Alamogordo Town News Sports Tiger Girls Track & Field Win 5A State Title & Title History

Congratulations to Alamogordo Track & Field Girls on winning the 5A State Championship!




Alamogordo Girls Interscholastic Track and Field Program began in 1972 under the leadership of Coach Marilyn Sepulveda. Under her leadership she brought home the first State Track and Field Titles for either the Boys or Girls Team in 1982 when there were only 4 divisions. She won the division AAAA State titled in 1982. Following upon the legacy she built of a sound program the team won a state title again in 1990. Leading the team that season was coach Joe Jaramillo
who had been an assistant to Coach Marilyn Sepulveda. The team won the victory in 1990 in honor of Coach Marilyn Sepulveda who died of cancer in 1989. Several of her athletes carried the banner in 1990 in her honor and eventually the prestigious Coach Marilyn Sepulveda Invitational State Qualifying Meet was created in her honor.

The Alamogordo Girls went on to win a state title again in 2017 under Coach Jason Atkinson. Coach Atkinson again proceeded to carry his team this unusually difficult post Covid-19 year to a second title under his leadership winning the girls state title today for 2021. Great job Coach Atkinson!!!

The Western Sky Community Care Class 5A Girls State Track & Field Championships awarded Alamogordo Tiger Girls with the first place title with a score of 79.50, second place went to La Cueva with 53 points and the third place trophy went to Sandia with 51 points. 

The High Point athlete for the day was Adriana Tatum, Sandia with 19 points.

The Tiger Girls Individual Awards went to…

 – 1st (Vanesa Najar, Gabi Sandoval, Janae Shaklee, Ellary Battle – 10:05.51) – State Record800 – Ellary Battle 1st (2:20.69)

Sprint Medley – 2nd (Rebecca Adams, Sydney Thomas, Gabi Sandoval, Michaela Neilson)

4×100 – 2nd (Yvonne Stinson, Justyse Martin, Gracie Walker, Kaelan Duchene – 47.99)

100 – Justyse Martin 2nd (12.05), Yvonne Stinson 3rd (12.15)

200 – Yvonne Stinson 2nd (25.59), Justyse Martin 3rd (25.63)

Discus – Macy Marquez 3rd (117-02)

300 Hurdles – Kaelan Duchene 3rd (46.58)

4×200 – 3rd (Gracie Walker, Kaelan Duchene, Rebecca Adams, Sydney Thomas – 1:48.94)

High Jump – Yvonne Stinson T-3rd (4-10)

4×400 – 4th (Gabi Sandoval, Justyse Martin, Michaela Neilson, Yvonne Stinson)

Pole Vault – Eva Gerou 5th (9-00)

Javelin – Sierra Lessentine 5th (105-03)- Ellary Battle 5th (5:35.42), Janae Shaklee 6th (5:37.53)

Triple Jump – Alyssa Esquero 6th (33-07.75)

Awesome job!!!!

On the boys side:]

Alamogordo High School began an organized sports program in 1912 for Caucasian boys offering PE, Track & Field and Basketball and Football.  In 1913, the authorities of the University of New Mexico believing that one of the great needs of the High Schools of the state was an opportunity to meet, at least once a year in athletic and other contests, organized the University of New Mexico Track Athletic Association. A track meet was held in the spring of that year at Albuquerque, and two high schools, Santa Fe and Albuquerque contested for the banner.

Although the beginning was small, a great deal of interest from across the state was aroused.

Alamogordo High School won its first state medals in 1916/17 School Year and they were in Track and Field via the High Jump and the Triple Jump.

Alamogordo High School boys won the first State Title under Coach Rolla Buck the year that Alamogordo integrated with High School with African American and Hispanic Athletes in 1951.

The results of the State Competition winners include…

  • Bobby Lee, 1st Place, 100 Yard Dash, 9.8
    • Bobby Lee, 1st Place,220 Yard Dash, 21.21.6
    • Bobby Lee, 1st Place, Long Jump, 21’-01.375
    • Norman Kinder, 1st Place, Pole Vault, 10’-10.50”
    • Benny Garcia, 1st Place. Javelin, 193’-01.325

The Alamogordo Tigers Track and Field Team of 1951/52 smashed the competition at the state finals of that year.

They took and won the state competition with 48.5 points. Albuquerque High, the 1951 State Champion scored 21.5 points less for a 2nd place finish of 27 points.

