By Dave Wagner
The Portales High track teams were going to get an early look at what they have with Saturday’s season-opening meet at Hobbs.
But with both PHS basketball teams coming off trips to the Class 3A state finals last weekend and spring break set for next week, they won’t be going to Hobbs.
Instead, the boys will open their season with a meet at Artesia on Thursday before both teams travel to the Jal Invitational on March 31.
PHS boys coach Glenn Johnson said the Rams could be stronger than a year ago, when they scored 15 1/2 points at state.
“I think we’ll compete pretty well,” he said. “We have the possibility of qualifying (for state) in more events than we had last year.”
Junior Amador Lujan leads the returnees, having finished second in the 100 and fifth in the 200. Junior Deonte Wyche will help in the sprints and on relays.
Seniors who should help are Bo Gabriel in high jump, Jack Hale in relays and Johnson’s twin sons, Tyler and Tyson, in discus.
The coach added that some younger unproven athletes may come along as the season goes.
“We have a couple of freshmen and a couple of sophomores who could help,” Johnson said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
The girls also have a young squad, with only four seniors out of about 20 participants, coach Ruth Chavez said.
“We’re a young team,” she said. “I don’t really know how we’ll do until we get into a meet.”
Chavez said freshman Jordan Roehl could do well in shot put, while juniors Michaela Alexander (medley relay, 1,600) and Caroline Knudson (400 and 800 relays) should provide some points on the track.
“I think we’ll be strong in the distance events, and with our throwers and jumpers,” Chavez said.
The Lady Rams have their work cut out in District 4-3A.
“I’m sure Lovington will be pretty good, and Ruidoso’s always good,” she said. “Their kids really believe in track.”
(boys and girls unless noted)
24 — at Artesia (boys); 31 — at Jal.
5 — at Lovington triangular; 8 — at Wildcat Relays, Lovington; 12 — at Eunice; 16 — at Fort Sumner; 22 — at Artesia; 26 — at Hobbs (individual qualifier); 29 — at Lovington.
6 — District 4-3A meet at Ruidoso.