Portales pair picks up state titles

By Dave Wagner: Freedom Newspapers

ALBUQUERQUE — Portales High’s Jordan Roehl didn’t give herself much in the way of style points in Friday’s Class 3A state girls shot put competition, but she was OK with the results.

The junior turned the tables on Cuba’s Victoria Dominguez in the event, winning with a throw of 35 feet, 11 inches at the University of New Mexico’s track facility.

Dominguez, who beat Roehl in last year’s event, was relegated to second place at an even 35 feet.
“Today was one of my worst throwing days,” said Roehl, who has been over 37 feet this season. “But I’ll take it.”

Later, Domiguez got revenge as she easily won discus competition at 116-2 while Roehl, again well below her season best, finished fourth at 95-0.

Roehl’s 10 points left the Lady Rams in a three-way tie for sixth with Lovington and Laguna-Acoma after the first day. Cobre posted 12 1/2 points for a one-point lead over Las Vegas Robertson.

“She went in and looked confident,” PHS girls coach Ruth Chavez said of Roehl’s win. “She’s worked hard all season, and it’s paid off.
“It’s great to have a state champion.”

Portales’ boys also came up with 10 first-day points on a 1-4 finish in discus, with junior Jacob Brady winning it at 136-9 and senior Erett Rhett adding three points with a throw of 125-7. The Rams are in sixth place, with St. Michael’s leading with 18 points.

Roehl, who has been to state in shot put every year since eighth grade, said she felt comfortable coming in because no one else had thrown even 34 feet before Friday.

“Actually, I wasn’t nervous at all,” she said. “I guess it was experience.”

She was seeded second in discus, but Dominguez took control with a couple of strong throws in the finals and had a healthy margin over everyone else.

Junior Kandace Bergseiker qualified for the finals in the 400, posting the day’s eighth-best time — the top eight advance — at 1:01.10. The Lady Rams also qualified three of their four relays — all except the 400 relay — for today’s finals.

Brady, sixth in 3A boys discus last season, was seeded second behind Cobre’s Santiago Ortiz coming in, but moved into the lead on his final preliminaries attempt.

“We were just going back and forth,” Brady said. “It just ended up like that all day.”

He said he felt confident he’d have a chance to win this year, but noted that no one in 3A had really taken charge of the event.
“The five in front of me (a year ago) were all seniors,” he said. “We’ve all been inconsistent this year. Everybody was kind of wondering how it would come out.”

Rams junior Tyler Anderson advanced to three track finals today — he had the third-best time in the 100 hurdles prelims on Friday at 16.15, qualified fifth in the 100 at 16.59 and came in sixth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 43.44.