CARRIZOZO – Everyone seems to be off to a late start for the track and field season, at least among small schools in Lincoln County.
That’s something Carrizozo coach Trampus Pierson could confirm, as his squad competed in only their second meet of the season, April 6, their own Grizzly Relays.
In fact, he says it’s been true with just about every small school in the state.
“I’ve talked to northern coaches, and with all the crazy weather, the late winter snows,” Pierson said. “I guess everyone’s in the same boat. It’s up to the kids, how hard they want to work to get better.”
Those that worked the hardest – at least at the Grizzly meet – were the Capitan boys, who came away with the first place trophy, out-pacing Lordsburg by 21 points in the final standings. Capitan’s girls were second behind Cloudcroft.
There were also several State qualifiers for the Tigers, including Price Bowen, who qualified in the 400-meter dash by a full second, a day before heading to Eunice to help the Capitan baseball team to a 10-7 victory.
Even with all his accomplishments, Bowen still wasn’t satisfied.
“I felt like I could have run a little harder. In baseball, coach Steve Dirks (he’s a runner) pushes me to get more than what most kids will get,” Bowen said. “Also, coach (Becky) Huey pushes me. I wish I could have done better, but I still qualified. That’s all that really matters.”
“He (Bowen) pushes himself. They all do,” Huey said. “He had a great meet. Not only did he qualify in the 400, he was also on the 4×100 team that qualified.”
Also getting qualifying marks for Capitan’s boys were Jacob Smith and Alejandro Trujillo in the 100-meter dash, while the Tiger 4×200-meter team also picked up a ticket to State.
There were no Capitan girls qualifying, although Adrianna Romero picked up a qualifying mark in triple jump at the previous week’s Cloudcroft Invitational, in spite of the cold and snow.
There were two Lincoln County teams who hadn’t run in any track meet yet – Corona and Hondo.
Hondo’s girls actually did quite well, scoring 35½ points to finish sixth overall, while Corona’s Aubrey Brandenberger got qualifying marks in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.
“For our first meet, I felt he kids did pretty good. It gives us a place to start and a place to build on,” said Corona coach Trish Cox. “We’ve got our work cut out for us, there’s no doubt, but I feel they made a good effort today and I’m really proud of them all.”
For Hondo, there were no qualifiers, but the number of points show the Eagles aren’t in too bad of shape considering this was their first meet.
“I think the kids did a good job. We had several kids run personal bests today,” said Hondo co-coach Tim Harris. “We love these kids in Hondo. They just love to compete in just about anything. We’re real proud of them.”
For Carrizozo, Hannah Ventura showed she’s ready to defend her State title in shot put, winning the event with a qualifying throw of 31 feet, nine inches. Additionally, she also won discus.
On the boys side, Riley Pierson won pole vault with a State qualifying height of 10-6, while Detrick Autrey won both shot and discus, throwing 42-11 in shot to qualify.
“For us, we’re focusing on just a few events to get kids to state. Once we get there, it’s a whole different ball game,” said coach Pierson. ”That’s the key, just get the kids to state, then figure out where they’re at.”