of 67’7”, and Gram nabbed a single digit with a seventh-place long jump of 16’7.75”.

Looking at the girls’ team scores, 3A Bayfield prevailed with 135 points, 4A Durango followed with 86 and Dolores took third with 78. Fellow 2A/1A San Juan Basin League members Mancos were fourth with 71, and 1A Lake City Community (31) and Dove Creek (25) rounded out the table.

BHS also won the boys’ title at the event, posting 175 team points, and Durango was again second with 167. MHS ‘ran’ third with 64, LCCS followed the ’Cats with a fifth-place 42, Dolores was sixth with 33 and DC seventh with one.

Up next for Ignacio will be a return trip to Bayfield’s Wolverine Country Stadium for the 2015 Pine River Invitational on Saturday, April 18, with action beginning at 9 a.m. As the season’s pace picks up, IHS will then host the San Juan Basin League Championships on the April 21.

Results from the Bobcats’ work at the Ron Keller Invitational, held Tuesday, April 14, were unavailable by the Drum’s deadline.


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