  • Lee in addition to setting 2 state records personally scored 24 ¾ points. He broke the state records in the 100-yard dash by .2 seconds and the 220 by .8 seconds better than the record.
    • Lee was also 3rd Place in Shot Put
  • Benny Garcia shattered the state record in Javelin 11’ 3 ⅛” of 5 state records; the Tigers broke 3 of them.
  • Norman Kinder Placed 1st in Pole Vault with 10’-10.50”
  • Ed McAlpine, 2nd Place. in the state competition in Javelin behind Garcia.
  • Bobby Fritz, 3rd Place, Broad Jump
  • In the sprints in addition to the 1st Place wins of Bobby Lee, Oliver Lee, 4th Place 180 Low Hurdles.
  • The 880 Yard Relay Team consisting of Henderson, Fritz, O Lee and Bobby Lee placed with a 3rd place medal.
  • Benny Garcia shattered the state record in Javelin 11’ 3 ⅛” of 5 state records; the Tigers broke 3 of them.
  • Norman Kinder, 1st Place, Pole Vault, 10’-10.50”

Benny Garcia went on to join the 1956 Olympics…

Alamogordo continued a winning tradition of building a strong track and field team and under Coach Bob Sepulveda the Boys won state titles in 1985, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and under Coach Joe Bryant in 2007.

The Alamogordo Boys did a fine showing this difficult 2021 year continuing the tradition of bringing home individual medals to Alamogordo from the State.

 The Alamogordo Boys finished 7th overall this post Covid  5A Track and Field Championships

Individual Scorers Boys

4×400 – 2nd (Ezequiel Barraza, Harlon Gilbert, Omar Enriquez, Gabe Kotter – 3:25.68)

Discus – Kaden LoCoco 3rd (144-08)400 – Harlon Gilbert 3rd (49.63)

200 – Harlon Gilbert 5th (22.76)

Long Jump – Harlon Gilbert 5th (21-04)

4×800 – 5th (Aiden Kepfer, Celso Garcia, Isaiah Dalmas, Omar Enriquez – 8:37.97)

Congratulations to these young men for their commitment and determination to carry on a tradition of Tiger success.

Congratulations to ALL of the athletes that competed this most difficult season, you are each winners and demonstrate the best of New Mexico pride!

To learn more of the history of Alamogordo Track and Field check out Coach Robert Sepulveda The Early Days Book 1 – part of a 3 part book series on Alamogordo Athletics and its history from 1912 to 1976 is Available at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico or on Amazon and available in 36 countries. Book 2 the Alamogordo Track and Field History and all district and state title holders named from 1976 to 1996 will be available soon!

Some video highlights of the Alamogordo Track and Field 2021 Season and heading to the state meet!<!– EMBEDDED YOUTU.BE URL: https://youtu.be/MeOik5IuLkA –>



Alamogordo, New Mexico Sports History, Alamogordo History: Look Back Girls Track & Field Success 1977 District Win & Remembering Coach Lawrence E. Johnson

The year as 1977 and the Alamogordo Girls Track and Field Team continued to show the state they were a team to take serious as they captured the 3AAAA district crown as the top team in the district. The Tigers earned 134 points placing 1st with Mayfield at 122 points in 2nd place and Las Cruces in 3rd
place with 104 points. 

Ruthie Fatheree collected a total of 33 points to pace Alamogordo’s effort for a victory.

District Medalist included:

  • Ruthie Fatheree, 1st Place, 50 Yard Dash, 6.0
    • 1st
      Place, 220 Yard Dash, 26.9
    • 2nd
      Place, Long Jump, 17’ 3”
  • Vicki Lee, Susan Lee, Debbie Salcido, Fatheree, 1st Place, 440, 50.4
  • Susan Lee, Fatheree, Salcido and Donna Scroggins, 1st Place, 880, 1:48.3
  • Vicki Lee, 1st Place, 100 Yard Dash, 11.3
  • Carmen Smith, 1st Place, Shot Put
  • Ruth Turning, 2nd Place, High Jump, 4’ 10”
  • Vicki Lee, Susan Lee, Cathy Frederick, Karen Guerrero, 2nd Place, Mile Relay, 4:14.9
  • Debbie Salcido, 3rd Place, Soft Ball Throw, 183’ 3”
  • Kim Campbell, 3rd Place, 110 Low Hurdles, 15.8
    • 4th
      Place, High Jump 4’ 8”
    • 5th
      Place, 80 Yard Hurdles, 11.9 (state qualified time)
  • Cathy Frederick, 3rd Place, 440 Yard Dash, 63.0
  • Toni Irvine, 3rd Place, Shot Put 34’ 8”
  • Salcido, Scroggins, Cheryl Greer and Guerrero, 3rd Place, Medley Relay, 1:59.6
  • Susan Lee, 4th Place 100 Yard Dash, 11.8 (state qualified)
  • Karen Guerrero, 4th Place, 440 Yard Dash, 63.4
  • Delinder Compton, 4th Place, 440 Yard Dash, 65.4
  • Angela Holloway, 4th Place, Shot Put, 34’ 5”
  • Janet Haug, 6th Place, 440 Yard Dash 65.9
  • Lisa Busick, 6th Place, Mile Run, 6:14.0

Coming off the district meet 10 girls qualified for state in 11 events. Ruthie Fatheree led the team in 5 events at the state meet. Susan Lee and Vicki Lee also feel the team pressure as both are competing in 7 events.

