The Taos News - Taos County All-Stars 2018-2019

TOP 25 Taos County Sports Moments



Fifteen Questa track athletes travel to Class A-3A state track meet.

Six boys and nine girls competed at the Class 2A state track meet in 2019. The boys’ relay team of Dominic Torres and Gabriel Hernandez running the 200-meter legs, Miguel Romero with the 400 and Derek Vialpando with the 800 leg won a sixth-place medal in the sprint medley relay.


The Taos Tiger boys and girls win third in their large swimming district for the first time in recent memory. In swimming, there is only one class, and District 2 has seven teams from across the state, including swimming powerhouse Los Alamos. With a season of continuall­y improving times, the Taos Tigers managed to deliver top performanc­es, winning themselves third place plaques for both the boys and the girls and sending nine swimmers and an alternate to state.


Josh Fambro signs with University of Redlands, ranked number 8 in the nation, to play golf and study environmen­tal science.

Fambro won second-place medal at the Class 4A state golf tournament this year in Farmington, just behind his long-time golf buddy and good friend Aidan Thomas of St. Pius.


Taos Tigers senior Enrique Archuleta is named AllTourney player at the Roswell baseball tournament.

Archuleta is a playmaker. From grand-slams to inning-ending catches, from shutouts as a pitcher to big RBIs just when they’re needed, Archuleta can do it all.


The 1994 Class 2A state champion basketball team from Questa is honored at The Pit.

The 1994 Questa Wildcats reunited on the court to celebrate their award-winning season and to remember the spirit of comaraderi­e that led them to victory. “We were close-knit, like a family,” said Tony Vigil, the point guard of the 1994 team. After victories over Santa Fe Indian School and Crownpoint, the Wildcats faced Hot Springs for the state title decider. Tyrone Jenkins and Jae Montoya both contribute­d 24 points in the chapionshi­p game, which Questa won 75-67.


Faith Powell and Jonah Vigil of Taos High School are named Class 4A High Point Athletes at the state track meet.

Both seniors will graduate knowing that of all the Class 4A athletes competing at the state track meet, there was no one who excelled more in a greater number of events than these two. Vigil finished the meet with his 26th medal and Powell took home her 20th.


Taos Tiger basketball team sweeps the first-place tournament trophy, Outstandin­g Player award for Derreck Chacon and the AllTourney award for Quinn Moon at the Taos Tiger Invite.

The Tigers played a heated final against Goddard High School, one in which big gestures and finger-pointing could have devolved into swings. Fortunatel­y, both teams kept their composure and played to a 58-34 final score, winning the Tigers both the game and the tournament trophy.

# 18

With Bloomfield on thirdand-goal, Simon Torrez manages to get a hand between a pass by Bloomfield quarterbac­k Rogelio and a potentiall­y game-tying reception.

Returning to Anaya field after a timeout with around a minute and a half left in the game, the Bobcats had the ball on the Tiger 5-yard line on third-and-goal. Even under pressure, Gonzales got a pass off to his man in the end zone, but thanks largely to the tight coverage by Simon Torrez, the pass was incomplete.


Taos Lady Tiger softball player Angelina Garcia hits a bunt that becomes an infield home run.

In their final double-header of the season against Española Valley, the Lady Tigers won the first game 17-4. Part of that win was a bunt by Garcia. While not technicall­y a home run, errors from the Sundevils allowed Garcia to get all the way home.


The Taos Tigers 7-0 suffer a defeat at the hands of St. Pius in Albuquerqu­e—and get a chance to set themselves firmly on the path to the state championsh­ip.

All eyes were on the Tigers in Milne Stadium in Albuquerqu­e. The Taos football team had taken the scene by surprise, opening the season undefeated and with a No. 1 ranking. Then, against St. Pius, they saw what happens if they lose focus for even a moment. Most of the Sartans’ points in the 27-0 shutout were the result of Tiger errors. Though it stung at the time, the loss ultimately served to steel the Tigers for the rest of the season and to take the field like the game depends on every play.


Jonah Vigil named Male High School Athlete of the Year by New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame.

Jonah Vigil is the first Taos athlete to be chosen for this honor.


Just when the Portales sideline began to chatter about how the Tigers didn’t pass the football, Justin Good connected with Aidan LeBlanc in the end zone, securing their place in the championsh­ip.

The opening play of the game was a 67-yard touchdown kickoff return by Jonathan Garcia. The wind grounded the ball from both sides, which disproport­ionately affected the Rams. Portales didn’t back down. The Tigers had a narrow 21-14 lead at the half. The opening drive of the second half, the Rams brought the ball all the way to the 1-yard line, but then fumbled. In the fourth quarter, Good connected with a wideopen LeBlanc in the end zone, giving the Tigers a 28-14 lead and the momentum for the 35-14 win.


Peñasco Lady Panthers refuse to give up in state championsh­ip basketball tournament.

Pecos, now Class 2A under the redistrict­ing, had been hovering on the edge of the awareness of Peñasco basketball fans all season. In the semifinal round of the state tournament, the two teams met for the second time this season. From the opening whistle, the day belonged to Pecos. Neverthele­ss, the Lady Panthers refused to back down. By the second quarter they trailed 30-9. Rather than fold, they rallied, led by Carly Gonzales, and scored 11 unanswered points, briefly drawing the gap to only 10 points. They outscored and outplayed Pecos in the third quarter, but the surge wasn’t sustainabl­e. Though they lost the game, 62-44, the Lady Panthers demonstrat­ed real heart, which lies at the center of every champion.


Noah Armijo’s quick hands and perfect placement give the Tigers the lead in the state championsh­ip game.

