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A SPECIAL SECTION OF THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 2011

NorthStars NORTHERN NEW MEXICO’S


TOP PREP ATHLETES 2010-2011

Athletes
of the year

Daniel
Martinez
LAS VEGAS ROBERTSON
Yeshemabet
Turner
PECOS HIGH SCHOOL
2 NORTHSTARS The Santa Fe New Mexican Saturday, June 4, 2011

The best of 2010-2011


SHINING
THE MOMENT
The “friendly” rivalry turned
Nov. 5, 2010 messy.
With a spot in the Class A-AAA

THROUGH
state boys soccer championship on the line, the Blue Griffins
of Santa Fe Preparatory and the St. Michael’s Horsemen bat-
tled through 100 minutes of physical, intense soccer — with
most of the bruising done by the Blue Griffins.
Eight yellow cards were issued — six to Santa Fe Prep
— but the battle was decided by penalty kicks. When
Brian Lewis knocked his shot into the net for a 4-1 shoot- I’ve never been one to get all mushy over sports. The
out advantage and a 2-1 win agony of defeat and the thrill of victory fail to evoke the
in the A-AAA semifinals, the emotional outburst of, say, a fully stocked hospitality

fall
Blue Griffins were title-match room at the Ben Luján Tournament.
bound. It was their second- Therefore it should be noted that the New Mexico
straight shootout win in the Activities Association’s “Pursuing Victory With Honor”
tournament, and the program’s directive, in my opinion, is nothing more than public-
first visit to the championship relations spin.
match since 1982. That archaic way of thinking changed while enjoying
“I knew it would come down a little down time at the state track championships May
to this,” Lewis said. “It’s the two 14. Assigned to cover the boys’ meet, I was an observer as
rivals, bringing out our best. the girls’ 400-meter finals were being held.
After that final PK, it was actu- The favorite in the AAAA race was Los Alamos senior
ally unreal. You didn’t think it would come to this — we’re in Madison Ahlers. In the lane next to her was Roswell
the state finals.” Goddard junior Aracely Macias, her primary rival. As the
A day later, Santa Fe Prep took home a runner-up trophy, runners got into the blocks and the starter raised his gun,
as Albuquerque Sandia Prep won 1-0. Ahlers jumped. False start.
Overcome with emotion, she doubled over with her
hands over her face.
Blue was a beautiful color on One would think that watching your rival get dis-
Nov. 6, 2010 the cross country course at Rio qualified would be a good thing. Not so for Macias. She
Rancho High School on a crisp, instantly welled up and gave Ahlers a long embrace.
cool November day. Ahlers was ordered to clear the track and Macias back
A dad wore a medal. into the blocks. As the gun went off, Macias was still cry-
So did two familiar faces. ing. When she finished — in first place, no less — she
Two familiar teams carried home blue trophies. was still visibly upset.
Santiago Pasquale used the vision of his 10-month-old The first person to greet the new state champion at the
daughter to carry him to the Class AAA individual title. finish line was Ahlers. The two hugged once more, this
Thanks to three other teammates finishing in the top seven, time as friends instead of rivals.
Santa Fe Indian School repeated as state boys champions. “I was clear down at the other end of the track when it
Pecos’ Antonio Varela and Kate Norskog of St. Michael’s happened,” said Los Alamos head coach Paul Anderson.
assumed familiar positions atop the podium in A-AA boys “Just watching Madison’s reaction and how she handled
and AAA girls, respectively. Varela won his second straight it brings tears to my eyes. That’s her personality shining
title, while Norskog left Rio Rancho with her third straight through. If that’s not sportsmanship, I don’t know what
medal and fourth in five years while becoming the third is.”
four-time girls champion in the sport. And with that, one of the final events in a season’s
The Los Alamos girls set the state record for most team worth of games, meets and tournaments turned out to
titles with their 15th. be my most memorable — moreso than the thousands
“The success we’ve had the last 17 years is beyond our of Española Valley fans who waited outside The Pit after
wildest dreams,” Hilltoppers co-head coach Rob Hipwood their Sundevils finally won state, moreso than the stun-
said. “It’s a great place to coach because there’s a strong ning upset the Los Alamos boys soccer team had over
desire from the people who live there to keep their kids St. Pius at state.
involved. We’ve benefited from that tremendously.” Thank you, Madison, for teaching this old dog a new
trick.
Emotion. Who’da thunk it?
Later the same evening, Los
Nov. 6, 2010 Alamos celebrated again. Will Webber
It had been 24 years since the
Hilltoppers hoisted a blue state boy soccer trophy over their Los Alamos senior Madison Ahlers, right, is com-
heads, but they broke the drought with a 4-1 win over Belen forted by Roswell Goddard junior Aracely Macias,
in the Class AAAA championship at the APS Soccer Com- her primary rival, after Ahlers false-started in the
plex. 400-meter final. Ahlers later greeted her at the fin-
Yet, it was the journey as much as the destination that ish line when Macias won the race.
CLYDE MUELLER/THE NEW MEXICAN
made the journey sweet. All too often, Los Alamos couldn’t
get past Albuquerque Academy and Albuquerque St. Pius
X to hoist that championship. The fifth-seeded Hilltoppers
brushed off both — including a 1-0 semifinal win over the

LOUD AND CLEAR


top-seeded Sartans for their first win over AAAA’s pre-emi-
nent program in eight years.
Against the Eagles, Los Alamos made the outcome aca-
demic with three first-half goals. Senior Andy Thoma ended
his prep soccer career with the final goal in the 77th minute,
which went well with his two first-half assists.
Hilltoppers head coach Evan Gartz was beside himself One voice, two hands.
THE MOMENT

