Rattler boys take third at State

William Thompson

The Tucumcari High School Boys track team place third overall at the state tournament in Albuquerque recently, and junior Chris McCasland was the high-point individual at the meet.

Rattler Coach Wayne Ferguson said the third place showing was a major achievement for Tucumcari High School.
“This is the first time we’ve brought home a track and field trophy from the state tournament in 21 years,” said Ferguson, “and Chris McCasland scoring more points than anyone else at the tournament, that’s the first time in a very long time that a Tucumcari male track athlete has done that.” McCasland won the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.65 seconds. Rob McClelland finished fourth in the 100 meter dash. The 400 meter relay team was disqualified due to a dropped baton. Coach Ferguson said several errors made by Tucumcari athletes prevented the team from winning the state tournament.

“Like I said before, the state tournament allows no room for mistakes,” said Ferguson. “We made some mistakes, but I was extremely pleased with the effort of all our runners.”
The 1600 meter relay team, McCasland, McClelland, Jonathan Reno, Nick Wiegel and Andy Lau, won its event with a time of 3:30.40, and the 800 meter relay team finished first with a time of 1:32.16. The 800 meter relay team consisted of Wiegel, McCasland, McClelland and Nemie Salvador. Salvador did well in the long jump competition, finishing third. His final jump was 20’ 2”, one foot and two inches longer than his best jump in the district tournament.

McCasland again excelled in the high jump competition with a jump of 6’2” which tied him for second place. Jamie Jones did well in the girls’ field competition. She was seventh in both the discus and javelin throwing events. She threw the javelin 104’ 8” which tied the Tucumcari High School record for a female in that event. Jones threw the discus 104’ 2” which was a personal best for the underclassman.
Assistant Coach Bryan Dunlap, who coaches field events, said Jones has a bright future before her in the throwing competitions.. “I look for her to be in the top three in the state the next two years,” said Dunlap. “I think she could be the best in the state her senior year.”

Coach Ferguson said that now that track season is over, the athletes will have time to relax a little before practice for fall sports begin. “We went to state, competed at a very high level and did well,” said Ferguson. “I don’t have to worry about them working hard during the summer because they will soon be active again in preparation for the volleyball and football schedules.”