The State Champion Hilltopper Girls Cross Country team defeats Albuquerque Academy 53-30. Photo by Blake Wood
Sophomore Norissa Valdez, right, and freshman Sophie Chadwick lead the race from the start and finished 1-2 respectively, only a stride apart in the 4A Girls Championship race. Photo by Blake Wood
Junior Lidia Appell and freshman Emma Montoya were the 3rd and 4th ‘Topper finishers in 7th and 9th place overall, respectively. Photo by Blake Wood
By BLAKE WOOD
The Hilltopper Girls demonstrated today that they are, by far, the best cross country team in New Mexico, easily winning the State Championship in the 4A classification over runner-up Albuquerque Academy 53-30.
Sophomore Norissa Valdez narrowly edged out freshman teammate Sophie Chadwick to become Individual State Champion.
Both girls achieved a spectacular time of 18:47 on the hilly, difficult 5k course at Rio Rancho High School.
Also scoring for the ‘Toppers were junior Lidia Appell, freshman Emma Montoya and freshman Jasmine Hornberger. Juniors Mabel Pyle and Hannah Gartz rounded out the team.
The average time for the five ‘Topper scorers was 19:15, almost 33 seconds faster than the next fastest team, Cleveland in the 5A classification.