Portales adds to state track list

PNT Staff

LOVINGTON — It wouldn’t be too hard for Ruth Chavez to show that the 2003 Lady Ram track season is going smoother than the 2002 campaign. She’d just have to compare rosters for the state meet.
The Lady Rams have four individuals and three relay teams qualified following Friday’s District 4-3A meet at Lovington. Last season, Portales was not represented at the state meet.
“It felt good to fill out those qualifying forms,” chavez said. “Last year, we had those injuries, but this year, we’ll go in fine.”
Portales qualified two athletes for last season’s state meet, but both (Kim Trujillo and Ryo Fujikawa) were injured and could not attend.
Fujikawa is healthy this year, and she leads about a dozen Lady Rams into this weekend’s 3A meet at Bloomfield. Fujikawa will be going in the shot put, the javelin and the long jump.
The Lady Rams finished in third place at the district meet behind behind Lovington (170.5) and Ruidoso (153.5). Portales tallied 69.
Portales qualified a pair of runners in the 1,600-meter, Michaela Alexander and Felicity Pena. Placed placed in the event in a last-minute decision, Pena won with a time of 6:08.01.
“We knew we could get Michaela Alexander in the mile,” Chavez said, “but we knew we could get another kid a shot, then Felicity won it.
“We knew she was a pretty good runner, but she really hasn’t trained for a mile.”
Alexander took second place with a time of 6:09.79. Alexander also qualfied in the 3,200 meters, winning the event with a time of 13:30.64.
Junior Erika Cook qualified in the javelin (106-3) and the 400 meters (1:04.58). Chavez said Cook had a “heck of a day,” as she followed up her javelin throw by finishing three-tenths of a second out of first in the 400.
Portales had previously qualified three relay teams — the 800-meter, the 1,600-meter medley and the 1600-meter. Chavez said she has some decisions to make on the relay teams on Monday due to injuries — Misty Miller was kept out of the district track meet with a pulled quadricep, and Amy Truelock has an injured foot.
The Portales boys finished in fourth place with 32 points. Lovington took first with 190 points. The Rams will bring four athletes to the state tournament — Les Long and Josh Wilbanks in the 100 meters, Taylor Owen in shot put and Amador Lujan in the 200.