Exactly five athletes from the Lincoln County area will represent their schools at this year’s State cross country meet in Rio Rancho this weekend.
There’s a pair of pretty good runners in that quintet, however, so there might be some hardware coming home.
“Both the guys and girls ran well, they just didn’t run quite as well as we hoped they would,” said Ruidoso coach Trevor Rabourn. “We did as well as we could on that particular day.”
Ruidoso had full boys and girls teams at the District 3/4-4A meet in Bayard on Oct. and Tyler Davis and Aaron Forster for the boys.
What’s truly frustrating is that there could have been more. Ruidoso missed out on at least four more state-bound runners by just two or three places.
Uriah Hornedeagle and Berenice Gomez were 16 and 17, respectively, while Gavin Garcia took 14th and Wesley Moore took 18th in the boys division.
“We did the best we could do, but it’s hard,” Rabourn said. “We’ve got small teams, and when we go into those meets, we need everybody to have a good to great day. A lot of us had great days, but a few had just good days, which kept us from getting everybody there.”
Ruidoso’s pack time for the boys was actually pretty good. Davis was fifth overall with a time of 18:11, while Forster was just a minute and a half slower at 19:56. The bunching at the top actually meant the Warriors were tied for third with Moriarty, but at that point, the placing of the teams’ sixth runner is taken into account.
Since Ruidoso didn’t have a sixth runner, they lost the tie breaker.
Something similar happened to the girls, as Cobre edged out the Lady Warriors on the strength of their No. 2 runner.
“We’ve had different girls moving in and out of that top five all year long,” Rabourn said. “Cobre’s top runner was second overall in the entire event. We brought in three girls before their second runner came in, but it wasn’t quite enough to make up that difference.”
So, with only three athletes at state, what does Rabourn hope to accomplish?
“It’s hard to say,” Rabourn said. “Tyler’s very capable of finishing in the top 10, but there’s probably less than a 30 second difference between the No. 1 runner and the No. 25 runner up there.
“One thing that’s been nice is that this week, they’re all still practicing,” he added. “They feel that camaraderie with each other, they understand the importance of what’s coming up. They don’t want to have them train by themselves, so they’re running with the people who are going.”