Ruidoso track gets better at Lubbock

By Todd Fuqua

Ruidoso track and field coach Kief Johnson always loves to take his team to the Lubbock Invitational, even if his team doesn’t rack up a ton of points at the highly competitive meet.

“We had 25 athletes get new personal bests, and a few new State qualifiers too,” Johnson said. “It was a big meet, and the competition was pretty tough.”

Morgan Johnson was the only running Warrior to qualify for the finals in any event, finishing with the eighth-fastest time in the 100-meters in the prelims and taking sixth overall in the finals with a time of 13.43 seconds.

Morgan Johnson

Her time of 12.91 in the prelims was also fast enough to qualify her for State.

The fact that we’re even talking about prelims and finals points out another reason coach Johnson likes this meet – it takes place over two days and is in the exact same format as the State meet in May.

“This was a great meet to get us ready for the rigors of a two-day meet like that,” Johnson said. “The kids know they can go all out for a particular event and not have to worry as much about running that hard again until the next day.”

Ruidoso’s boys’ 4×100 relay team of Layson Powell, Alex Aguirre, Robert Roller and Josh Romero may not have what it took to get into the finals – they were 10th fastest overall in the prelims – but their time of 45.02 seconds was fast enough to qualify for State.

Additionally, Powell missed qualifying for the State meet in the 100-meter dash by a mere .05 seconds with a time of 11.45 seconds.

Macai Garcia threw the shot 44 feet, 10-¼ inches to finish eighth overall. He may not have got any points, but that throw was both a personal record and good enough to get him to State.

Teammate Tyler McClendon requalified in shot and finished sixth overall, throwing 46-11½.

The Warriors head to Portales this weekend for the George/Love Relays at Eastern New Mexico University’s Greyhound Stadium.

“That’s where the district meet is, so it will be good for us,” Johnson said.

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