This was posted on CNW. Just thought I would post it over here too.
This guy sounds like a keeper to me. I just hope we have someone that can get him the ball.
Thursday, April 8, 2004
Fast-Rising Star Baiamonte's Not Just a Quarterback
By Harold Smith
For the Journal
Albuquerque High's Brennan Baiamonte is on a roll. "I started last year and the year before that at quarterback," says the 6-foot, 1-inch, 185-pound senior. "I was all-district last year. This year, I was all-district, all-metro and all-state. I threw for 1,700 yards. I ran for a thousand. Now, I'm hoping I can do really well in track."
A 17-year-old sprinter on the Bulldogs boys track-and-field team, Baiamonte already has appeared at the head of the field on the Albuquerque Public Schools' top-10 times list in the 100-meter dash.
Baiamonte's best time this season, 10.81 seconds, is nearly a half-second faster than the 11.34 with which Highland's Ryan Peele won the Class 5A gold medal last May.
"We knew he was fast, but we didn't know he'd be this fast," says AHS track coach Dave Marconett.
Albuquerque High has won 20 state track team titles, but the 'Dogs haven't earned a blue trophy since 1960. So, getting a boost from Baiamonte is a definite plus.
The Bulldogs, like other track teams which lack the depth to compete with the likes of La Cueva, could use the support from all their football, soccer and basketball players, wrestlers, and swimmers.
The Bears, who've learned the art of winning with numbers, have won seven straight state track titles.
"I'd tell (the other football players who didn't come out for track) that if you want to get better, track will help," Baiamonte says. "A lot of them worry about losing weight for football. But speed can't be beat. If you want to play in college, it's speed. That's what the college coaches are looking for."
Marconett says he'd be more than happy to get other AHS athletes to come out for track.
"We feel track is the best sport that helps in other sports," Marconett says. "It certainly would make us better athletically and would help our depth."
Baiamonte verbally committed last Friday to play football for New Mexico State University next fall. He says he also seriously considered the University of New Mexico.
"But (the Aggies) seemed more interested," he says. "Besides, I wanted to get away from home."
Marconett, who was a track assistant for six years and has been the head cross-country coach for six, says Baiamonte's meteoric rise hasn't produced any jealousy from his four-year runners.
Baiamonte had run only half a season in 2003 prior to this school year.
Last season, he hurt his ankle running the 200.
"If we were a big team, maybe that'd be the case," Marconett says. "But with us, we need everybody. We need them for the relays. If we get a fourth or fifth guy, that really helps us. And the one guy he may have bumped can run in other relays. They all know that. They know it helps the team."
Moreover, Marconett says Baiamonte is a nice guy.
"He's a real good kid," the coach says. "He works hard, he's conscientious, and he's talented. He works hard in the weight room."
Baiamonte, who has a 3.3 grade-point average and occasionally writes sports stories for the student newspaper, says his goal is to win the 100 at state.
"We have a great team, too," Baiamonte says. "I think we have, so far, some of the fastest sprinters in the state."
Baiamonte has joined the Bulldogs' 800 relay team.
He says they're panning for gold in the 4-by-200 event.
AHS' relay foursome are all seniors who played football. In order of the legs they run, the team includes Baiamonte, Joseph Martin, Chris Cole and Greg Young.
The quartet won the 800 relay in the red-division meet at the inaugural Buddy Robertson Invitational on Monday at Wilson Stadium. Their cumulative time was 1 minute, 31.16 seconds.
Young was the 2003 silver medalist at state in the long jump with a leap of 22-5.
"A small team, like ours, with five or six good athletes can do well in a large meet like state," Marconett says. "We'd like to win a couple of relays, place well in distance, maybe win a couple individual events. But as a team, we can't compete with the La Cuevas."
Baiamonte, who works as a lifeguard at the Highland Pool, is an AHS baseball pitcher, too.
"But I concentrate about 90 percent on track," Baiamonte says.
NOTE: Cibola took second place, not third, in the blue-division girls meet at the Robertson invitational on Monday at Milne Stadium.
Jim Wilson of the Albuquerque Public Schools athletic department says the scores were tallied incorrectly.
The Cougars had 89 points for second. Third-place Eldorado had 68. La Cueva won.
Copyright 2004 Albuquerque Journal