CAPITAN – When it gets down to the end of the regular season for a track and field team in New Mexico, the last few meets are all about one thing: qualifying for the State meet.
That was certainly the goal for every athlete at this year’s Capitan Tiger Invitational, April 22.
One athlete who met that goal was Capitan’s Adrianna Romero, who’s leap of 4 feet, 10 inches was enough to win the event and get herself on the bus for State.
She was unable to clear five feet, though, even though she’s done it plenty of times in practice.
“Today was a different meet, especially with the weather,” Romero said, referring to the 40-degree weather and overcast skies to start the meet. “Also, at Fort Sumner I bruised my heel triple jumping, but I just had to clear my head and try the best I could. I’d like to hit five foot, it just wasn’t there for me today.”
One thing’s for sure, Romero will have her hands full in the event when she competes at the District 4-3A meet at Tularosa next week.
“Probably the best four or five high jumpers in the state are in this district,” Romero said. “They’ve all qualified already, so it will be tough to compete.”
Another pair of girls that did well were the Brandenberger sisters of Corona. Senior Aubrey ran in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, still trying to get her rhythm down.
“It was good, but I kept clipping the hurdles,” Aubrey said of the 100-meter race. “That was just my fifth race in the 100, so I mainly just do that to warm me up for the 300 hurdles. It’s a good beginning of the day race.
“Today was really slow,” she added, speaking about her 52.43 second time, just good enough for fourth place, but still fast enough to qualify for State. “You have your eye on the end in mind, so you can handle those races in between, trying to get better form and get in shape.”
Koelle, a freshman, was in the 200-meter dash for the first time in her life, and had to run with her sister’s borrowed shoes.
She may be the younger sister, but Aubrey’s shoes were actually too small for Koelle, and she couldn’t wait to get them off after winning her heat with a time of 32.86 seconds.
“I ran this when I was younger, but not since then,” Koelle said. “It was a little tiring, but the beginning of the race was good.”
Cable Cox and Luke Lueras were the only boys there, and they only competed in the discus and shot put.
Neither placed or qualified for State, but their distances are getting better.
“I’m really hoping I can take all five of my kids to State,” said Corona coach Trish Cox. “I’m hoping we can qualify all of them, there’s not many throwers in our district.”
Hondo had a couple of good finishes, as Simon Gonzalez took second in the 100-meter dash, while the medley relay team was also second with a time of 4:27.18.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, neither time was fast enough for a State berth.
The Cooper sisters of Hondo – Joyce Ann and Kate – were third and fifth in the 800-meter run for the best event the Lady Eagles had, but again, not fast enough for state.
“This was a good opportunity for the kids to come out and get some good competition under their belts,” said Hondo coach Alice Velasquez. “We’ve got the Carrizozo quad after this, with one more decision to make before district.”
Both Corona and Hondo are at the District 3-1A meet at Jal, April 29.
This Tiger Invite was an intimate one, with only seven schools entered, and five of them were from the immediate area.
Capitan boys coach Becky Huey said it was a relaxed vibe, booth because of how quickly things moved, and how well all the athletes know each other.
“I thought everything ran pretty good, and the weather turned out to be amazing,” Huey said, referring to the clearer and warmer weather by the meet’s end. “Some of the kids were telling me how calming this meet has been. They loved it because they were running with all of their friends. Everyone enjoyed it.”