when it all ended. Barbie Robertson grabs the microphone, takes a deep
“Beating Pius, I didn’t think I could feel any better than breath and sings, “Oh, say can you see …”
that, “ Gartz said. “But, oh man! This is really nice.” Mary Louise Romero takes a knee, faces a family and
signs, “Oh, say can you see …”
One voice, two hands.
Liz Gomez wasn’t in the Santa Robertson, a junior outside hitter and middle blocker
Nov. 13, 2010 Ana Star Center to keep score. for Santa Fe High School, sings “The Star Spangled Ban-
So when the Pojoaque Valley ner” on Parent Night, Oct. 16.
senior hitter rose to meet an overpass by the Portales Lady Her notes are pure, her
Rams, her kill brought her teammates to a celebration sprint pitch is perfect.
as the top-seeded Elkettes won their second straight Class Romero, an assistant
AAA volleyball championship. coach, follows Robertson’s
Gomez, though, wasn’t aware of what she had just done. every word.
“I thought the score was 23 or something, “ Gomez said in Her hands’ skill is that of a
the aftermath. “I had no idea the match was over.” surgeon.
Oh it was, and sooner than expected. It needs to be.
Pojoaque won in stunningly quick fashion, 25-16, 25-18, 25- Romero signs for Beth and
11, to complete a 20-4 season. John, Mrs. and Mr. Robert-
“Coach told us to be ready for a five-game match,” Gomez son, Barbie’s mom and dad.
said. “To beat them in three, it was like, ‘Wow!’ ” “My mom and dad are
both deaf,” Barbie says later.
One voice, two hands.
Pojoaque Valley rushes the court after quickly defeat-
ing Portales 25-16, 25-18, 25-11 for the Elkettes’ second
straight Class AAA volleyball championship.
“ Mary Louise tells us
deaf people can’t listen are
Robertson and Romero
more than athlete and
with their ears. So, coach. Robertson didn’t
LUIS SÁNCHEZ SATURNO/THE NEW MEXICAN
survive tryouts at Capshaw
they must listen from Middle School in seventh
a special place, from a grade. She met Romero
deeper place. She tells through her mom, who
us they listen from their works at New Mexico
heart.” School for the Deaf, the
former coaching home of
Barbie Robertson on Romero.
Mary Louise Romero, A friendship forged — one
above dig, one pass, one spike at a
time.
Romero teaches more than sweat and sacrifice.
“Mary Louise tells us deaf people can’t listen with
their ears. So, they must listen from a special place, from
a deeper place,” Barbie says. “She tells us they listen from
their heart.
“Deaf people already have that ability when they are
born. She’s teaching us to love people and listen from
that deeper place.”
On this night, others listen to one voice.
Two hands allow Beth and John to hear with their
hearts.
Pancho Morris

Barbie Robertson, a junior outside hitter and


middle blocker for Santa Fe High School, competes
against Capital in October. With the help of assis-
tant coach Mary Louise Romero, Robertson’s rendi-
tion of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ on Parent Night
was signed to her parents, who are deaf.
LUIS SÁNCHEZ SATURNO/THE NEW MEXICAN
Saturday, June 4, 2011 The Santa Fe New Mexican NORTHSTARS 3

winter got a victory against that team.”


The words of Pojoaque Valley head boys
basketball coach Joey Trujillo never rang truer.
After six years, 19 games and countless times
he heard, “When are you going to beat
St. Mike’s?” Trujillo finally had an answer.
Sam Marquez against the Dons’ Brandon
Chavez. Daniel’s brother, Jake Martinez, was
officiating the match, which saw Marquez domi-
nate to an 8-0 lead with one minute left. Then …
Chavez made a miraculous turnaround.
He wrested himself free of Marquez, then on
If she had, would anyone challenge her
assertion?
Certainly SFIS will be uttered as one of the
two finalists for 2012. Six sophomores played a
key role in the repeat, and they will be counted
on to make it a three-peat.
Pojoaque 46, St. Michael’s 33. top of him as he pinned an opponent he had
A season of record-
And what better place to do it at than the not beaten on the mat. In 45 seconds, he turned
Dec. 13, 2010 book writing began in
Horsemen haven of Perez-Shelley Gymna- a blue trophy for Robertson to red — and gave Little old ladies in
Fort Marcy Complex
for Estrella Flores.
sium? Silver the title in its first year in A-AAA. March 12, 2011 pre-shrunk cotton
After waiting this long for the sweet taste of How did Chavez feel? T-shirts depicting
The junior guard for Desert Academy’s girls
victory over a longtime rival, Trujillo and his “Good! It always feels good,” Chavez said cartoon devils running with pitchforks.
basketball team dropped 51 points on Tse Yi
Elks weren’t about to gloat. about Robertson’s demise. Frizzy-haired schoolgirls sitting on curbs and
Gai in a 67-61 win, which was the fourth high-
“This was a total team effort, and that’s all I’m Revenge was never sweeter. squinting into the afternoon sun while twirling
est total in state history, according to the still-
allowed to say about this game,” said Pojoaque red and yellow ribbons.
evolving record book fashioned by the New
guard Brian Montoya after pouring in a game- Grown men with toddlers riding on their
Mexico Activities Association.
high 24 points. “We stayed together and played In November shoulders and broad smiles spread across their
She set a state mark for most free throws
made (28), which began her march to a season
as a team. I can’t say anything more.” March 11, 2011 2009, Cindy Roybal faces. They were among the 3,000-strong in
What more needed to be said, anyway? predicted a West Las The Pit parking lot to celebrate — finally — a
record at the stripe (263). By the end of the
Vegas-Santa Fe Indian School Class AAA state moment six decades in the making.
year, she broke the benchmark in season
girls basketball championship game. When senior guard Rodney Coles scored the
3-pointers (90) and was fifth in points (806).
What a perfect Three months after the Lady Braves beat last 14 points for the Española Valley Sundevils
But what did her head coach, Gerald Lovato,
have to say about her top player’s performance
Feb. 19, 2011 scene. the Lady Dons for the state title in March 2010, to secure a 55-52 win in the Class AAAA state
What a perfect end- the SFIS head coach boldly said her team and boys basketball championship, the commu-
in this game? “We actually had five other girls
ing — if you go to West Las Vegas. Shiprock would play for the state title in 2011. nity that supported its boys basketball team
who scored because Estrella’s always looking
The Cardinals of Las Vegas Robertson were After the Lady Braves repeated as champi- rejoiced in its first title.
to pass,” Lovato said.
one heavyweight title away from their fifth ons in a 43-22 laugher over the Lady Chieftains It also ended four straight years of misery for
That might be the case, but rarely has a
Class A-AAA team wrestling title in six years. in The Pit, Roybal didn’t offer any predictions. Española head coach Richard Martinez, whose
player made scoring look so easy.
Robertson already celebrated Daniel Marti- “I just want them to enjoy the moment,” teams had come up short in a variety of ways
nez’s fifth individual crown, making him the Roybal said. “Today, they stepped it up really, during that stretch.
“This one was for third wrestler to do so. really big. We had to go inside. Normally, we’re But no more.
Feb. 8, 2010 all the Elks who came The final match of the state championships an outside-in team, but today we had to be “I sure like the color blue, “ Martinez said.
before this who never in the Santa Ana Star Center pitted Robertson’s inside-out.” So does “The Valley.”

spring
THE MOMENT

signed, and in that procedure, that is an


automatic disqualification (of Davis).”
Hope Christian went from a seven-shot
win to third place, behind St. Michael’s
and Lovington. The Horsemen ended up
one shot behind the Wildcats, preventing
a three-peat for St. Michael’s.

