CAPITAN – As with every Capitan Tiger track and field invitational, the April 21 edition featured a whole lot of Lincoln County and area talent.
As with almost every track meet Capitan has been in this season, the boys and girls teams both piled on the points to finish in first place.
Dakota Hazen put together 29 points with wins in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles and a nine-foot, six-inch leap to win pole vault, plus legs in the 4×200 and 4×400 relay victories.
Jacob Smith had 16.3 points, including a win in the long jump with a State qualifying leap of 20 feet, 8 inches, even though he was sick all day.
“We’ve got some athletes that are right on the cusp of qualifying, so we’re just hoping for good weather, a good day and everyone being healthy,” said Capitan boys coach Becky Huey. “Jacob was sick today, and I had two other runners playing in a basketball tournament today. But Jacob leapt his best this year.”
Wyatt Lowrance scored 22.65 points to lead Capitan, with wins in the 400-meter dash, high jump and part of the 4×400 relay.
His 6-foot mark in high jump matched what he had done in practice, but was the first time he had cleared that bar in competition.
The thing is, he didn’t knowhe was jumping six foot.
“I told them to raise the bar to six feet, but not to tell him,” said Capitan co-coach Kim King. “He can do it if he’s not thinking about it.”
Lowrance cleared six feet easily and was obviously surprised when he found out he had cleared six feet. But then it was raised to 6-2, and he couldn’t convince his body to go higher.
“I just thought I had qualified for State again, but that was cool,” Lowrance said. “But just like when I cleared 5-10, it was the same. I looked at the next height and couldn’t do it.”
While there were several good performances by the Tiger boys and girls, not all of them were State-qualifying good.
One exception was the girls 4×400 relay team, which ran 4:30.64 to close out the day. Currently, the Tiger girls’ only relay notto qualify yet is the medley team, despite winning the event Saturday by 12 seconds.
“I love that these girls stepped up and still ran some amazing times to qualify that relay,” King said of the 4×400 performance. “We just can’t seem to take that one faster step in the medley. We’re so close.”
Lyndee Bason won long jump with a qualifying mark of 17-4, which also stands as the farthest long jump yet in the state.
Estrella Sedillo also got to state in the 100-meter dash, running 13.19 seconds and finishing second overall, while Dominique Valadez threw the javelin 104 feet, 2 inches to take second and qualify in that event.
Valadez represented one several Tigers that were available for the meet that would otherwise be playing softball.
In fact, it’s one of the few times the Capitan girls have had a full team on the track.
“Since maybe Dexter,” King said. “I’m still missing two girls today, but all the girls stepped up and worked as hard as they could.”
Capitan wasn’t the only team to come up with great performances. Detrick Autrey made Carrizozo proud with wins in the shot put and discus, throwing 42-5 in shot and 125-6½ in discus to qualify for State in both, although he had thrown the discus more than 146 feet at Mountainair the day before.
Jacob Naraviz also ran well for the Grizzlies, finishing third in the 200-meter dash, while Kaitlyn Guevara was third for the girls in the same event.
There could be more State events down the road for the Grizzlies, but time is running out.
“We’re close with some of our relays,” Pierson said. “Kaitlyn also qualified yesterday in the 100. I’m looking at probably three or four more girls making it if we can get it at our meet or at district.”
Hondo is also running short on time, having only been to two meets all year long – the Tiger Invite and last week’s Grizzly Invitational.
They’d have had at least one more meet if the Ruidoso Warrior Invitational hadn’t been cancelled due to high winds.
There’s no Eagle qualified yet for State, but things might have been different had senior Joyce Ann Cooper not suffered a career-ending injury in the first round of the Class 1A State basketball playoffs at Cimarron.
With her in the 1,600 and 800-meter runs, as well as anchoring a few relays, the Eagles would likely be on the bus.
While Joyce Ann isn’t running, her sister – freshman Kate Cooper – turned in a good run to take second in the 800-meter run, while Kyra Lucero was fifth in the 400 and sixth in 200.
On the boys side, Erwin Rodriguez finished fourth in the 800-meter run and was sixth in long jump.
Hondo will be at the Grizzly Quad this week and at the district meet at Hagerman to try and get athletes qualified.
“It’s just been one of those years where things haven’t worked out,” said Hondo coach Tim Harris. “This is a real young team, just like basketball was. We have a lot of eighth graders, freshmen and sophomores running. We’ll get and idea of how we can do when we go back to Carrizozo.”
Mescalero had but one athlete scoring points on the day, as Katelyn Yuzos finished fifth in javelin with a throw of 81 feet, 3 inches.
Ramona Fossum is the only Chief to qualify so far for State, also in javelin, although she wasn’t present due to a basketball tournament being played the same day.
Corona also had just one athlete earn points when Conner Cox was fourth in shot put with a throw of 33 feet, 8 inches.
Cox also threw well enough to finish fifth at the Mountainair meet the day before.
“It was good practice, but the weather was brutal there,” said Corona coach Trish Cox. “It’s all been a good learning experience.”