Albuquerque Manzano wins top team honors in girls AAAA Track & Field for the 1977 season. Alamogordo  Girls placed 6th at the state meet. 

Medalist at the state meet included:

  • Vicki Lee, Susan Lee, Debbie Salcido, Fatheree, 2nd, Place 440 Relay, 50.30
  • Vicki Lee, 5th Place, 100 Yard Dash, 11.38
  • Ruthie Fatheree, 6th Place, 50 Yard Dash, 6.26
    • 4th
      Place, 220, 26.45
  • Carmen Smith, 2nd Place, Shot Put, 40.3
  • Susan Lee, Fatheree, Salcido and Donna Scroggins, 3rd Place, 880 Relay, 1:47.5
  • Kim Campbell, 4th Place, Long Jump, 16’ 2 ¼

The 1977 Athletics season seemed to be coalescing with the coaches working more closely together under a new football coach now in full force that being coach Gary Hveem. At Alamogordo High School in 1977 both the girl and boy student athletes began working closer together. 

Cross Country, Track & Field, Golf and Tennis had boys and girls training together and sharing coaching staffs. Girls Track under the leadership of Head Coach Marilyn Sepulveda was assisted by Kay Morgan and Joe Bryant and beginning to garner attention from around the state. In the years to come many great things would be seen based on this solid foundation of excellence.

Most athletic programs were growing at Alamogordo High in 1977, but the result of Title IX and expanded girls athletics, the decision was made to cut the wrestling program to ensure all other programs were funded appropriately and all students had the opportunity to compete.

The 1977 school year also saw the return of Lawrence Johnson from a former star athlete and student to a teacher and coach who assisted the boys and girls track programs. As outlined in book one in the series he had an amazing career at Alamogordo, became a guidance counselor who assisted hundreds of students and ultimately became the Athletic Director in future years.

Lawrence Johnson was born July 15, 1949 in Dallas, Texas, to Rubin Lee and Susie Mae Johnson. His nickname was Slick and was famous with his student athletes for his sunglasses. He graduated from Alamogordo High School in 1969. He was an athlete under Coach Sepulveda and others. He was a district track and field champion in broad jump.

He went to college at Western New Mexico University in Silver City where he earned his bachelor’s in 1972 and master’s degree in 1975.

“I graduated from high school here in Alamogordo in 1968 and went off to college, I came back in 1972 and I got a job,” Johnson said in a 2014 Daily News article about his retirement. “I started teaching physical education and social studies at the middle school and I just continued from there. I really enjoyed teaching the kids, I also enjoyed coaching. I started the learning process at that time and I really enjoyed myself.”

He served 42 years at Alamogordo as a coach, teacher, guidance counselor and athletic director.

In 1982, Johnson began working at Alamogordo High School as a track and boys basketball coach, which he did for five years after prior experience as the JV Basketball Coach and Coach at the Middle High. He aided Coach Sepulveda from the beginning of his tenure with the Alamogordo school systems and throughout his career.

He also served as a guidance counselor for six years. Johnson became the assistant athletic director at AHS in 1993, the following year he became the athletic director. Johnson served as athletic director at AHS for 21 years, the longest tenured Athletic director in the school’s history.

He served on the New Mexico High School Coaches Association Board of Directors. In addition, Johnson was a member of the New Mexico Athletic Directors Association, (NMADA) board for 20 years. From 1998 to 1999, New Mexico Athletic Directors Association (NMADA) board for 20 years. From 1998 to 1999, he was president of NMADA.

In 2017, Johnson was honored with the Distinguished Service award from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA). He was one of 11 educators nationwide to receive the award.

In 1972, Johnson began working at Alamogordo High School as a track and boys basketball coach, which he did for five years after prior experience as the JV Basketball Coach and Coach at the Middle High. He aided Coach Sepulveda from the beginning of his tenure with the Alamogordo school systems.

Alamogordo School Board members unanimously approved the renaming of the Tiger Pit sports complex at Alamogordo High School to honor Lawrence E. Johnson for his many years of contribution to the community and the thousands of students and athletes he positively affected as a mentor and role model. His legacy continues in that facility today…

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/30819/alamogordo-sports-history-look-back-girls-track-field-success-1977-district

Excerpted from Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days a joint collaboration of Author Chris Edwards and Artist Rene Sepulveda, available at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and on Amazon in 36 countries. Soon to be released, Coach Bob Sepulveda The Golden Years 1977 to 1995 soon to be released on Amazon and fine independent bookstores everywhere.