Three was not


May 5, 2011 the number for Augustin Ruiz
Miranda Garcia. May 11, 2011 remembers watch-
One was, though. ing little brother
The Las Vegas Robertson senior was the Nick Ruiz catching for the Pecos Panthers
No. 3 seed in the Class A-AAA State Indi- in the Class A-AA state baseball champion-
vidual Tennis Tournament the previous ship against Albuquerque Hope Christian.
two years, but washed out in the semifi- That was May 1998.
nals both times. It had been a 13-year wait for the Pan-
This time, she took the top seed and thers to almost taste that success again,
played to its billing. After finally making but they finished one game short of mak-
her first appearance in the A-AAA singles ing the program’s second championship
championship, she swept Paloma Gomez appearance. A 17-0 loss to eventual Class
of St. Michael’s 6-0, 6-2 for the state title AA champion Estancia in the semifinals
that eluded her. stopped the Cinderella story on its tracks.
“This was my last chance, and I focused The sixth-seeded Panthers beat No. 3
all my energy into this last run,” Garcia Tucumcari 4-3 in the quarterfinals.
said. “Now that it’s over, it feels so great. “I thought we represented the North
My preparation was to concentrate on one pretty well, up to this point,” said Ruiz,
match at a time. That was my focus, and it Pecos’ head coach. “Not many thought
paid off for me in the end.” we would get this far. But we reached the
One factor in Garcia’s favor was that she semis, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
had never lost to Gomez, a sophomore. Pecos brought back home a 20-9 record
Gomez now knows Garcia’s pain — she is — its most wins since the 21-5 team lost to
0-for-2 in the A-AAA championship. the Huskies for the title — a District 6AA
title and a season to remember.
Perfection was
May 7, 2011 Yeshemabet Turner. There was Chase
Perfection also May 14, 2011 Ealey, chasing the
was the ending to the script of the Class clock.
AA State Track and Field Championships. And opportunity chasing C.J. Berryman.
Turner turned in a score of 35 points for And Amanda Babicke and Aasha Marler
all five individual events she won during chasing each other.
the weekend. She ended the meet with her And Class AAAA chasing the Los Ala-
first wins in something other than jump- mos Lady Hilltoppers.
ing events, as she won the 100 and 200 The final day of the prep athletic sea-
meters to go with medals in the long, triple son provided more medals and one more
and high jumps. championship at Los Alamos at the Class
Santa Fe Prep’s girls team didn’t know AAA/AAAA/AAAA State Track and Field
what the feeling of victory was like — until Championships.
the final event of the day. In one 1,600 Topping the list was Ealey, the Lady
relay run, the Blue Griffins earned their Hilltoppers’ junior sprinter/thrower, run-
first win of the meet and the AA title. ning all over Great Friends at UNM Track
Teammates mob Brandon Anaya after his game-winning, two-run home run in the bottom They rallied from a 44-31 deficit to defend- Complex, competing in four events (win-
of the eighth allowed Pecos to advance to the AA quarterfinals. CLYDE MUELLER/THE NEW MEXICAN ing champion Estancia with 15 points in ning the javelin and 100 meters, anchoring
the final two events for a 46-45 win. the championship 400 relay team and
“I feel so happy right now,” said senior

THE REDEEMER
helping the 800 relay to fourth) in two
Kiara Glover, who finished second in the hours. She scored 25 points for AAAA
200 and anchored the winning relay in the high-point honors to help Los Alamos to a
last two events. “This team is ... I love them third straight title.
so much, and we’ve come so far this year. Pojoaque Valley’s Berryman came out of
I’m so happy right now, but so sad that it’s nowhere to win the 100, 200 and long jump
over. But it’s been an amazing season.” (he was not the top seed in those events)
It was 90 minutes to be cherished. u Dexter taking a 1-0 lead after a fielding And perfect, too. and score 26 points to top all boys in AAA.
If you’ve been to enough baseball games error by Pecos third baseman Jose Carter in Babicke, Berryman’s teammate, dueled
— be it Little League, high school, college or the top of the sixth inning, only to have Pecos with Marler of Hope Christian as they tied
the professional level — you know what it’s like answer in the bottom of the frame — thanks to One hole. for AAA girls high-point honors with 26.
to be a prisoner of the clock. a Demons error. It was 5 p.m. by this point. May 10, 2011 One stroke. Babicke won the 400 and the long jump.
Errors lead to long, drawn-out innings. Pitch- u Both teams stranding the potential win- One mess.
ers dawdle behind the mound, and batters step ning run at second base in the seventh, forcing Albuquerque Hope Christian was one
out of the box and seem to wait for the weather extra innings. correct scorecard away from winning the
to change. Sometimes, it’s a conga line of pitch- Class A-AAA boys state golf title, but it
u The Demons’ go-ahead run thrown out Los Alamos’
ers that can’t seem to get an out. And watching eluded the Huskies because of the details.
at the plate in the top of the eighth by Pecos Tanner Davis, Hope Christian’s No. 3 Chase Ealey
it all play out can be a torturous ordeal. shortstop Brandon Anaya on a perfect relay scored 25
That’s what made the Class AA first-round golfer, penned his name for a second-round
throw from shallow left field. score of 78 — only it was off by a stroke. points for
game May 4 between the Pecos Panthers and u Anaya’s game-winning, two-run home run AAAA high-
the Dexter Demons a sight to behold. Nathan Martinez, the No. 3 for St. Michael’s, point hon-
in the bottom of the eighth to allow Pecos to notified New Mexico Activities Association
In eight innings that started at 3:55 p.m. and ors to help
advance to the AA quarterfinals for the first officials that he believed a 4 recorded on Los Alamos
ended at 5:25 p.m., the hundred or so spectators time in four years with a 3-1 win. the seventh hole for Davis was a 5. After a to a third
at Pecos High School were treated to this: For those who paid the $5 to watch this game brief discussion, the error was discovered, straight
u A total of 167 pitches thrown by Pecos’ Ian — and even those who didn’t (like me) — it but Davis was disqualified for the error. track and
Espinosa (82) and the Demons’ Aaron Brown was a moment in which a sport temporarily “They went over the sequences of the field title.
(85) as they went the distance in a well-pitched redeemed itself for all those three-plus hour shots, and he ended up making a five,”
duel. marathons we’ve all endured. Sanchez said. “The scorecard was already
CLYDE MUELLER
THE NEW MEXICAN
u Ten hits by both teams, but nary a walk.
There were two hit batsman, however. James Barron

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4 NORTHSTARS The Santa Fe New Mexican Saturday, June 4, 2011 Saturday, June 4, 2011 The Santa Fe New Mexican NORTHSTARS 5

