Portales track ready for state

By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer

Following Saturday night’s District 4-3A track meet in Ruidoso, Ram coach Glenn Johnson and Lady Ram coach Ruth Chavez were both pleased by the growth of their teams this season, and as the state meet looms, several Portales athletes aren’t done yet.

The Rams, with 80 points, placed third behind district champion Ruidoso, 155.5 points, and runnerup Lovington, 90.5 points, in the district meet.

“We competed very well,” Johnson said. “We ran as hard as we possibly could and competed well. Lovington is loaded this year and they’re tougher than all get out.”

Portales juniors Tyler Anderson and Joey Moore made the most of this last opportunity to qualify for state, as Anderson placed second and qualified in the 110 meter hurdles. Moore placed third and qualified in the 200 meter run.

“Every one of our kids except for one improved through the course of the season,” Johnson said. “When you’re competing against the clock or the tape, that’s what it’s all about — making yourself better and improving as an individual. If you do that, it helps the overall team scores.”

The Rams are taking seven athletes to this weekend’s state tournament in Albuquerque. Joining Anderson and Moore are: senior Erett Grubbs (shotput, discus), junior Jacob Brady (discus), senior Hunter Rackler (high jump, javelin), and sophomore Devin Stinson (javelin). The Ram medley relay team is also qualified (Anderson, Moore, Stinson and sophomore Brandon McAfee).

“I’m definitely excited about the seven that we’re taking up to the state meet,” Johnson said.

Junior Jordan Roehl led the Lady Rams to a second place result with 104 points, behind Ruidoso’s 175 points. Lovington took third, followed by Dexter and NMMI.

“We had a good night,” Chavez said. “Our girls did really well.”

Roehl took first in the shotput and discus, having already qualified for state in both events.

Portales junior Carussa Swift qualified for state in the long jump Saturday, while freshman Elizabeth Armstrong qualified in the 1600 meter run.

Joining Roehl, Swift and Armstrong at state will be: freshman Jenna Wagner (triple jump) and Kandace Bergseiker (200, 400 meters). The Portales girls also qualified all four relay teams for state (400, 800, 1600 and medley).

“Nearly every girl on our team finished their season with a personal best. They’ve gotten better from day one. We came a long way,” Chavez said. “We just had a lot of good positive things happen this season.”

The New Mexico Class 3A state track meet starts Friday at University Stadium in Albuquerque.