Like deja-vu, the Peñasco Lady Panthers are district champions again. This time, however, they did it with a double exclamation point – securing the top honor with a perfect score of 15, and leaving no doubt about their dominance among Northern New Mexico teams in class A/2A. Next, the team will be put to a broader geographic test, as they seek their second consecutive state title when they travel to Rio Rancho Nov. 4.
The Lady Panthers are poised to defend their 2016 state title and bring home another blue trophy after a solid year of competition that produced multiple team wins, including the District 5-A/2A meet in Maxwell Oct. 27.
Peñasco's Carly Gonzales has also earned multiple individual wins throughout the season and is looking to win her second title in three years when she steps onto the course at Rio Rancho High School. Gonzales led the team and was the overall winner – claiming her third straight district title – followed by Adrianna Tafoya, Maricela MacAuley, Martina Tafoya and Estrella Gonzalez.
On the boys' side, Gilbert “Gilly” Valdez earned a spot on the state starting line with a first place finish at districts. The youngster communicated his desire to win the district meet at the beginning of the 2017 season. With this accomplishment under his belt, Valdez can now set his sights on loftier goals and endeavor to challenge the state's best at the championship event Nov. 4.
The girls are scheduled to race at 10:00 a.m and Valdez will run at 12:35 p.m. Cost to enter the race venue is $8 for adults and $5 for students, seniors and military personnel. For more information or for directions to the race, visit nmact.org and click on the State Cross-Country Championships info banner.