THE HISTORY OF THE 100 YARD/METER DASH IN NEW MEXICO
The 100-yard dash is a sprint competition that dates all the way back to ancient Greece. Olympic winners in this event are given the unofficial title of the fastest man or woman in the world. In New Mexico, the race to determine the fastest boy and girl in the state dates back more than 100 years. Here is a look back at some of the standout performances.
The earliest record of this event being run at the high school level in New Mexico was back in 1913. The time of 11.3 seconds was set as the initial mark to beat at the high school level. It didn’t take long to better that time. In 1914, Grant Mann of Albuquerque High posted a time of 11.0 seconds. The following year, Mann bested his own mark with a time of 10.6. Then in 1916, Albuquerque High’s Owen Smaulding went even lower with a time of 10.4 seconds. Smaulding would win the 100-yard dash three years in a row. Albuquerque High’s Jimmy Roybal would also have the distinction of three-time champ on his resume (1922, ’23 and ’25). His time of 10.2 seconds in 1923 would become the new fastest time.
In 1928 and 1929, New Mexico would compete in two classifications, Class A and Class B, but that designation only lasted two years. Deming’s Claude Gilbert was the first runner to post a sub-10 second time crossing the finish line in 9.6 seconds. From 1930 to 1953, the state track and field championships returned to one classification. Highland High School’s Tommy McDonald made his mark in 1953, winning the 100-yard dash in a time of 10 seconds flat. In 1954, the state returned to a big school/small school division with Class A and Class B. Albuquerque High’s Ray Etherly became a member of the three-time club when he completed the three-peat in 1959 (10.2), 1960 (9.9) and 1961 (9.9).
In 1962, Zeak Williams of Hobbs High School ran the 100 in wind aided time of 9.3 seconds. In 1975, timing of the 100-yard dash extended to the hundredth of a second in New Mexico. That’s when Mike Carter of Sandia High School won his first of three straight titles in the 100 (9.77 in 1975, wind-aided time of 9.47 in 1976, and 9.62 in 1977). Not long after, Paul Richarte of Cliff also won three-straight state titles in the state’s smallest classification (10.01 in 1979, 10.98 in 1980, and 10.66 in 1981).
In 1980, metric running events began in the state of New Mexico. The event would then become the 100-meter dash, instead of 100 yards. In 100 meters there are 109.36133 yards, which is to say that 100 meters is 109.36133 yards. New marks and times were recorded.
In Class AA, Menaul’s Lance Little won three titles of his own in 1990 (10.62), 1991 (10.62), and 1992 (11.01). In 1993, fully automatic time started at state track meets in New Mexico, allowing times to be even more accurate. In 1997, Highland High School’s Bobby Newcombe won the event in a time of 10.71, but posted a state record 10.50 in the preliminaries. Emmanuel Zupko of Estancia High School won three state titles over a four-year span (1999, 2000, and 2002). Lordsburg’s Wendell Hayes dominated the event in Class AA from 2011-2013 winning all three years.
In 2015, Manzano High School’s Jordan Byrd took the title as the state’s fastest when he crossed the finish line in a time of 11.05 as a freshman. The following year, he bested his own mark with a time of 10.77 and went even lower in 2017 with a 10.58. His senior year in 2018, Byrd became the state’s only four-time champ in the boys event with a personal best time of 10.50, tying the record mark set by Newcombe in 1997. Much like Byrd, Jonah Vigil of Taos posted faster times in each of his three victories in Class 4A. Vigil won it in 2017 in a time of 11.38, 11.05 in 2018, and 10.51 in 2019 (a Class 4A state record). Dyson Day of Logan High School set a new Class A record in the 100m dash when he crossed the finish line in 11.31 seconds in 2019. In fact, three of the boys records have been tied or broken since 2018.
