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New Mexico 2003 cross country
Curtis Williams Invitational
Oct 4, 2003 at Gallup NM - 3.05 miles at 6500 feet altitude

This meet is the former Gallup Invitational, renamed in honor of recently retired Gallup coach Curtis Williams, who won 26 state titles.

Los Alamos and Albuquerque Academy tie for overall trophy (2 varsity and one JV race) for second straight year, with Los Alamos winning the tie breaker of 6th place points. Los Alamos girls, ranked #1 in the US by The Harrier, beat the Academy 55-91, a more comfortable day than their 9-point win the week before. Academy boys turn the tables, 43-68.


right, Los Alamos' Kristen Hemphill and Vanessa Ortiz of Cibola Albuquerque add a few feet to the 6,500 foot elevation of the Red Rock State Park course.

photo by Blake Wood

The 35-school invitational at Red Rock State Park serves as New Mexico’s “pre-state” meet. The beautiful setting will be host to the state championship meet for the 11th straight year.

After a nine-point win last week against Albuquerque Academy, Los Alamos (4A), re-asserted itself this week in Gallup with a 55-91 victory over Academy (4A). Hosts and 5A defending state champions, Gallup, finished 3rd with 121 points. Los Alamos placed four runners in the top 12, led by Kristen Hemphill’s 1st place finish in 19:03 on the 3.05 mile course at 6,500 feet. Challenged by Vanessa Ortiz of Cibola and Irena Ossola of St. Michael’s, Hemphill, who had led throughout the race, finally pulled away for good in the final ½ mile for a convincing 19 second win. Hemphill, a junior in just her second year of xc, has not lost a NM x-country race since this meet one year ago. She has since won nine meets sandwiched around a 12th place finish at last December’s FL West meet.

The five-time defending 4A state champions, Albuquerque Academy Chargers, have once again established themselves as the top boys team in the state with a strong win over Los Alamos 43-68, while the defending 5A state champions, Gallup High, finished a distant 3rd with 155 points. The Chargers, who struggled, by their high standards, early in the season at the Liberty Bell Invitational in Colorado, are improving each week and have been bolstered by the improvement of Cody Harper (9th overall), who had undergone jaw surgery late in the summer and was unable to train or eat solid foods for an extended period. Led by Andres Urbina’s win, Academy was impressive, finishing with only a 29 second pack time. Both Urbina (steeplechase) and Harper (1500 meters) competed for the U.S. this summer at the World Youth Championships in Toronto, Canada.

Only one trophy is awarded at the Curtis Williams Invitational to the school with the lowest combined score of both varsity races and each school’s best junior varsity score. Amazingly, for the second straight year, Academy and Los Alamos tied after the three scores were added together. Last year, Academy’s three #6 runners gave them a 2 point win in the tiebreaker over Los Alamos; however, this year Los Alamos was able to turn the tables and take the traveling trophy home.

DyeStat New Mexico


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John Dye

Baltimore MD