ISAIAH MALDONADO HALIEY LUCERO RUSSELL DISCH SANTIAGO PASQUALE KATE NORSKOG LEXI TRUJILLO MCCALL SIDES ASHLYNN BRIANA AINSWORTH SETH ESTRELLA FLORES RODNEY COLES, SEAN SANCHEZ C.J. BERRYMAN
ESCALANTE MESA VISTA ST. MICHAEL’S SANTA FE INDIAN SCHOOL ST. MICHAEL’S PEÑASCO SANTA FE PREP BENNETT POJOAQUE VALLEY MONTGOMERY DESERT ACADEMY ESPAÑOLA VALLEY PEÑASCO POJOAQUE VALLEY
FOOTBALL CROSS COUNTRY FOOTBALL CROSS COUNTRY CROSS COUNTRY VOLLEYBALL SOCCER LOS ALAMOS VOLLEYBALL SANTA FE PREP BASKETBALL BASKETBALL TRACK AND FIELD TRACK AND FIELD
SMALL SCHOOLS SMALL SCHOOLS BIG SCHOOLS BIG SCHOOLS BIG SCHOOLS SMALL SCHOOLS The Blue Griffins defi- SWIMMING BIG SCHOOLS SWIMMING SMALL SCHOOLS BIG SCHOOLS SMALL SCHOOLS BIG SCHOOLS
Maldonado, a 6-foot senior, Lucero ran in an exclu- It’s not clear if the The hills were Pasquale’s A trio became a Her official position on head nitely owe some of their It’s not always The biggest name in prep Improvement was the Her first name means Amid a sea of red Speed in a distance Berryman, a junior,
had a nose for the ball sive club in Class Horsemen senior ever best friend, and it led to quartet in the coach Maxine Abeyta’s senior- success to Sides. The easy for fresh- volleyball last season only thing on Seth “star” in Spanish, and and gold in The Pit, race? That’s what went from obscurity
on offense and defense. A-AA. The Lady Trojans had a nickname that a Class AAA state title. span of 19 minutes, heavy roster was an outside senior midfielder was man to find belonged to a middle-school Montgomery’s mind Flores certainly lives up “The Rocket” saved Sanchez had, and to prominence in the
The first-team Class A junior, who stands a stuck, but “Eraser” He used them to get 21.55 seconds. That’s hitter. Given her lateral quick- an unstoppable force success, but kid who didn’t even attend at this year’s State to her name on court. his best for last. The he used it to claim span of two days in
All-State running back had shade under 5-foot, would have been apro- past Albuquerque Hope how long it took the ness, outstanding reflexes on offense, recording Ashlynn Bennett the high school she repre- Swimming and Diving The junior became a diminutive Sundev- wins in the 800 and May. Although he was
more than 1,400 yards on was the only Northern pos. Against Pojoaque Christian’s Eric Fenton at St. Michael’s senior and remarkable athleticism, 24 goals, which was didn’t let that sented. A 5-foot-7 setter Championships. The premier player in Class ils guard scored his 1,600 meters in the not the top seed in any
the ground, another 350 New Mexico runner Valley in October, Rio Rancho High School’s to circle the course Lexi — a 5-foot-7 senior second in the state, and stop her. The Los who carted away more Santa Fe Prep junior A, averaging 28.8 points team’s final 14 points Class AA state meet. of his four individual
through the air and 400 to finish in the Top 10 Disch scrubbed Jamal 3.06-mile course in a at Rio Rancho to — played more like a setter- 11 assists on his run to Alamos swimmer hardware during her eighth- went immediately per game for the Lady in the AAAA title He laid in waiting events in the Class
in returns as he managed at the state meet. Her Brown’s name from the time of 16 minutes, secure her fourth hitter hybrid. She totaled 118 the state tournament. medaled in all grade year, Ainsworth — an from the 200 free- Wildcats. Her 806 points game against Roswell during the 800 and AAA state track meet,
more than 2,000 yards of time of 20 minutes, top of the St. Michael’s 17.25 seconds, which was AAA individual title, kills and 119 pass-assists to Although St. Michael’s four of her events all-tournament selection style relay to a sec- this season ranked fifth Goddard, simultane- jumped from sixth in Berryman walked away
total offense to go with 55.05 seconds was record book for career eight seconds faster than becoming the fourth go along with 19 aces, 48 digs won the District at the state at two in-season stops, an ond-place finish in the all-time, according to the ously handing cham- a tight pack to first with state titles in the
18 touchdowns. As a first- good enough for sixth rushing yards. In lead- Fenton. His performance runner to win four and 285 total points in leading 2A-AAA title, Sides championship all-district pick in 5AAA, a 100-yard backstroke, New Mexico Activities pionship-starved on the final lap to long jump plus the 100
team middle linebacker, in a race that was ing the Horsemen to highlighted a quartet of championships. She the Lady Panthers to a 19-win helped his team beat meet. She placed first-team All-State recipient, in 53.88 seconds. It Association record book. Española its first blue record his best time and 200 meters. He has
Maldonado averaged again dominated by the quarterfinals of the Braves who finished in joined Peñasco’s regular season, the District their city rivals in the sixth in the and the coaches’ choice for was a vast improve- She also set the state trophy and ending in the event in 2 min- a third in the 400 and a
17 tackles per game as the East Mountain’s Caro- Class AAA playoffs, the top seven, and led to a Elizabeth Gonzales 2AA championship and a Class A-AAA semifinals to 200-yard free- AAA’s player of the year — ment over last year’s season record in 3-point- decades of bitter dis- utes, 1.68 seconds. point for a sixth-place
Lobos were the District 1A line Kaufman. Russell surpassed the repeat as AAA champions. (1982-85), Aztec’s berth in the state tournament. advance to its first cham- style with a time led the Elkettes to their sec- fourth-place finish. ers (90) and free throws appointment at state. The next day, he finish in the 400 relay.
champions and advanced 3,600-yard mark for Amy Swier (1993-96) pionship appearance in of 2 minutes, ond straight state title while Montgomery also (263), and her 28 made The indelible image of followed the same Add it up, and the
to the Class A semifinals. his career and totaled and Gallup’s Felicia more than 20 years. 00.73 seconds, averaging 38.3 assists, 5.7 placed fourth in the free throws against Tse Coles emerging from script in the 1,600, 26 points he accumu-
1,732 yards with Guliford (1998-2001) and the 500 free- kills, 4.8 digs and 4.3 assists. 100 butterfly. Yi Gai on Dec. 11 also was University Arena hold- trailing in third place lated was the high-point
20 touchdowns as a on that list. style in 5:31.67. Next stop: High school. a record-setter. ing the championship before shooting past total in AAA.
senior. He was also hardware will never Jemez Valley’s Troy
second on the team be forgotten in The Madalena to win in
in tackles. Valley. 4:36.33.