The score was tied at 7 all in the third quarter. Punting from deep in their own territory and under pressure from Tiger Aidan LeBlanc, the Bloomfield punter fumbled. Armijo recovered the ball in the end zone, giving Taos the lead (14-7, with the extra point) that they would maintain for the rest of the game, winning the championsh­ip.


Tiger basketball team upsets the heavily-favored Española Valley Sundevils at home to win a spot in the state tournament.

The Tigers started the game on a hot streak, making over 80 of their first 16 shots from the field. The game remained close, with the Sundevils threatenin­g to pull away. It was only taking care of business at the free throw line at the end of the game that secured the win for Taos. What pulled the Tigers throw were fans; even though the game took place in Española, every possession was dominated by the sound of the Taos faithful.

# 10

Alyx Mastor inspires with her sprint to the finish in the 3200 meters.

There’s no race after which more athletes lose their lunches than the 3200-meter run. It’s grueling. One can often hear sprinters remark “I can’t even run eight laps, much less sprint eight laps, which is pretty much what they’re doing.” Indeed, the athletes are running quite fast, with 400-meter splits better than what many short-distance sprinters can do, but in her finish, Mastor proved that they aren’t really sprinting – not until the end. After going out with the leader’s pack, Mastor ran much of the race in the seventh position, right on the heels of Los Alamos’s Sophie Chadwick. Onlookers might have hoped she had enough in the tank to finish sixth and win a medal. Instead, in the final 150 meters of the race, she stunned everyone by passing not only Chadwick but also two other runners who’d been 20 meters ahead of them for most of the race. Mastor’s crossed the finish line in fourth.

# 9

Taos Tiger baseball team ends the season with a play for the ages. It was the bottom of the sixth-inning of the second game of a double-header at home with the Española Valley Sundevils, and the Tigers, with a 11-2 lead, were one run away ending the game by the 10-run rule. Taos had a runner on third in scoring position. Taos Coach Miguel Quintana substitute­d in a designated runner, senior and player manager Israel “Izzy” Barrett-Vasquez. Barrett-Vasquez spotted a wild pitch and took off for home plate to cheers from both sides, scoring the game-winning run.

# 8

Estevan Valerio defeats Cody Gardner of Valencia by fall in 3:24 for the 182-pound state wrestling title.

For those who spent time watching Valerio wrestle, it wasn’t a surprise to see him seal his undefeated 28-0 season with yet another win by fall. Valerio’s family looked on in matching Superman T-shirts — that also matched Estevan’s socks.


Tigers execute a perfect play to get on the scoreboard with an 83-yard opening play at the Class 4A football state championsh­ip against Bloomfield.

The Tigers won the coin toss, which gave them the chance to deliver a spectacula­r piece of football theater. Anthony Maestas received the kickoff, and stealthily handed the ball off to Justin Good while pretending to run with it. Good snuck the ball to Jonathan Garcia, who returned the ball to the end zone for the touchdown.


Faith Powell sets girls’ Taos High School high jump record of 5 feet 8 inches.

“A coach at a college told her that she needed to be jumping five eight,” said an observer at the Taos Tiger Relays April 27. And Powell did just that, proving not only her physical prowess, but also her resilience after a tough 2017-2018 track season. On her first attempt at the height, Powell made her mark in a graceful, almost casual, arc.


Abigail Gunther sets hardto-beat 12-foot Taos High School pole vault record.

Not only has Gunther set the record for girls pole vault at Taos High School, she’s set the record, period. At the Taos Tiger Relays April 27, Gunther decided to go for it. Watched by the boys of Clayton, most of whom had finished their pole vaulting around 8 feet, Gunther prepared for her third attempt at 12 feet. “Do you think she’ll make it?” A Clayton vaulter asked. “Yep,” was the answer. And she did.

# 4

Jonah Vigil breaks the Class 4A state record in the 100 meters.

For most of his track career, Vigil reports starting a split second behind everyone else coming out of the starting blocks. They consistent­ly managed to get out faster, and he then chased them down for the win. After a year of training his reaction time, Vigil had a new experience at the state championsh­ip race. The gun went off and Vigil sprang from the starting blocks. He started the race and ended the race in front – and getting out that half a second faster won him the new state record of 10.51 seconds.


Quinn Moon leads the Taos Tigers basketball team to a win over Valencia in the final seconds of the first round of the state tournament playoffs. After finding themselves in a hole at halftime, the Tigers mustered a dramatic fourth quarter comeback. Derreck Chacon sunk a 3-pointer in the final 19 seconds of the game, for a final score of 53-50.


The Taos Tigers Boys 4 x 400relay team sets a new state record.

Together, the four 400-meter legs of the relay make 1600 meters, an event commonly referred to as ‘the mile.’ (In fact, 1600 meters is 9.3 meters shorter than a mile. John Esquibel and Adrian Rodriquez helped the team qualify on May 17; on May 18 the team knew this was their best shot at the record. They ran Abdul Khweis, Missael Hermosillo, Jonathan Garcia and Jonah Vigil. It was an excellent race from all and a stunning performanc­e from Vigil, who took the stick about 10 meters behind Lucas Jesup of Albuquerqu­e Academy and finished at least 10 meters ahead of him and ran an (unofficial) 46.5 second split – a personal best.

 ?? Sheila Miller/The Taos News ??
Sheila Miller/The Taos News
 ?? Morgan Timms/The Taos News ??
Morgan Timms/The Taos News
 ?? Morgan Timms/The Taos News ??
Morgan Timms/The Taos News
 ?? Sheila Miller/The Taos News ??
Sheila Miller/The Taos News
 ?? Sheila Miller/ The Taos News ??
Sheila Miller/ The Taos News

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