Fall Sports Summary

Cross-Country Dominates, Teams Soar in State Competition
Posted on 11/11/2017
Boys state cross country startCross-Country:

In an astounding performance at state cross country championships in early November, the Cleveland Storm left the rest of the big schools in the dust – literally.

In the meet held on the torturous Rio Rancho High cross-country course, the Storm swept all four Class 6A titles – the individual and team titles for both boys and girls. The boys team simply wiped out the rest of the field, placing five runners in the top 15. In a sport where lowest score wins, the Storm had less than half the number of points – 35 – than the runners-up, the Volcano Vista Hawks (73).

CHS Yonas Haile & David ApodacaThe race also featured a huge upset, as Cleveland High’s Yonas Haile swept past pre-race consensus pick Jericho Cleveland of Volcano Vista to a 25-second victory. Storm teammates David Apodaca (3rd), Jalen Toya (9th), Lucas Futey (10th), Edson Lobato (13th), Caleb Garcia (20th), and Jonathan Fragua (50th) rounded out the Cleveland squad.

Amanda Mayoral As expected, Oklahoma State-bound sensation Amanda Mayoral cruised to her third individual state title. The Storm star finished 41 seconds ahead of her nearest rival and also had the fastest time of the meet, at 18:23:65. She maintained her usual laser focus throughout the race right up to the last few feet to the finish line – when she cracked a smile.

CHS girls cross country learning they wonThe Storm girls team win was a bigger surprise, as defending champion 
Rio Rancho High also made a strong showing. The Rams’ Reina Parades and Andi Almodovar finished fourth and fifth, with Ram runners Cecilia Quesada and Sierra Delaware also cracking the top 16. 
 But Cleveland prevailed over Rio Rancho by just five points, in part on the strength of runners further down in the order who were able to pick up positions in kicking for the finish line. Britany Lovato (6th), Savanah Vasquez (9th), Maya Cravens-Gras (16th) and Faith Lovato (20th) all were in the top 20, with Aliana Toya and Samantha Tuttle rounding out the state championship team.


Girls state soccer Cleveland v LaCuevaThe Storm girls soccer team, for the first time, broke through to the top levels of competition, reaching their first state title game as the #2 seed. Facing them on the other side of the bracket were the #1 seed -- 15-time state champion -- La Cueva Bears. But if Cleveland was in the least bit intimidated, they didn’t show it, playing the Bears to a scoreless tie in regulation. The game finally ended on a single Bears goal in the first overtime, and Cleveland had to settle for second. The Storm team, which was described by their coach Greg Rusk as “playing with joy” throughout the year, remained joyous in defeat. They were smiling as they accepted the runner-up trophy. And why not? 
 They’d made it farther in the state playoffs than any team in Cleveland High’s history and had a lot to be proud of. 
Boys soccer state RRHS vs CHS
The Rio Rancho Rams girls made it to the first round of the playoffs.

Both high schools’ boys soccer teams have a lot to be proud of as well, reaching the state quarterfinals as the #4 and #5 seeds. As always when the Storm (#4) and Rams (#5) face off, it’s anybody’s game, and this one didn’t disappoint anybody but the Storm, who came out on the losing end. Then, in the semifinals, the Rams took the #1 seeded Albuquerque High Bulldogs to the limit through regulation and two overtimes, finally falling to the Bulldogs in penalty kicks.

Rams volleyball stateVolleyball:

The Cleveland Storm are the champs of District 1-6A, and both the Rams and Storm made it through the first round into the quarterfinals of the state tournament. But this was a tough year in volleyball with a number of stellar teams. The Storm fell to eventual state runner-up Centennial, and the Rams to La Cueva.


Football Rams vs. MayfieldRio Rancho’s two high schools have been riding a football hot streak the last four years, between them owning the last four state championships. And this week, Rams and Storm football teams are poised to go for five.

The Storm and Rams are both seeded in the top five among large schools (Class 6A), with the Storm earning a 3 seed and the Rams a 5 seed. Cleveland received a bye into the quarterfinals, and Rio Rancho earned their way in with a solid win over Las Cruces Centennial in the first round.

Storm FB vs. CentennialThe defending state champion Rams (they won in 2014 and 2016) 
will have their work cut out for them this weekend, as they travel to Las Cruces’ fabled Field of Dreams to take on the Las Cruces Bulldawgs under the lights Friday night. The Storm – champions in 2011, 2013, and 2015 – will also have their hands full on Saturday afternoon, facing off against the #6 Hobbs Eagles in a rare 1 PM game in the Cleveland High stadium.

The state semifinals will be played Thanksgiving weekend, with the state championship game set for Saturday, December 2.