The ’Topper 2020-21 State Championship teams Friday afternoon in Albuquerque. Photo by Blake Wood
2020-21 XC State Champions from left, Hannah Gartz, Hailey McDowell, Norissa Valdez, Emma Montoya and Mabel Pyle. Photo by Blake Wood
’Topper junior Norissa Valdez is the individual State Champion for the second year in a row. Photo by Blake Wood
The ‘Topper Girls also made the most of the delayed and abbreviated cross-country season Friday afternoon at the State Championship where they repeated as State Champions, scoring 23 points to runner-up Academy’s 35 points.
Due to COVID restrictions, there were only five runners, four of whom scored for each team, instead of the usual seven and five.
’Topper junior Norissa Valdez was individual State Champion for the second year in a row. Norissa took the lead early in the race, and was never challenged on her way to a winning time of 19:16 on the 3-mile course at Albuquerque Academy.
She was followed by teammates senior Hannah Gartz in 5th, sophomore Hailey McDowell in 8th, sophomore Emma Montoya in 14th and senior Mabel Pyle in 16th.