The late Angelo DiPaolo honored at meet
The Miyamura boys and girls track and field teams ran away with a slew of victories April 15 at the 3rd annual Miyamura Invitational Track and Field Meet at the Angelo DiPaolo Memorial Stadium.
The Miyamura boys totaled 137 points and the girls held up their side with 84.5 points, edging out Grants which accumulated 83 points. The Grants boys tallied 124 points to come in second place at the meet. The Gallup High boys earned third place bragging rights with 49 points and the Rehoboth girls took third with 77 points, according to meet results.
“It was just a great meet,” Miyamura head coach Petersen Chee said. “The boys and girls teams performed well.”
Miyamura’s Aaron Alejo came away with 19 points to top the boys’ field. Alejo garnered first place finishes in the long jump and triple jump events. Nicolas James of the Patriots took first place in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs with winning times of 4:33:38 and 10:00:63, respectively. Patriot teammate Ty McCray was second with a time of 10:12:13 in the 3200.
Besides Alejo winning the long jump with a jump of 20’1.25, Ernesto Giran and Dominic Brite of Miyamura took second and third place with jumps of 19’ and 18’1.
Jessica Ramirez of Gallup came away with the highest amount of points on the female side of the meet with 21 points. “I thought Jessica did very well,” Gallup head track and field coach Andrew Rodriguez said. “We had a few very good individual performances on the boys and girls sides.”
Josh Bustos of Grants took first place in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11:32 and senior Michael Anzures of the Pirates won the 400 with a winning time of 53:02. Anzures, who just came off playing in the recent New Mexico/Arizona boys basketball all-star game, set a personal and school record in the 800 with a winning time of 1:52:28. Grants came in first place in the 4x100, 4x200 and the 4x400 relays with times of 45.97, 1:38.44 and 3:48.19, respectively.
“We ran well,” Grants boys’ head coach Jessica Thompson said after the meet. “We did well individually and as a group in many of the events.”
In the boys high jump, Justin Mattila of Grants was the first place finisher with a jump of 5’8. Mattila was the starting quarterback for the Pirates’ 2017 football team that went 5-5, 1-3.
Grace Huzinga of Rehoboth was first in the 100 meter hurdles with a winning time of 17.96. Sidni Brown of the Lady Lynx finished first in the 300 meter hurdles with a winning time of 53:62. The Rehoboth girls took first place in the 4x400 relay with a time of 4:40.00.
Tahleah Herron of Ramah finished first in the high jump with a winning jump of 4’8 and teammate Kourtney Lewis of Ramah was first in the triple jump with 31’25.
Besides Miyamura, Grants and Gallup the other teams that participated in the Miyamura Invitational were Ramah, Tse Yi Gai, Rehoboth, Zuni, Wingate, Thoreau, Tohatchi, Navajo Pine and Pine Hill high schools.
Honoring Angelo DiPaolo
Joe Menini, a former member of the Gallup-McKinley County Board of Education, was one of several former and current school board members who spoke midway through the meet with respect to a formal stadium dedication to the late DiPaolo. School Board President Priscilla Manuelito spoke about DiPaolo, also.
“He was a very respected person not only around Gallup, but around all of New Mexico,” Menini said. Menini and DiPaolo knew each other for nearly 50 years. “It is a terrific honor in naming the stadium after (Angelo).”
DiPaolo was a career school educator and administrator and athletic director at Gallup schools, Gallup Catholic Schools and the Window Rock Unified School District. He worked at Gallup school for some 39 years.
DiPaolo died at age 66 in 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, of brain cancer. The Gallup-McKinley County Board of Education re-named the former Public School Stadium in honor of DiPaolo in November 2016. DiPaolo was posthumously inducted into the New Mexico Activities Association Hall of Fame in 2015.
“My entire family and I are humbly honored by this fantastic recognition of Angelo’s dedication to the youth of our community. He spent hundreds of hours at the stadium. It is wonderful that it now bears his name!” Diane DiPaolo, widow of Angelo DiPaolo, said. “We are forever grateful to Gallup-McKinley County Schools. Angelo loved Gallup and I’m pretty sure he was loved by everyone.”
By Bernie Dotson