January 31, 2023

The late Missy Martinez is one of three inductees into the Cibola High School Athletics Hall of Fame.

Martinez, Amber Battle and Valerie Swedberg were officially inducted earlier this month.

Martinez was 30 when she died of COVID-19 on February 4. During her playing days with Cibola, the diminutive (1.60 m) left-hander was a dominant force in the circle, leading the Cougars to three consecutive state championships from 2007-2009.

There was virtually no honor she didn’t receive at Cibola, and she still holds a handful of state records, including career strikes with over 1,200 of them.

She had 11 no-hitters as a Cougar — seven of them in a single season — and 35 career shutouts.

She later played two seasons in the New Mexico Highlands.

Battle, a 2011 Cibola graduate, was one of the most talented basketball players the Cougars have ever produced, and she was also a prolific sprinter, holding Cibola’s records in both the 100-yard and 200-yard dashes. In 2009 and 2010 she was twice state champion in both disciplines.

Twice Battle helped the Cougars reach the State Championship Game in basketball, and she was a three-time All-State during her amazing Cibola career.

Battle later became a star at Texas Tech, twice leading the Red Raiders in points, rebounds, assists and steals, and she was an All-Big 12 twice. She briefly played at the professional level in Europe for a team in Finland.

Like Martinez, Swedberg was a star on the softball field.

She graduated in 2010 and played varsity softball for the Cougars all four years, and was a teammate with Martinez on the aforementioned three state championship teams. She swung a heavy racquet for Cibola and is still tied for the single-season state record in home runs, having hit 19 in the 2010 season.

She later played college for New Mexico State and was a first-team All-Conference selection as Aggie, and she was a multiple All-State selection at Cibola.

BIG STYLE: There have been several basketball players in Albuquerque who have achieved 1,000 career points this season.

The last person to reach that number got there faster than most.

Eldorado High sophomore guard Bella Hines hit 1,000 points against Manzano last Thursday. And Hines matched that number with a career-high 40 points, surpassing 1,000 with a 3-pointer.

Hines reached 1,000 points in her 41st varsity game with the Eagles. She’s averaged just over 28 points per game so far this season and should be a ban to surpass 2,000 points before her pre-season career ends – and could possibly even get there before her junior season is over.

Currently there is only one girl from the metro area who ranks in the top 10 all-time in the career rankings and that is the recently graduated Juliana Aragon from Bernalillo, who graduated with 2,456 points before last March. Aragon is in 10th place.

Other players who have reached 1,000 points this season include Del Norte’s Shane Douma-Sanchez, Albuquerque High’s Leilani Love, Hope Christian’s Jett Wyckoff and Kathleen Obisike, and Albuquerque Academy’s Kellan Gehres.

These are equally impressive in this way: the spring 2021 pandemic season was impacted and cut short significantly, causing them all to lose at least 10-15 games.

METRO SWIMMING: The Eldorado boys won the Albuquerque Metro Championships last Saturday at the West Mesa Aquatic Center, scoring 512 points for a convincing win over second-place finisher La Cueva (340). Albuquerque High (284) finished third.

The Eagles won all individual competitions and all three relays in a great performance. They had four double champions.

Gage Sheldahl captured first place in the 200 yard freestyle and also in the 100 yard freestyle. Cole Bettis swam to victory in the 50 freestroke and 100 breaststroke. Krishna Clarke was first in the 200m and also in the 100 yard butterfly event. Nolan Arnholt won the 500m title and he was also the winner in the 100m backstroke.

Eldorado also swept the relays (200 free, 400 free and 200 medley). Sheldahl, Bettis, Clarke and Arnholt collectively won the 400 free relay by a whopping 15½ seconds.

THIS AND THAT: Cleveland’s Leah Futey was named her sport’s Gatorade Cross Country Athlete of the Year Monday; Futey had a great senior season, capped by a triumph at the Class 5A State Championship reunion at Albuquerque Academy. … Two New Mexico soccer players have made their collegiate commitments, with Volcano Vista linebacker Nathan Wallin committing to the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell and Ruidoso big man Dalton Trapp committing to eastern New Mexico has.

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