THE TOP BIG- AND SMALL-SCHOOL ATHLETES FROM FALL, WINTER AND SPRING SPORTS
HonorRoll

MIRANDA GARCIA LIANA COPPOLA ANTONIO VARELA IAN ESPINOSA DANIEL MARTINEZ MYKEL RODRIGUEZ JENINE CORIZ CHASE HAVEMANN/DOMINIC LUCIDO TYLER MARTINEZ CHASE EALEY YESHEMABET TURNER KRISTINA RADOSEVICH MARTY SANCHEZ
LAS VEGAS ROBERTSON ST. MICHAEL’S PECOS PECOS ROBERTSON ST. MICHAEL’S SANTA FE LOS ALAMOS MORA LOS ALAMOS PECOS LOS ALAMOS ST. MICHAEL’S
TENNIS SOCCER CROSS COUNTRY BASEBALL WRESTLING GOLF INDIAN SCHOOL TENNIS BASKETBALL TRACK AND FIELD TRACK AND FIELD SOFTBALL GOLF
Garcia showed persever- Coppola is a terror SMALL SCHOOLS In a little more than a It’s hard to stand out Last year, she was a BASKETBALL The senior duo kept the Class AAAA doubles title SMALL SCHOOLS BIG SCHOOLS SMALL SCHOOLS Radosevich, the only senior The former Class
ance can overcome any- on the soccer field. A Class A-AA state week from now, one in a family of wres- part of a second-place BIG SCHOOLS in Los Alamos, and lived up to their No. 1 billing. The Rangers’ resurgence can Put a Porsche engine in She has been great before, on the team, led the District A-AAA golf state
thing, as it brought her The 5-11 senior mid- title was twice as of the U.S. Army’s tling champions, but team. This year, she After this feisty 5-foot-4 Havemann and Lucido earned the top seed for the be tied in part to the play of a Mack truck, and you but the senior was perfect 2AAAA champion Lady Hill- champion could have
a coveted state title. In fielder used her nice for the Panthers freshest enlistees will Martinez pulled it flew solo. Rodriguez point guard helped dis- AAAA individual tournament with an 18-1 record, the 5-foot-10 senior guard. get Ealey. The junior in her finale. She scored a toppers in batting at .441 and rested on his laurels,
her sophomore and junior size and speed to senior. Sporting a head to Virginia for off. The senior won was the lone Lady mantle a district oppo- then defeated Albuquerque Academy’s Brandon Jew Martinez led the team with showed her throwing perfect 35-point total in the home runs with four. One but Marty Sanchez
years, she placed third in dominate the pitch, spray-painted “P” boot camp. Before he his fifth state title Horseman to qualify nent in late January, one and George Cooper in the AAAA championship, 6-1, 12.8 points per game, plus prowess with Class AA championships, win- of her homers came in the chose to persevere.
the Class A-AAA singles ending her season on his shaved head, goes, he can lean on to equal Carlsbad’s for the Class A-AAA casual observer tried to 3-6, 7-5. Havemann and Lucido enjoyed their second he dished out 3.1 assists and AAAA state crowns in ning the long jump, triple decisive opening game of a The St. Michael’s
bracket after losing to with 13 goals and nine Varela repeated the knowledge that Michael Owen and State Golf Tournament. pay her a compliment. state title this season — they were integral parts of grabbed 2.8 rebounds per the javelin and the jump, high jump, 100 and 2AAAA doubleheader against junior was the run-
Dara McDevitt of Bosque assists despite persis- as the individual he was the North’s Rio Rancho’s Max The junior played well “She plays like a boy,” Los Alamos’ state championship soccer team. game to boot. He was steady shot put (with a state 200. The University of New Santa Fe High on the final day ner-up at the A-AAA
in 2009 and teammate tent back problems. champion in a time best player on the Ortega. Brothers despite strong winds the fan said. Boys wish from the field (48 percent over- record of 42 feet, Mexico-bound athlete broke of the regular season that State Championships
Julianna Guerin last year. Coppola’s leadership of 16 minutes, 5.25 diamond after post- Adam and Jake both on both days to shoot they had Coriz’s game. all field-goal percentage, and
3
3 ⁄4 inches), but she her own state record in the helped Los Alamos clinch at the New Mexico
This time, the Robert- helped the Lady Horse- seconds. He was ing an 8-3 record won four. To top it off, a 175 over 36 holes on Aside from leading the 41 percent from 3-point range) took the added step
3
triple jump (37 feet, 7 ⁄4 the title. Her effort helped State University Golf
son senior did not face man to No. 3 seed for 28.30 seconds ahead with a 4.04 ERA and he became the first the New Mexico State Lady Braves to consecu- and a near certainty at the of being the state’s inches) on her final jump her earn All-District first- Course. Sanchez
McDevitt (who graduated the Class A-AAA State of a longtime rival, 78 strikeouts in 64 Cardinals wrestler Golf Course in Las tive AAA state titles as free-throw line at 80 percent. 100-meter champion of the event. She added team honors, and she was an shot a final-round
in 2010) or Guerin, who Tournament. Coppola’s Jemez Valley’s Troy innings as the ace for to record a perfect Cruces. It was good a junior and senior, she Martinez was an All-District (12.52 seconds) for her first sprinting titles to alternate on the Class AAAA 77, finishing with a
fell in the semifinals to talent has not been head coach Augustin season at 37-0. He enough for seventh BIG SCHOOL: Class AAA-AAAA-AAAAA North/South All-Star roster. total score of 155,
Madalena, and cred- helped break in the new 2AA first-team member, as the third time and complete an unblemished
Paloma Gomez of overlooked, as she Ruiz’s deep pitching finished it off with a place. SMALL SCHOOL: Class A-AA-Six Man in football 11-over par. Sanchez
ited a summer of Pueblo Pavilion Well- Mora went 25-3 overall and anchored the winning — and unmatched — meet.
St. Michael’s. Garcia received a scholarship running 50 miles per staff. Ian wasn’t too second-period pin of ness Center and landed won its second straight district 400 relay team. In all, also helped the St.
then bested Gomez in to play D-I soccer next week in preparation shabby at the plate Luke Sanchez from a scholarship to New title. He is one of three players she scored 25 points Michael’s team to
the state final 6-0, 6-2 year at the University either, batting .389 St. Michael’s. ON THE WEB: See photos of this year’s second place, finish-
for the cross country Mexico Highlands after representing Mora in the Class and was the high-point
to cap her prep career. of San Francisco. season for a Panthers squad making her third straight NorthStars at http://tinyurl.com/6yprnuu AA/AAA North/South All-Star champion in AAAA. ing with a total of
that reached the AA appearance on the all- Game in Las Vegas, N.M., in 655.
semifinals. state team. July.
6 NORTHSTARS The Santa Fe New Mexican Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Daniel Martinez
ll this over a bowl of
cereal.
Some of New Mexico’s
most prominent prep

LAS VEGAS, YOU’RE


sports stars can trace their
athletic genius to a semi-
nal event from their youth. In the case
of recent Las Vegas Robertson gradu-
ate Daniel Martinez, his is a breakfast
meal.
More on that later.

