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Ruidoso Invitational a tune-up for district

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso's Naomi Chavez runs the trail at RHS during the Ruidoso Invitational, Oct. 22.

RUIDOSO – While the Ruidoso cross country team may have been excited to run in front of a home crowd, Oct. 22, for the Ruidoso Invitational, the longer goal was to prepare for the District 3/4-4A meet next week at Cobre.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso's Tyler Davis was 10th overall in the boys varsity division of the Ruidoso Invitational, Oct. 22.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso’s Tyler Davis was 10th overall in the boys varsity division of the Ruidoso Invitational, Oct. 22.

That’s why Warrior coach Trevor Rabourn wasn’t upset with the boys’ team finish in seventh.

“We’re looking out to Cobre next week, and there’s a big hill on that course,” Rabourn said. “We were looking to get in a little bit more hill training this week.

“It’s hard to judge this meet, because there’s a lot of teams that are resting runners because they’re looking out to district, too,” he added.

Ruidoso barely had a full boys team and not enough for a girls team score at the meet due to ACT testing on the same day, but there were a few individual performances the Warriors could be proud of.

The best finish on the day belonged to Tyler Davis, who came in 10th overall in a field of 124 runners.

It wasn’t as good as his showing as his fourth-place finish at the Pecos Valley Invitational two weeks before, possibly due to poor course management.

But Rabourn wasn’t judging Davis harshly.

“At about the mile-and-a-half mark, Tyler was in 10th and he finished in 10th,” Rabourn said. “Earlier he was in second, and this is his last time to be running in front of the home crowd, and I know the adrenaline gets to you when that happens.

“He was a little disappointed with how he attacked the second half of the course,” Rabourn added. “He didn’t feel it was representative of what he can do there.”

Lady Warrior Naomi Chavez turned in a time of 24:31.74, good enough for 36th overall.

“She did great. She’s been rock solid for us all year,” Rabourn said of Chavez’ performance. “Despite the kids being a little tired and us looking ahead, I thought she looked really good out there and had a pretty good run.”

Photo by Todd Fuqua Capitan runners Adrianna Romero, right, and Mary Howard pace each other at the Ruidoso Invitational, Oct. 22.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Capitan runners Adrianna Romero, right, and Mary Howard pace each other at the Ruidoso Invitational, Oct. 22.

Moriarty and Cobre were the only other district opponents at the meet, with the boys finishing two places ahead. Cobre didn’t turn in a team finish.

Rabourn said the real race is going to be for second next week.

“I’m excited for them and expect big things because of the work they’ve put in,” Rabourn said of his team. “It’s going to be tough to catch Hope Christian on either side. Aside from that, it’s going to be close.”

Ruidoso wasn’t the only local school competing. There was also Mescalero’s Alex Kaydahzinne, whose time of 19:31.54 put him in 26th place overall.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Mescalero's Alex Kaydahzinne gets a good start at the Ruidoso Invitational, Oct. 22.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Mescalero’s Alex Kaydahzinne gets a good start at the Ruidoso Invitational, Oct. 22.

Chief coach Elmer Chavez is looking forward to Kaydahzinne’s performance at next week’s District 3/4-2A/1A meet at Roswell against Cloudcroft, Gateway Christian and Hagerman, all of whom were represented Saturday at Ruidoso.

“We’ve been training all this week trying to get ready for district,” Chavez said. “He’s the No. 1 seed going into district, so if he just runs like he did today, he should do pretty well there. We’re just trying to keep him healthy.”

Capitan’s district meet in Laguna Acoma is also next week, with the Tigers at least making a showing at Ruidoso. It might not have been the best finish for the Tigers, but coach Kim King it was an opportunity to get more diversity in training.

“We got a chance to see some different kind of terrain, making us work a little bit harder,” King said. “This was more of a warm-up meet, not for them to run their very hardest.”

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