Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cibola Boys Finish Undefeated Season With State Title

The ABQ Journal finally posted an article about our track victory. They got a few e-mails from Cibola parents who were disappointed about the lack of news coverage. BTW...Brent said he jumped up at the perfect time for the team picture. I will still be posting Greg's and my pictures from the event.

Cibola Boys Finish Undefeated Season With State Title

Journal Staff Writer

There was simply no beating the Cougars on the track in 2008. On Saturday, the Cibola High School boys track and field team completed its undefeated season with a runaway victory at the Class 5A state championships at the University of New Mexico Track and Soccer Complex. It was Cibola’s first-ever boys track and field state title and only the program’s second state trophy. The Cougars’ first came in 2007 when they placed third as a team.

The win highlighted an actionpacked weekend for West Side teams. The Cibola softball team earned its second straight state title in Farmington, while local tennis players and track and field athletes earned numerous individual titles.

While Cibola’s win in track surprised almost no one — the Cougars won every meet they entered this year — the victory
proved emotional for coach Kenny Henry.

“I tend to get like that from time to time,” Henry said. “We stand there down on the field
getting ready for the awards to be announced. You start looking at the kids on the team, and it will get you.”

The Cibola boys dominated the meet literally from start to finish. After kicking things off with Brandon Simpson’s victory in the high jump Friday morning — an event in which three other Cougars also scored — Cibola went on to place in 14 of the remaining 18 events, including an exhilarating win in Saturday evening’s meet-ending 1,600-meter relay. The quartet of Brent Jorgensen, Daniel Gooris, Tyler Jaramillo and Matt Valenzuela edged the La Cueva squad by .03 seconds to win the race.

It was the Cougars’ seventh event win of the weekend.

No team even came close to Cibola, which amassed 109 points during the two-day meet. Rio Rancho was a distant second with 64, followed by La Cueva (62).

“It was really exciting for us. I can’t really even explain how pumped up we were,” Henry said.
Gooris had the biggest individual impact on Cibola’s team tally. Gooris won a state title and set a new 5A state record in the pole vault by clearing 16 feet, 4 inches. He also picked up points by finishing third in the 300 hurdles, fourth in the 110 hurdles, fourth in the high jump and running on the winning 1,600 relay.

Gooris finished second only to Highland’s Rolando Trammel in the 5A boys’ highpoint race, and Valenzuela was a close third.

Valenzuela had a golden weekend, taking home four first-place medals. The sophomore won the open 400 dash and then upset top seed Thomas Trujillo of Rio Rancho by .15 seconds for the title in the 200 dash. Valenzuela also ran on Cibola’s winning 800 and 1,600 relays.

“He was a man on a mission,” Henry said. “I have to tip my hat to him. Not many sophomores can be geared up for a competition and perform that way for two days.”

Cibola’s Jon Mader — who on Monday was named the Albuquerque Public Schools athlete of the year — concluded his illustrious high school athletic career on a high note. The Cougar senior whipped the field in the javelin, winning with a toss of 193-1. Rio Rancho’s Andrew Lujan took second in 178-0, while Cibola’s Daniel Fiaseu placed third in 177-5.

“I’m just really thankful he got the success that he deserved,” Henry said of Mader, a three-sport star at Cibola. “We knew individually he could do some great things, and what it meant for our team was just icing on the cake.”

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