Around The Southwest Region: October 12 - 18

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Rio Rancho Jamboree

As always happens at the Jamboree (which is the pre-state meet for the state of New Mexico), the Championship race hosts a very large field. As a result, team scores tend to get inflated a little. Teams with weaknesses at the 4 and 5 positions see team totals go straight out the roof.

With Albuquerque Academy and Los Alamos sitting this one out, Rio Rancho took the win in the girls race followed, in order, by Eldorado, Sue Cleveland, and Volcano Vista. There's really not much surprising there. That's more or less what it was looking like going in. If you pencil in AA as the top girls team in New Mexico, then you probably have a pretty reliable top five to take into State, where things might change a little.

On the boys side, and again without Albuquerque Academy and Los Alamos (though the AA boys are not quite the same force on the NM scene this year that the girls are), the order of finish went Cleveland, Volcano Vista, Kirtland Central, and La Cueva. That result embeds a mild surprise or two. It also helps peg a place in the order for Kirtland Central, a team that finished 11th at Desert Twilight. 

Hobbs, last year's state champion, was well out of the running for top honors in ninth. 

The Las Cruces schools that made the championship race did not fare well, leaving us to conclude that almost all the power in New Mexico area this year resides in the Albuquerque area (though see the note above about the Kirtland Central boys, a Farmington-area school). 

Also, keep in mind that Los Alamos is a team that tends to save its best performances for State. More than once in the last decade, they've been written off as a legitimate state title contender and then gone on to win a state title. So, be careful about dismissing the chances for this team too soon. There is a method to the Hipwoods' madness.