Seen taking in the Colorado State-Northern Arizona collegiate volleyball exhibition inside Bayfield High School Gymnasium later that night, Ignacio's Aliyana White had plenty of reason to smile.
Honoring the namesake of her school's Abel Velasquez Invitational on Saturday, April 7 about as well as possible, White registered 18 of the Bobcats' 40 team points with a first-place throw in the shot put (34'3") and a second-place discus throw (94'11.25"), helping IHS to a sixth-place finish overall.
Her heave in the former flew 3 feet, 8.5 inches farther than the 30'6.5" of Durango JV entrant Maya Johnson, and outdistanced the third-place 29'10" of Dove Creek's Cassie Gatlin by 4 feet, 5 inches. Pagosa Springs' Keena Murphy won the discus with a 113-foot, 9.5-inch best.
Montezuma-Cortez ran away with the meet's team title, amassing 117 points. Del Norte settled for second with 84 and Durango's JV took third out of nine squads competing with 74.
Sisters Charlize and Kiana Valdez each earned Ignacio eight points, with the former finishing behind only PSHS' Emma Heidelmeier in the 800-meter run with her 2-minute, 56.03-second timing, and the latter beaten faster to 4'4" in the high jump by M-CHS' Devon McHenry.
The two also teamed with Emily Cundiff and Vanessa Gonzales to place third in the 800 medley relay. Their time of 2:09.17 was not even two full seconds behind the Bayfield JV's winning 2:07.51.
Gonzales missed earning a team point by one place in the 100 meters, as she finished seventh in 14.28, and she also earned a top-10 by placing ninth in the 200 (30.20). Two-tenths of a tick quicker across the line, Kiana Valdez took eighth.
Up next, the 'Cats will travel to Bayfield on Saturday, April 14, for the Pine River Invitational beginning at 9 a.m., then hit Durango's Ron Keller Invite on Tuesday, April 17 for a 10 a.m. start.
2018 ABEL VELASQUEZ INVITATIONAL GIRLS' TEAM STANDINGS: 1.Montezuma-Cortez 117, 2.Del Norte High School 84, 3.Durango JV 74, 4.Pagosa Springs 71, 5.Dove Creek 45, 6.IGNACIO 40, 7.Dolores 30, 8.Bayfield JV 23, 9.Mancos 22.