ALBUQUERQUE — It’s only 2 1/2 points, but Portales coach Glenn Johnson will takes them after the Rams were shut out the last three seasons at the Class 3A state track meet.
Junior Bo Gabriel finished in a four-way tie for third in the high jump, going out at 6-foot Thursday in the first day of the three-day meet at the University of New Mexico’s track and field stadium.
The Rams also qualified their 400-meter relay for Saturday’s final, finishing third behind Lovington with a season-best time of 45.46.
The team consisted of Phillip Hammonds, Jason Needham, Jack Hale and Amador Lujan. Lujan later qualified for the 100-meter finals.
“These guys have worked hard all year,” Johnson said. “They really struggled to try to get it qualified, but kept missing by a tenth of a second here and a tenth of a second there. Then last week at district we ran well and I think that gave them a boost of confidence.”
Lovington is the first-day leader with 20 points while the Rams are tied for fifth.
Johnson said he senses a different attitude with his team this year.
“In the past, they were just happy to be here,” Johnson said. “This year they’re up here to compete.”
Meanwhile, the Lady Rams failed to qualify two of its relay teams for Saturday’s finals and were scoreless after the first day.