Even without an individual event winner, the Portales boys felt pretty good about their first showing of the track season at the Lovington Relays.
The Ram boys qualified three athletes and had multiple point-scorers in several events to finish in a fourth-place tie with Artesia in the five-team meet.
“This is probably the most depth we’ve had in quite some time,” Portales coach Glenn Johnson said. “We’ve got lots of young men that are doing a tremendous job competing, and they’ve worked hard through the year. It was a great first meet.”
Portales netted 61 points, well behind event winner Hobbs at 157.5, but not far behind Carlsbad (72). District rival Lovington was second with 88.5 points.
Lane Nichols qualified in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles with times of 15.64 seconds and 42.6, respectively. Both were good for second place. Matthew Shelley also qualified in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.34, good for third.
Jordan Davis finished second in the high jump with a state-qualifying leap of 6-0.
The Portales girls had four qualifying marks, and a pair of first-place finishes by Kate Thomas. Portales finished with 69.9 points, fifth in the meet. Artesia won the meet with 107 points.
“We’ve gotten six new girls this week from basketball,” Portales coach Sandie Shillings said. “We have a lot of young girls, so it was good to have a first meet like that.”
Despite the wins, Thomas’ 1-mile (6:11.91) and 2-2-mile (13:00) times did not qualify for state.
Sophomore Sheraya Cox qualified in the long jump (16-5.5) and 200 meters (27.31). Both finishes were for second place.
Other qualifiers were Maggie Gaeta (16.42 in the 100-meter hurdles) and the 400 relay team (51.74, Vanessa Ortiz, Andrea Tapia, Taryn Kizer, Cox).