Prep Athletes are State Champions – Again and for the First Time!
It was quite a year for high school athletics in New Mexico, and Santa Fe Prep’s Blue Griffins have more than a few new pieces of hardware to show for their efforts on the court, on the course, and on the track.
After successfully completing compressed fall and winter sports seasons, Prep athletes did the school proud with their displays of athleticism and sportsmanship in soccer, swimming and diving, lacrosse, and basketball. Not only are our Blue Griffin swimmers and divers the 2021 reigning state champions in the pool in both the boys and girls programs, we have more good news to report as well! With the completion of the spring sports season, Prep has even more state champions’ names to add to the history books.
Isabel Voinescu ’22 won the 1A-4A singles tennis title, making her the first Prep athlete to have secured the honor, and cementing her place as the first girl in Santa Fe to hold the title in 46 years; and golfer Karen Tian ’23 became the first Prep athlete in her sport to be ranked as state champion as well, after winning the 1A-3A State Golf Tournament at Los Altos.
And we couldn’t offer a better recap of the Track & Field State Tournament than Associate Athletic Director Dave Caldwell’s play-by-play, so we’ll let him run it down for you in his own words:
This was the first time most of our athletes had competed in a state championship or in any sport for that matter. It was an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives.
On the girls’ side, we were small in numbers but mighty in spirit (and performance). Isabel Voinescu ’22 got the team going with a gold-medal leap in the Long Jump (16-11.75). She was joined on the podium by Emery Kurth ’24 who placed 6th with 15-5, a personal record (PR). Dahlia Reyes Newell ’25 PR’d in the Long Jump with 14-9.5. Lauren McHorse ’23 went big-time in the Javelin, winning the event with a 10-foot PR of 99-11! Since school ended, Lauren has been training twice a day: lifting weights, sprinting, and throwing. Hard work pays off.
On to the track! Aforementioned Isabel Voinescu is now the fastest girl in 3A New Mexico by virtue of her victory in the 100m dash (12.94 SB). Dahlia Reyes Newell clocked 14.03 in the 100m dash. The 4x800m relay team of Fionnuala Moore ’23, Bella Caldwell ’24, Nya Griego ’25, and Helen Desmond ’25 scorched the track with a time of 11.20.52—good for 3rd Place—shattering their old school record (12.10.29) in the process. Nya Griego took two seconds off her previous best in the 1600m run by clocking 6:25.11. In the 300 Hurdles, Emery Kurth ’24 took another trip to the podium after finishing 5th in a PR at 52.29. Helen Desmond came back from the 4x800m relay to run the open 800m in 2:54.72.
The final event of the day (4x400m relay) is known by Prep as the “Warrior Race.” Dressed in the traditional all-white state uniforms, Dahlia Reyes Newell, Emery Kurth, Bella Caldwell, and Helen Desmond fought off six teams to capture a podium spot (4:41.12 SB). Isabel Voinescu was awarded the Meet’s High Point Athlete for her two victories and two Top-3 finishes. Ladies, thank you for bringing Prep “Back in Blue.” The future is bright for our girls. We return the entire team for 2022.
For the boys, our jumpers were on point, scoring in the Triple Jump and High Jump. Eli Amarel ’21 picked up points in the Triple Jump (41-2) for 3rd Place, and Sebbie Schriber ’21 scored (5th Place – 39-2.75 PR) in the Triple and High Jump (5th Place – 5-8). Finn Coles ’22 won the High Jump with 6-3, and Harry Browning ’22 was 6th (5-8).
We exceeded our seeding expectations (8th) in the Boys 4x100m relay with a 4th Place finish (SB 46.19). GB Davis led off, passed the gold baton to John Allison ’21, to Eli Amarel, and Asher Nathan ’23 anchored. Eli and John were rock-solid in the sprint relays (4x100m, 4x200m and Sprint Medley) with fast starts and near-flawless handoffs.
Eli, John, Liam Zone ’21 and Krish Bhakta ’21 earned Bronze Medals for their 3rd Place finish in the Sprint Medley Relay (SMR) with a 4:01.35.
Ian Olson ’23, Josh Abeyta ’22, Gabe Cordova ’23, and Lewis Sisler ’21 set a State Record and new School Record (8:45.11) winning the 4x800m relay by almost 30 seconds. Was it the race of the day? Yes!
In a closely contested 200m dash, GB Davis closed fast to finish 2nd in 23.27 (PR) and Asher Nathan finished 5th with 23.56. It was a photo finish – four tenths of a second separated the top five sprinters.
The grand finale—the Boys 4x400m relay—started fast with Asher Nathan running a red-hot 51.00 split. Gabe Cordova, Harry Browning, and Josh Abeyta followed in order, bringing the gold baton across first in 3:35.97 SB! Was it the race of the day? Yes. It was wonderful to see the quartet atop the podium, medallions dangling from the necks, and smiling as parents waved and fans cheered.
Josh Abeyta added a Bronze medal to his gold medal collection, finishing 3rd in the 800m run (2:05.13).
Gabe Cordova was solid gold all day. Running two gold medal legs in the 4x800m and 4x400m relays.
Lysander Christo ’24 2PR’d in the 300m Hurdles with a time of 48.44.
Overall, the boys team placed third and received the giant green State Championship trophy. Each boy received a team medallion. Walking back to camp they were cheering, laughing, medals clinking with each step—sounds of joy.
Congratulations to all of our Tennis, Golf, and Track & Field athletes!