Missing PHS track girls are safe

By William P. Thompson: PNT staff writer

A high school track meet at Hobbs was canceled Tuesday after two Portales female track athletes were reported missing.

The two athletes left with friends and returned to the meet about two hours later, according to Hobbs school and law enforcement officials.

Portales Schools Superintendent Randy Fowler said he did not know the identity of the girls nor why the girls left the track meet. He said a decision will be made as to whether the girls will be disciplined after coaches and administration spend today sorting through the details of why they left the meet.

“They caused a lot of people a lot of worry,” Fowler said. “We’re just glad that they are safe. Something like that brings out your worst fears.”

Hobbs Police Capt. Rhonnie Shaw said the two girls had “left with friends” and returned to the track meet about two hours after they were reported missing, according to a department press release.

Hobbs High Assistant Principal Sherri Carver said Portales track coaches told Hobbs school officials about 5 p.m. that the two girls were missing.

The five-team meet, which also included the boys and girls teams from Clovis, was canceled at 6:30 p.m.

“The coaches were quite concerned,” Carver said. “It was very trying. We all thought they might have been abducted. We were all so relieved when we found out the girls were OK.”

Carver said police checked footage from surveillance cameras in the Hobbs High School parking lot.

“We were able to see them (the two girls) in the parking lot. They appeared to be waiting for someone,” Carver said.

Carver said the video footage didn’t show the girls leaving the premises, so apparently the girls had moved out of range of the cameras in leaving.