GONNA MISS THIS


For Albuquerque Academy graduate
Curtis Beach, he cultivated his world-
record-setting mark in the decathlon
by chasing a horse in an open pasture
in the East Mountains back in the mid-
’90s.
At the time Beach was an overac-
tive grade-schooler who didn’t seem
to have an off button. In an attempt to By Will Webber The New Mexican
offer him a release, his parents turned
to the pony to provide a little exercise
before supper.
Nearly two decades later, Beach has
taken his tireless work ethic to Duke
University, where he has his eyes set
on the Summer Olympics in London
(2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016).
In Artesia, the little kid with the
Iron Man grip and unusually big
hands opened the eyes of his neighbor,
Cooper Henderson, when he’d toddle
into his front yard and start chucking
toys with a perfect overhand delivery.
That tumultuous tyke was Landry
Jones, and Henderson was — and
is — the head football coach of the
hometown Artesia High Bulldogs.
This coming season, Jones will be
one of the nation’s top college quar-
terbacks as he begins his third year
as Sam Bradford’s successor at Okla-
homa. The Sooners are ranked as high
as No. 1 in various preseason polls.
Across the pond — way across the
pond — Swedish-born Jeffrey Taylor
would chase down loose balls at his
dad’s practices and sneak in a jump
shot or two when no one was looking.
Taylor’s dad was a professional basket-
ball player, one whose sizable genetic
traits were passed down to Jeffrey.
Now a 6-foot-7 starting forward at
Vanderbilt, the Hobbs High graduate
with an unflappable persona is regarded
as an NBA prospect after leading his
prep school alma mater to a Class
AAAAA state title in his senior year.
And finally there’s the Martinez
family of Las Vegas. By now most
sports denizens in Northern New
Mexico are all-too familiar with them. In February, Las Vegas Robertson’s Daniel Martinez became just the third wrestler in state history to win state five times. LUIS SÁNCHEZ SATURNO/THE NEW MEXICAN
Brothers Adam, Jake and, most
recently, Daniel enjoyed the Midas tling match between the siblings?
touch when it came to athletics. Just And like a person who’s been asked
ask anyone from rivals West Las that question dozens, if not hundreds,
Vegas, St. Michael’s and Raton for a of times, Daniel says being a five-time
testimonial. state champion means nothing when
They’ll all likely sing the family’s dealing with his brothers.
praises — and revel in the knowledge “They know all my moves,” he says.
that all three have finally graduated. “Besides, it’s a big brother syndrome.
Football? An All-State troika. They can never lose to me because
Track? More than 20 individual I’m the youngest.”
event state championships between All of which brings us back to that
them. bowl of cereal.
Golf and baseball? Mastered the Back when he was in high school,
swing without hardly trying. Richard Martinez was something of
Wrestling? a basketball star for the Cardinals.
Now we’ve entered an entirely dif- Already the school’s record-holder
ferent strata. Martinez is tackled by Hatch’s Manuel Serrano in November. His exploits in the 110-meter hurdles, he truly
This year’s recipient of The New on the gridiron drew an invitation to walk on as a defensive back for The excelled at hoops.
Mexican’s 2010-11 Male Athlete of the University of New Mexico this fall, but Martinez plans to walk away from One of his closest friends was class-
Year is Daniel Martinez, the youngest sports altogether, at least for now. LUIS SÁNCHEZ SATURNO/THE NEW MEXICAN mate John Lucero, a wrestler. When
and most decorated of the Martinez Martinez wasn’t working out in the
clan. In February he became just the the TV on the living-room couch. the footsteps of a handful of New gym, he’d swing by the wrestling room
third wrestler in state history to win Some vacations were spent camping Mexico’s premier prep athletes and and spend time with Lucero.
state five times. or riding horses. Most free time was walk away from sports altogether. Like “I always thought basketball was
He started as a 103-pound eighth- spent shifting from one sporting event former St. Michael’s stars Thomas pretty political in my time,” the elder
grader in 2007 and completed his to another. Romero and Jeremy Templeman, the Martinez says. “Even then I’d tell John
memorable run less than four months Leasa and husband Richard, a Rob- Robertson standout is ready to turn that if I ever had boys of my own
ago as a senior at 160. In between he ertson graduate and the school’s wildly his back on college sports and enter — and this was 30 years ago — that
won titles at 130 and two at 152. successful wrestling coach, laid out the the school of his choice — in this case I wanted them to learn to wrestle. I
True to the Martinez way, he did it family’s one-story house with a wide- UNM — as an Average Joe freshman. really liked the individualism of the
Martinez finished his track and field open floor plan; a wise choice given “This is just the next stage of life sport. I enjoyed basketball, but I was
by employing perfect form and utiliz-
career with 12 career gold medals
ing his taller, angular frame’s built-in the physical toll three boys can take on and I think he’s ready for it,” Richard drawn to wrestling.”
— one more than big brother Adam.
advantage of gaining leverage. CLYDE MUELLER/THE NEW MEXICAN
furniture, decor, walls and windows. Martinez says. “Sports are such a So 15 years later — in 1996 — Lucero
What most observers will remem- “Can’t tell you how many broken small part of each of my boys’ lives. If swung by Martinez’s house. There at
ber about the fair-haired kid is he corners and damaged fixtures we’ve you decide you don’t want to do it in the table were Adam, Jake and 3-year-
never got too high or low before, dur- stop at a residential intersection, he had,” Leasa says. “There hasn’t been college, you have to be ready to move old Daniel. Lucero wanted the boys
ing or after a match, win or lose. admits he felt a little out of sorts. too much broken glass, but I’m still on, and I think Daniel is.” to practice a few moves right there on
And he did lose. Just not often Until, that is, the police officer rec- waiting for that to happen. Daniel “I need that first year to just go to the living-room floor.
enough to derail the Martinez Title ognized him and let him slide with doesn’t leave for college until August.” class and see how much I’ll miss it,” All of them balked.
Train at state. a warning. Being a source of public Daniel grew to be the toughest while Daniel says. “If I can’t do without “I’ll give the winner a bowl of
What his mom, Leasa Martinez, will pride for pinning people to padded simultaneously becoming the most football or wrestling or whatever, I cereal,” Lucero says.
carry with her is hard to say. mats apparently has its benefits. easy-going simply because he had to. might come back and try it. For now I “That’s what got us,” Daniel says. “We
For the time being, the family matri- “I do get in trouble, though,” Daniel Such is the nature of being the baby: If just want to focus on school and study really wanted that bowl of cereal. None
arch can’t get her son’s favorite song says. “I make mistakes and my parents you want to keep up, you have to learn (engineering).” of us knew anything about wrestling,
out of her head. will get on me, but a lot of people that patience while growing thick skin. Like any great athlete, Daniel went but we were hungry enough to try it.”
“This entire senior year he’d get in I don’t know do know who I am.” “Gosh, how many times would he be out on top. The winner that day?
the shower and sing ‘You’re Gonna So just how much trouble has the outside playing with the other two and He ran the second leg of Robert- “All of us got a bowl, I think,” Daniel
Miss This’ every morning,” she says, youngest of three rough-and-tumble all their friends, then come in crying son’s 1,600-meter relay in the final says.
recalling her emotions less than a day boys gotten into? There’s the time he after getting hurt?” Leasa says. “I’d tell event on the final day of the Class The real winner just may have
after watching her youngest son walk drove the family SUV, an Expedition, him it’s safer to stay inside with me. AAA state meet. As if on cue from a been the entire state of New Mexico
on stage to get his high school diploma down a Las Vegas alley with the sun Next minute he’s right back out there.” Hollywood producer, the Cardinals because that one challenge from Lucero
on May 27. “It’s so true. I think maybe in his eyes and smashed into a pole, Daniel Martinez’s success in football won the race to give Daniel 12 career — who’s now the head wrestling coach
he knows it.” dislodging the axle and bending one of and, in particular, wrestling landed gold medals — one more than big at Bernalillo High — launched a grap-
The Trace Adkins tune laments a the wheels into a parallel position with him a few scholarship offers. He led brother Adam. pling dynasty not seen in this state since
teenager’s desire to grow up quickly. the road. the Cardinals to the Class AAA semifi- “He was there talking trash the the fabled Owens family from Carlsbad
Daniel Martinez doesn’t think he’s Other than that, he’s pretty much a nals in football and was part of a track whole time,” Daniel says. “It was all dominated the sport a generation ago.
growing up too quickly, but he does homebody. and field team that took second at last fun, though. Of course he started mak- “I’ve been lucky,” Daniel says. “I’ve
know that the perks of being one of the “Most nights he’s at home and in month’s state meet. ing excuses as soon as it was over, say- never been sick or hurt my entire life.
most recognizable faces in the Meadow bed by 9 o’clock,” Leasa says. His exploits on the gridiron got the ing that he had tougher competition I’ve been allowed to do this, and I’m
City may soon be coming to a close. It was Leasa’s decision not to let the attention of University of New Mexico and all that.” lucky to have had the great coaches
Witness a recent traffic stop as brothers have an Xbox or a Wii. It was head coach Mike Locksley. Locksley And thus the million-dollar question, and really supportive parents. … If I
proof. Daniel said he has never really her decision to prevent them from invited Daniel to walk on as a defen- one that each of the Martinez boys has could do half as good a job of raising
been in trouble, so when he was pulled affixing themselves to a computer sive back for the Lobos this fall. been asked dozens, if not hundreds, of my kids as my mom and dad with me,
over for failing to come to a complete console or spending hours in front of Instead, Martinez will follow in times: Who wins a death-cage wres- I’d be happy.”
Saturday, June 4, 2011 The Santa Fe New Mexican NORTHSTARS 7

