Ruidoso’s track and field teams may not have come up with many points at the White Sands Rolla Buck Invitational at Alamogordo, March 18, but there was still progress made.
There were several athletes either gone for Spring Break, tending to other commitments, or simply resting to keep from burning out before the season ends.
That gave coach Kief Johnson a chance to run some different athletes in different events – a chance to see what they’ve got.
“We sat some kids out, we just don’t want to injure them. It’s still early in the season,” Johnson said. “The other kids got a chance to compete, and we did well with the relays. Our boys got after it.”
There were still a few familiar faces on the track at Alamogordo High, including Shalom Keller, who once more showed her speed with wins in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes, all with State qualifying times.
But the only other Lady Warrior to earn points for Ruidoso was Sydney Annala, who threw the shot put 98 feet, 5 inches for a fourth place finish and a State qualifying mark of her own.
On the boys side, LaVaughn Smooth ran the 100-meter dash with a State qualifying time of 11.36 seconds, but still finished fourth overall, while Tyler Davis came in third in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 10:31.52.
In shot put, Lane Ryen again came up with a State qualifying mark of 46-2, and will be joined in Albuquerque by teammate Tyler McClendon, who earned a State spot with a 44-3 throw.
The pair finished fourth and sixth, respectively.
There were several schools at this meet, featuring lots of competition to push the Warriors. That suited coach Johnson just fine.
“There were almost 20 teams there, four from El Paso,” Johnson said. “More than 700 athletes competing that day. It was a great opportunity for our kids.”
Ruidoso now has almost two full weeks off from competition before jumping back into things March 31.
They were originally scheduled to be at the Silver Invitational, but Johnson made the decision to go the opposite direction and head to the Lubbock Invitational instead.
It’s a two-day tournament, which will give the Warriors a chance to experience an event very similar to the State meet.
“State’s a two-day meet, and we need one under our belts,” Johnson said. “It’s about the same distance from here to Silver City as it is to Lubbock.”