Rattlers ready to run

By Kevin Wilson: Quay County Sun

It’s simple math for the Tucumcari High boys track team. After finishing third in the state in 2004 and second in 2005, the Rattlers want to make the final step.

“In the last four years, we’ve gotten into the top five every single time,” senior Eric Holt said. “I’m just thinking this year is our year.”

Pursuit for a 2A championship begins Saturday in Estancia, as the first of seven pre-district meets for the Rattlers. Wayne Ferguson, who enters his 11th year as the head track coach, said he expects good things from both the girls and boys squads.

“We’re pretty solid top to bottom in experience,” Ferguson said. “We’ve got some pretty good freshman who are expected to perform as well.”

The biggest need the Rattlers have, Ferguson said, was to fill the void of Chris McCasland, who could be counted on to pick up points in the jumping events. Ferguson expects Aric Trujillo and Nemie Salvador to help fill that need.

Holt feels the team’s relay performances may be the top factor in how the team performs.

“That’s where our strong point is,” said Holt, who is on the 400-, 800- and 1600-meter relay teams. “It’s about speed and acceleration. For the 1600 relay, it’s all about stamina.”

Holt figures that with the football team making the state-championship game, the wrestling team having seven state medalists and the basketball team making the state tournament for the first time in 16 years, it’s time for the track team to have a similar improvement.

On the girls side, senior Andrea Garcia sees a difference this year as well.

“We’re more dedicated,” Garcia said. “Everyone’s been coming to the practices. They look like they want it this year.”

Garcia competes in the shot put, discus and javelin events. She qualified for the state meet last year in the shot put, and aims to throw 36-feet this year. That distance, Garcia said, would break the school record.

Garcia said the girls’ team should be strong, especially with senior Jamie Jones. Jones finished second in the state in discus in 2005.

“We’ve got some strong runners coming up as freshmen,” Garcia said, “and we’ve got the same team for about four years. So I think we’ll be pretty good.”