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ALBUQUERQUE — For the first time in school history, the Aztec High girls' track and field team has won a state championship.

The Lady Tigers captured the 4A title with a team score of 76 points to finish ahead of second-place Los Alamos and third-place Piedra Vista on Saturday.

"We just had a great group of girls and all of us worked hard together as a team," said Aztec's Sarah Root.

Root won two events for the Lady Tigers and the award for the top scoring individual in the meet.

"It's amazing that I could score that many points," said Root, who accounted for 23 of Aztec's 76 points.
Piedra Vista’s Zhianna Flores sets the state record in the girls’ 200-meter dash during the 4A state track and field championship on Saturday
Piedra Vista's Zhianna Flores sets the state record in the girls' 200-meter dash during the 4A state track and field championship on Saturday in Albuquerque. (Curtis Ray Benally/Special to The Daily Times)

The Aztec sophomore won the 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump titles and also finished in second place in the long jump event and fourth in the 300-meter hurdles.

Kayli Farmer joined Root with two individual titles for Aztec.

Farmer won the javelin title on Saturday along with her high jump title on Friday to help lead the Lady Tigers to the championship.

"It's fantastic. There aren't words to describe it," Farmer said. "We came just came together as a team."

Sierra Martinez and Morgan Smith each won an individual title for Aztec. Martinez won the long jump event ahead of Root on Friday, and Smith was the champion in the girls' pole vault.

"I'm just so proud of the girls. These ladies worked hard all year long and believed in each other," said Aztec girls head coach Anna Strauss. "Our assistant coaches did a tremendous job. It was a whole team effort. I'm just so excited."

Strauss credited the strong competition that the teams within San Juan County provide for helping push her squad to a championship level.

"Every final race had someone from San Juan County in it," she said. "Facing that builds our competitive nature."

Aztec's ability to have strong performances in all events was a reason Strauss highlighted for her team's success.

"It wasn't like, "Hey, I won.' It was, "How many points did I score for the team?' It was not about that one individual. It was about the team as a whole," she said.

Piedra Vista finished with a team score of 52 points to take home the third-place trophy.

"There are six trophies in 4A, and San Juan County is coming home with four of them," said PV head coach Mark Turner. The PV and Farmington High boys also won trophies for finishing first and second. "That says a lot about track and field in San Juan County."

Zhianna Flores and Katie Hegarty each won two state titles to help the Lady Panthers finish in the top three.

Flores set the state 4A record with a time of 25.11 seconds in the 200-meter dash and won the 300-meter hurdles.

Hegarty won shot put and discus on Friday.

Kirtland Central finished 11th, and Farmington High tied for 15th place.

In the 3A meet, the Bloomfield girls finished in eighth place.

Marissa Alcon won the pole vault and set a 3A state record in the process with a height of 10 feet, 3 inches for the Lady Bobcats.

Shiprock finished in 13th place.


Joshua Perry can be reached at jperry@daily-times.com; 505-564-4577. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.