P Yeshemabet Turner
age 5.
That’s where you found
Yeshemabet Turner one
year ago.

FIVE-TOOL ATHLETE,
Now look.
She’s our Cover Girl.
Our girl of letters.
Our athlete for all seasons.
Our NorthStar.
“It’s more than I expected,” Turner
says of her senior season at Pecos

FIVE-TOOL PERSON
High School. “A lot of good things hap-
pened this year.”
Good.
Great.
Historic.
List, please?
Turner, a 5-foot-7 outside hit-
ter, helped the Lady Panthers earn
the 10th seed for the 16-team Class By Pancho Morris The New Mexican
AA State Volleyball Tournament in
November.
Turner, a point guard who aver-
aged a double-double in points and
rebounds, directed Pecos to the 10th
seed for the 16-team state basketball
tournament in March.
Turner, a state-meet record-holder
in the triple jump, raised that mark en
route to a school-first five victories
and a perfect 35 points at the state
track and field championships in May.
Wait.
There’s more.
Turner earned honorable mention
All-State recognition in volleyball,
first-team All-State accolades in
basketball, and a University of New
Mexico scholarship offer to compete
in track and field, which she happily
autographed prior to state.
“It’s hard being at a two-A school
and getting recognition from a D-I
school,” Turner says. “For me, the big-
gest accomplishment is that they are
looking at in-state athletes. Knowing
two girls are going to restart the jump
tradition is exciting.” After winning the triple jump, high jump, long jump, 100 meters and 200
this season, Turner is headed to The University of New Mexico on a track
Aasha Marler of Albuquerque Hope and field scholarship. NATALIE GUILLÉN/THE NEW MEXICAN
Christian signed her national letter-of-
intent with New Mexico after leading
the Lady Huskies to the Class AAA South the day after Peñasco elimi- finally saw what he wanted in me and
state championship, exactly one week nated Pecos from the state tourna- tried to give him what he wanted.”
after Turner’s 35 points left Pecos ment in a quarterfinal. But it was New Father’s advice was two-fold: Work
fourth among 27 teams. Mexico Highlands University that your hardest, play even harder.
“Coming into the season I didn’t broke the news about All-State. She did.
think about individual accolades,” “They posted something on my wall She left sweat at both ends of the
Turner, who won the triple jump, high on Facebook,” Turner says. “It was court.
jump, long jump, 100 meters and 200, interesting, the way I found out.” It wasn’t the first moisture on the
says. “I wanted a team trophy.” There was nothing routine about court, which was drenched during vol-
It was a dream that didn’t come her senior basketball season, either. leyball season.
true. One day after the state basketball First, Turner was the lone point “Volleyball was so different for
tournament concluded, only two other guard. me,” Turner says. “It wasn’t a sport I
girls showed for the first track meeting. Second, opponents guarded her the thought I would be doing.”
“I was really discouraged,” Turner moment she stepped off the bus, or Not as a freshman. Not with a cross
says. into her home gymnasium. country uniform already in her bag.
Pecos had three girls for its first Yeshemabet Turner averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds and 4.2 assists per Third, the Lady Panthers were dev- “The coach said, ‘Come one day.
meet. Cheerleaders helped fill uni- game to earn first-team All-State accolades. LUIS SÁNCHEZ SATURNO/THE NEW MEXICAN astated by the death of Amanda Byrne, If you don’t like it, you don’t have to
forms, but only a quartet of Lady Pan- a Pecos senior killed in the middle of come back.’ I didn’t like it,” Turner
thers advanced. January. Byrne was running on rail- says.
“It was different for me this year,” State wasn’t an aberration of charac- road tracks when she was struck by a Yet, she returned.
“Fourth with four girls was defi- Turner says. ter. Rather, a continuation.
nitely nice,” Turner says. “We didn’t train and died from the injuries. The next day.
For her. Enter, Cicci. “It was a hard year for us,” Turner The next season.
get a trophy, but winning five events For KeeAnna Trujillo. The Santa Fe Preparatory sophomore
and getting high-point was definitely says. “We prayed for Amanda, we The two seasons after that.
For Olivia Cicci. was part of the 18-competitor field, plac- made shirts for Amanda, we wore rib- “It turned out to be one of my best
the ultimate accomplishment. First, Trujillo. ing 14th overall. Cicci did not qualify for
“It’s something my coaches and I bons for Amanda. moments,” Turner says of the memory
The Pecos eighth-grader qualified state by distance. She didn’t have to. “Knowing how short life can be of competing at state.
have been working so hard for since for the triple jump. During the three At the District 4AA championships, really had an effect on us. We cried a Turner missed the state volleyball
eighth grade. I’m so proud of how preliminary jumps, there was Turner, Turner purposely stepped away from lot, obviously. The sadness stayed with tournament as a junior because she
things turned out.” coaching her teammate every step of certain victory, knowing that the top us throughout the basketball season.” was in Ethiopia, which is her heritage,
Sal Gonzales saw this coming. the way. two finishers earn state tickets. Still, games were played. her ethnicity.
Gonzales, Pecos to his soul, was “Usually, I just use the prelims to get “It’s not about that for me,” Turner And, Turner shone. Yeshemabet means “Lady of a
head coach of the track and field pro- into the finals. But I was focused on says of placing winning above every- Thousand” in her native language.
She averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds
gram at his alma mater in Spring 2009, KeeAnna doing well,” Turner says. “It thing. “I was in her position at one There is no ending.
and 4.2 assists per game.
Turner’s freshman season. was refreshing. Looking at her, I had point. I was watching the whole time To her name.
“A lot of weight was put on me,”
“I don’t think that there’s anything a flashback of me in eighth grade. But and saw her triple jumping. To her talent.
Turner says. “I’ve never been the only
she’s done that is surprising,” Gonza- no one was there for me. “I didn’t need to jump. I had already To her legacy.
point guard before. I had to take on a
