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Albuquerque City Championships Preview

10/14/06 Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, NM

by Salomon Gonzales, SW Region Editor

Cross country coaches love stats. Adam Kedge is obsessed with them. The boys head coach of Albuquerque Academy can extemporaneously deliver the history of his school’s cross country program at the drop of the hat. He has diligently gathered and saved all of the performances on the Academy course since he as become a coach there. Over the years the course hasn’t changed much, except for minor erosion and a few gopher holes. If a New Mexico runner wants to compare him or herself to the best that the state has ever had to offer they only need to race on the Academy cross country course. This Saturday the best public and private schools and Albuquerque will gather on the “East Side” to test themselves against each other and history.

Boys Team
Many people in the ABQ argue that the SW#1 Albuquerque Academy boys usually win the city meet because they have a home course advantage. Well here is a quick trivia question: when is the last time a Albuquerque school has defeated the Chargers anywhere in New Mexico? Answer 8 years. Now make no mistake, New Mexico is loaded with solid teams and many of them reside in the “Duke City” but the race on Saturday will be for the 2nd place trophy. Recent results point to La Cueva. Pay no attention to that aberration you thought you saw at Highland. La Cueva ran a “FUNKY” group in the varsity to shake things up. Sandia has been licking their wounds as of late but everyone in the 505 knows that this team is the real deal. Cibola and Eldorado have excellent front runners but lack the depth to compete with the top 3.

Boys Individual
His parents named him Matthew, his friends call him Matt but the New Mexico running community knows him simply as TEBO. There is a reason he has gained the single name status that is normally reserved for supermodels and Brazilian soccer players. That reason is: Matt Tebo has attained running immortality. In New Mexico great runners are like great heavyweights; you may only see one in a generation. TEBO has raced his name up with the other great New Mexico Boys of the past like: Gerry Garcia, Tony Sandoval, Matt Twist and Brandon Leslie. On the Academy Course no one is his equal. He owns 3 of the top 4 times ever run on the Academy campus. So if you know someone who takes bets on high school cross country races; bet the farm on TEBO this weekend. Now the action for 2nd place will be a little more interesting. Look for a strong pack of runners to be heading toward the campus about 15 minutes after the gun sounds. That pack should be lead by Academy’s Ben Johnson and Dustin Martin. But don’t blink because here comes: Anthony Roybal and Drew Rasmussen of Cibola, Kevin Burnett (St. Pius X), Zachary Doran (Highland), Matt Everett (LaCueva), Cory Kalm (Sandia) and Bryce Palmer (Eldorado).

Girls Team
The undefeated Golden Eagles of Eldorado know about history. They were on their way to the Nike Team Nationals when they had their one bad race of the season at state. So have they found the remedy? So far it seems like they have. They are a deeper and more confident group than the one that slipped up at state a year ago. They are also a “shoe-in” to win this weekend. As with the boys the battle will be for 2nd. Or will there be a battle. The Academy girls should be a full strength. When they are only Eldorado can beat them in New Mexico. Look for Sandia and La Cueva to challenge as well.

Girls Individual
Eldorado has a troika of #1 runners. Over the last three weeks they have taken turns winning invitationals. Julie Brasher is probably the most consistent, Allison Bedoine won last week at Eldorado and Rachel Velarde won on the Academy course 3 weeks ago. The top 3 from Eldorado could face a challenge from Academy 8th grader Julia Foster. It just depends which Julia shows up on Saturday. If the Julia that was 2nd at UNM with 1200 to go shows up then look out. If the Julia that has pulled “herself” from the starting line shows up then the girls from Eldorado have nothing to worry about. Also look for: Lyndsay Harper (Academy), Elba Holguin (Valley) and Callie Osborn (Sandia) if she runs.

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