The girls started competing at the state track and field championships in 1973 (they actually had a 50-yard event that first year). Nora Carter of Sandia High School was the first girls winner in the 100 yard dash in a time of 11.8. Delores Hudson of Artesia bested that mark the following season with a time of 11.1. The girls meet was divided into two classifications beginning in 1975. In 1976, Val Boyer of Manzano High School posted the fastest time of any girl at 11.08. Toni Brooks of Tatum High School became the first three-time winner for the girls finishing first in 1983 (12.20), 1984 (12.80), and 1985 (12.18). In fact, a Tatum girl won the 100m dash every year from 1983-1988. In 1989, a Rio Grande High School student by the name of Shelia Burrell burst onto the scene and dominated the 100m three years in a row: winning in 1988 (11.78), 1989 (12.09), and 1990 (12.09). Speaking of three-time winners, Lanell Scarbrough of Onate High School finished first in the 100m in 1991 (13.07), 1992 (12.29), and 1993 (12.67).
The mid-to-late 90’s in Class A can be described as the Bome years. Deborah Bome of Floyd High School won the 100m dash every year since she was an eighth grader. It started with a winning time of 13.11 in 1995, then 12.36 in 1996, followed by a 12.63 in 1997, a 12.69 her junior year in 1998, and a 12.35 to wrap up her high school career in 1999. Carrizozo’s Ariel Burr took the Class A baton from there and dominated the event for the next five years. As an 8th grader in 2000, Burr won the 100 in a time of 12.85. In 2001, she finished first with an even lower 12.45 and 12.42 in 2002. As a junior in 2003, her winning time was 12.44 and her senior season she finished first in 12.26 seconds.
In the mid-2000s, we saw two runners from two different schools dominate two different classes. In Class 3A, Amanda Gay from Bloomfield High School won the event in 2003 (13.12), 2004 (12.91), and 2005 (13.17). Cibola’s Tressi Richardson won the event in the school’s largest classification in 2004 (12.36), 2005 (12.83), and 2006 (12.27). The Cougars had quite the roster of sprinters winning the event in all but one year from 2004-2010.
Los Alamos High School standout Chase Ealey, who would later become a world-class thrower, left her imprint on the track too. Ealey won the 100m event four years in a row starting in 2009 (12.73), 2010 (12.88), 2011 (12.52), and 2012 (12.35).
Starting in 2016, Mikayla Garnand of Santa Rosa High School couldn’t be beat at state for three years straight. She finished first in 2016 (13.18), 2017 (12.86), and 2018 (12.76). That same year is when Sandia’s Adriana Tatum became the fastest female on the track. She won the 100m dash as a freshman in a time of 12.22 seconds. Her sophomore season in 2019, Tatum won the event again in a state record time of 11.69. There was no opportunity to compete in 2020 because of COVID-19, but Tatum won the event her senior season in 2021 (11.68, wind aided).
Current Records in the 100m Dash
10.50 Bobby Newcombe, Highland 1997
10.50 Jordan Byrd, Manzano 2018
5A 10.64 Daniel Feltman, Deming 2002
4A 10.51 Jonah Vigil, Taos 2019
3A 10.70 Lance Little, Menaul 1992
2A 10.66 Paul Richarte, Cliff 1981
1A 11.31 Dyson Day, Logan 2019
5A 11.69 Adriana Tatum, Sandia 2019
4A 12.10 Peggy Fowler, Cobre 1988
3A 12.52 Ruth Drmrzalski, Menaul 2001
2A 12.20 Robin Bradley, Melrose 1982
12.20 Toni Brooks, Tatum 1982
12.20 Tina Brooks, Tatum 1986
1A 13.13 Hannah Torres, Mountainair 2019
Records Prior to Metric Running Events Beginning
A 10.1 Spooner, Reserve 1975
10.1 Coyan, Elida 1975
2A 9.8 Lindley, Texico 1974
3A 9.8 Tipton, Silver 1967
9.8 Himebaugh, Silver 1971
9.8 Holt, Portales 1977
4A 9.7 Proctor, Highland 1970
9.7 Carter, Sandia 1977
A 11.6 Missy McCarty, Cloudcroft 1978
2A 11.2 Tanya Fallon, Ft Sumner 1975
3A 11.4 Mary Shinas, St. Michael’s 1975
4A 11.0 Val Boyer, Manzano 1976