les says from Rio Rancho High School, “It released a lot of stress for me.” qualified by distance. In my mind, lot of duties for the team and control To her future.
his new home since Fall 2009. Turner entered as two-time defend- there would be no point in jumping. the whole game.” “I’m still a work in progress,” Turner
“The potential’s always been there. ing champion and the state-meet Why not let her go? It just made com- Opponents didn’t care. Turner had a says. “Things are going to start chang-
What’s different now is her confi- record holder in her class at 36 feet, plete sense for me to pull out and not constant companion. Sometimes two. ing. I’m excited for that.”
dence. And, her physical and emo- 81⁄2 inches. jump.” For good reason. And grateful for what she left
tional growth.” When Trujillo finished ninth after Barela had to be convinced. “Physically, she’s a tough, tough behind.
Turner’s best growth spurt was her the prelims, three places shy of making Sort of. matchup,” Anika Amon, Santa Fe Prep “I came into this community not
four-inch sprout between eighth and finals, Turner had one final chat with “Honestly, he wanted points,” head coach, says. “She jumps high, is knowing anybody, and sports was
ninth grades. Her internal evolution the future of Pecos track and field. Turner says, laughing at the memory. quick, and has the whole package. We what helped me connect with the
was less noticeable to some, but not all. “I told her, ‘I’ve got to get this Barela told Turner to talk to her threw everything at her and it never community in so many ways,” Turner
“When she was first learning about together.’ She understood and appreci- parents. She did. The decision was seemed that effective.” says. “It was so nice getting embraced
track and field, she lacked that killer ated all the help I gave her,” Turner says. unanimous. Sarah Ihlefeld got a Nike-to-Nike the way I was.
instinct,” Gonzales says. “She over- “Being the number-one seed, every- “If somebody would have done that lesson from Turner. “I can’t thank my family, my
respected the older girls, put them out body is gunning for you. But I like when for me, I would have loved them for- “She knows how to get around play- coaches, my community enough for
there. When she started to put herself people are pushing me to go further.” ever,” Turner says. “When she found ers and keep herself open,” Ihlefeld, what they’ve done all these years. I
up there, she never cracked. She was Turner led after the prelims, then out I didn’t jump, she was elated. It Prep’s wonderfully gifted freshman, just hope the younger athletes look at
so mature about it. Now, it is others extended the gap on her first two was a good feeling for me. But I know says. “We wanted to keep the ball from what I’ve done and know that it is pos-
talking about her in hushed tones.” jumps of the final. Both, though, were it was way better for her, knowing she her, but she somehow always got the sible for them, too. That if they work
Gonzales says high school coaches record short. is going.” ball whenever she wanted. hard they can achieve their dreams.”
can take athletes only so far. He sees “I wanted to push it even further,” Kaya and Allen Turner raised their “You want to know where the ball Turner’s latest dream-come-true
Turner’s learning curve ascending. Turner says. daughter — the youngest of their nine is, but mostly you want to know where happened today.
“She’s going to get better, which is With the state crowd clapping children — right. First, in Philadelphia. she is. Mainly, I didn’t let her out of my Check out the cover.
the exciting part for me,” Gonzales in rhythmic cadence, her final high Then in Pecos, where the family relo- sights.” “When I was first in NorthStars, I
says. “She could have been in any of school triple jump was a record-set- cated in 2002. There also was a brief Neither did Benny Gallegos, Pecos told myself, ‘Senior year, I’m gonna get
the classes and she could have won ting 37-73⁄4. stay in the Virgin Islands in 2006. head basketball coach. athlete of the year,’ ” Turner says.
five medals, and she is going to excel “When the light was shinning the Yet, it wasn’t until the end of “We head-butted freshman and When photographer Natalie Guillén
in jumps. brightest, it would be easy for anyone the basketball season that a father sophomore years, but junior and first contacted Turner, she told her she
“I don’t think my eye is fine-tuned to sit there and soak up all the atten- stamped his approval on his daugh- senior years we got on the same page,” was our track athlete of the year.
enough to see what jump she is going tion,” Leroy Barela, Pecos head track ter’s athletic achievements. Gallegos says. “You don’t get a chance “I was like, ‘Oh, well, thank you very
to do the best in. In my opinion, it is and field coach, says. “Yet, Yeshem is “He never glamorized any of the in life to coach a natural athlete like much.’ I was disappointed,” Turner
the triple jump. She’s jumped 37-38 always thinking about someone else. accomplishments I got, but when I her very often. You never know what says. “Then she called back and told
feet with a weak second phase. One To watch her coach her teammate was named first-team All-State, that they’re going to do. A lot of times, it’s me I was also athlete of the year. I
she gets that second phase cleaned instead of sitting there and enjoying sealed the deal for him,” Turner says. pure instincts, pure natural ability. almost went crazy and got into an
up, she’s a 40-foot jumper without her every second that she’s earned, shows “For me, to get chosen, exemplified There are times you watch and say, accident.
getting any stronger.” you the type of person she is. everything. ‘Wow!’ We saw that at practice a lot.” “I feel so honored.”
A hop. “Above and beyond her successes, “I was shocked. I had never gotten Turner’s head was as hard as Gal- It was more than a hop, skip and
A skip. she does an excellent job of represent- anything for basketball.” legos’. jump from Page 5 to Cover Girl.
A jump. ing her school and her community. It wasn’t just All-State. It was North- “We had completely different It was about the athlete Turner
That’s the triple jump for everyone, She’s a five-tool athlete, but also a five- South, too. views,” Turner says. “But what made became.
save Turner. tool person.” Turner found out about North- this so special is we worked together. I And the person she’s always been.
8 NORTHSTARS The Santa Fe New Mexican Saturday, June 4, 2011