Cougars Return Top Runners
Cibola Leads Opening Meet
BY JESSICA DYER Cibola High School boys track and field coach Kenny Henry doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself.
Journal Staff Writer
Sure, the Cougars enjoyed a state-trophy winning season last spring. And, yes, most of the athletes who led Cibola to a third-place finish at the 2007 championship meet are back.
But that doesn’t mean Henry is actively considering the possibility of a 2008 state title.
“It’s so early in the year, it’s hard to say that,” Henry said. “On paper, with what we have back, I think we have a chance to maybe get a trophy again. We’ve got a long way to go.”
There’s no telling where the Cougars will finish the year, but they sure looked good at the start.
Cibola dominated one of the season-opening “Boys Kickoff” meets Saturday, winning 17 of 19 events. The Cougars scored 193 points to finish far out in front of second-place Los Lunas (44).
Cougar senior Daniel Gooris led the way, winning four individual events — 110-meter hurdles, long jump, shot put and pole vault.
Henry said Gooris — who recently signed his letter of intent to compete collegiately for Division I Northern Iowa next year — will continue to be a multiple event threat for the Cougars this season. At last year’s state meet, Gooris won the pole vault, placed second in the 300 hurdles and finished sixth in the high jump.
“I think he can definitely make a mark at this year’s state meet if he’s healthy, lucky and ready to go,” Coach Henry said of Gooris.
Gooris will be joined this season by plenty of experienced teammates.
At last year’s state meet, Cibola senior Brandon Simpson placed second in the high jump and fifth in the triple jump. Juniors Daniel Fiaseau (javelin) and seniors Sam Potter (pole vault) and Brent Jorgensen (sprints) also scored at state last season.
Henry said the other athletes to watch out for this spring are sprinters Matt Valenzuela, Tyler Jaramillo and Eddie Eubanks; twins Christopher and Vincent Montoya in the distance events, Tony Minerd in the hurdles, Mycah Huitron in the jumping events, Corey Roybal in the shot put and Jeremy Hines in the discus.
“For one of the first times ever, I think we’re pretty wellrounded — definitely more so than we’ve been in the past,” Henry said. “I think we can be looking for points in a lot of different places.”