Lady Cats 2nd, Wildcats 6th in Invite

By Dave Wagner

CMI sports writer

Clovis High’s girls were a strong second in Friday’s season-opening Clovis Invitational cross country meet at Ned Houk Park. The boys, meantime, had a tougher go of it.

Senior Rebekah Gallop’s fifth-place showing led the Lady Wildcats to the runnerup spot in girls competition with 56 points, behind only Rio Rancho (29) and six points ahead of District 4-5A rival Hobbs.

8-31-girls-X-countryWhile only six full teams competed for the girls, the boys’ division had 13 squads. Rio Rancho also won that one handily, finishing with 29 points to 47 for Hobbs.

Clovis, meantime, was sixth with 178 points after losing the sixth-runner tiebreaker with Roswell High.

“Honestly, we were about where we thought we’d be,” CHS coach Mike Hankins said of the boys race. “I don’t think we ran as good as we should have. We’ve got a long way to go, and we’ve just got to get better every day.”

The CHS girls placed everyone in the top 30 in a field of 58 runners, including four in the top 16. Sophomore Holly Steinle was the Lady Cats’ No. 2 finisher, coming in ninth in 21 minutes, 57.80 seconds.

“I thought we did great,” Gallop said. “For two of those girls (junior Eva Marin and sophomore Emily Gonzales), it was the first time medaling (top 20) in a varsity race.”

Hankins said the Lady Cats did about as well as they could have hoped.

“I was hoping for second or third today,” h said. “The girls we have are going to compete; they’re mentally pretty strong.

“I thought Bekah and Holly ran real well today. We’re just going to get better as we go.”

Gallop said the 90-degree heat was a factor, and she didn’t pace herself as well as she’d have liked.

“The first mile I went a little fast,” she said. “I was relaxed, but I haven’t been running that much. I just got a little excited.”

Senior Max Santarosa led the CHS boys, finishing 16th in a field of 86 runners in a time of 17:50.55.

“Max ran pretty well,” Hankins said. “The biggest thing is our guys just need to improve every day.”

The next outing for Clovis squads is a week from today in an invitational at Plainview, Texas.

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