Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Belen Star Qualifies For State.(Sports)

Byline: Brian Tregembo For the Journal

Belen's Jace Rivera led the Eagles' boys track team to its best showing of the year by qualifying for the state meet in both the discus and the shot put.

Belen captured fifth place, with 37 1/2 points, at the APS Invitational "B" meet Friday at UNM Track. Belen finished behind Highland, Sandia, Los Lunas and Manzano.

Rivera threw 165 feet, 9 inches in the discus, bettering the qualifying distance by more than 11 feet. His throw of 53-10 in the shot put was 3 feet more than he needed to assure himself a spot at May's state meet in Albuquerque.

Belen boys coach Kevin Benavidez explained that Rivera, the two-time defending state champ in the shot put, had switched from the glide technique to a spin delivery in the shot.

"He's been working at it, and he was just getting used to it," Benavidez said. …

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