Steady performances by Kael Stephens resulted in a spot on the podium.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain

Despite never competing in a decathlon, Magdalena’s Kael Stephens returned home with a medal after a sixth-place finish at the Greater Southwest Track and Field Meet on June 1-2 at the University of New Mexico.

The 2023 Magdalena graduate is the two-time state Class A 110-meter hurdle champion, but Stephens had never run a competitive 100-meter dash and got off to a slow start against a field of 20 athletes from across the country.

Braden Mounyo ran both the 110 and 300-meter hurdles.
Heather Sanchez | Contributed

A 12.12 clocking and a 14th place finish didn’t dash Stephens’ hopes, and he picked up his game with a sixth place in the long jump (19-5.5) and a fifth in the shot put (37-11.25), moved him further up the chart.

The high jump proved to be Stephens’ best finish, with his 6-0 leap landing him a first in the event and a clocking of 53.03 in the 400-meter dash left him at fifth overall after day one.

A steady day two included top ten finishes in the 110-meter hurdles, pole vault, javelin and 1500-meter run.

Socorro hurdler gets experience

Junior hurdler Braden Mounyo represented Socorro at the meet and was just off his second-place state finish time of 15.44 with a 15.47 in the 110-meter hurdles. Mounyon was a little off his state first-place time of 40.62 in the 300-meter hurdles with a clocking of 41.96.