Commentary

Donna on the Side

Awards and other sideline scenes

Updated: June 7, 2012, 7:40 AM ET
By Donna Dye | ESPNHS DyeStat

Great Southwest 2012 Donna on the SideDonna Dye/ESPNHSThe Great Southwest Classic is run at the foot of the Sandia Mountains with the state flags flying.

Donna's Pix: Awards | Multi Events | Field | Track | Sidelines |

The Great Southwest Classic is held in historic and beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the foot of the Sandia Mountains.

New Mexico has an enchantment about it. Maybe it's the ancient cultures, multi cultures, food, climate, the adobe architecture, the sandy yards and roadsides, the old west names and decoration, the indian art and jewlery....maybe it's some or all of it that enchant and please the senses. Into this setting, sits The Great Southwest Classic in Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico. Albuquerque is a multi-cultural city formed from Indian, Spanish and Anglo heritages that has become a population of about 500,000 with another 200,000 in the suburbs.

New Mexico was first populated by pueblo indians. Then in 1540 it was the Kingdom of New Mexico as declared by Spain. In time came the Anglos, adding to the cultural mix. Today, Santa Fe is the capitol of New Mexico and Albuquerque is the largest city. While many parts of the United States have lost most of their special identity, New Mexico still clings to what made it what it is today, the Land of Enchantment.

As for what to see and do. There are hot air balloons, Sandia mountain tram, chile peppers, indian pueblos, indian pottery, jewelry, petroglyphs and the Turouoise Trail. There's a lot of fun and good times to have as part of the the Great Southwest Classic scene.

The Meet

This is the 37th edition of the Great Southwest Classic (GSW). The meet includes three days of competition including two days of multi events: decathlon for both boys and girls and heptathlon for girls.

GSW was founded in 1930. It was closed during the depression years and revived in 1978. In those days, college recruiting was quite different than it is today. There was no Internet nor DyeStat to learn about top performances and athletes. Instead, coaches and scouts used meets to learn about athletes and judge their talent and potential. The GSW was founded to help in recruiting by providing coaches and scouts with one of the "windows" to see outstanding talent in the Southwestern states.

GSW has expanded its geographic scope beyond the original Southwestern states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. Missouri and Oklahoma were added a few years ago and this year the meet embraces Florida and Illinois as part of its team competition. Elite athletes from other states are also invited, raising the level of competition. GSW is recognized as one of the top postseason high school track meets in the country.

While there is all business on the track, there is fun on the side as these fans show.

Great Southwest 2012 Donna on the SideDonna Dye/ESPNHSFans in the stands wave for Donna.

Team scoring is by state.

Great Southwest 2012 Donna on the SideDonna Dye/ESPNHSArizona won the girls team championship.

Great Southwest 2012 Donna on the SideDonna Dye/ESPNHSTexas won the boys team championship.