By Mickey Winfield: PNT staff writer
The Portales Rams and Lady Rams qualified for five more events in the state tournament Tuesday as they strutted their stuff in Portales’ first track meet at home in 10 years beating Lovington and Dexter Tuesday afternoon.
“We had a great night,” Lady Ram head track coach Ruth Chavez said. “There’s a lot of people that ask our kids, ‘Why do you run track, because it’s hard’ … I really felt like they kind of showed everybody that this is why we do it.”
The Rams scored a combined 83 points, followed by Dexter’s 57 1/2 points and Lovington’s 52 1/2 points.
Portales’ Erett Grubbs saved his best performance for his home crowd as he qualified for the state tournament in the shotput and discus, winning the shotput and placing second in discus.
Fellow senior Hunter Rackler won the high jump event, an event in which he’s already qualified for state, with a jump of 5’10 Tuesday afternoon.
Other Portales winners included senior Jacob Brady (discus), sophomore Jose Mendosa (300 meter hurdles), senior Justin Jones (800 meters) and sophomore Raul Santibanez (3200 meters). The Portales boys also won the 1600 meter relay race.
“I think we’ve kind of set the precedence for meets to come,” Johnson said. “That’s what will be expected in the future, competing here at home in front of the home folks. We’re just very pleased, it was a great showing.”
“I was pleased (with my run),” Jones said. “I didn’t expect myself to do as good as I did and get around the (Lovington) guy, but I pulled through.”
The Rams also received some bad news on Tuesday. Sophomore Steven Heckert learned he tore the ACL and MCL tendons in his right knee and suffered a bone fracture while playing soccer on Saturday. Johnson announced that Heckert will be out the rest of the season.
The Lady Rams also had a big day on the track, as junior Kandace Bergseiker qualified for state in the 200 and 400 meter races, and also won the 100 meter.
“Kandace had a huge day,” Chavez said. “It’s hard to qualify by time, and she had a big day for us.”
The Lady Rams dominated their meet, scoring a combined 122 points. Lovington was second with 43 1/2 and a half points, and Dexter finished third with 33 1/2.
Portales junior Carussa Swift won the long jump and triple jump, while fellow junior Jordan Roehl, already qualified for state, won the shotput and the discus throw. The Portales girls also won the medley relay, 1600 meter relay and the 800 meter relay.