Rattlers return from 2A state track and field competition with two champions

The Tucumcari Rattlers track team earned two state championships and 13 top-ten places at the 2A state track meet May 9-10 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

The Rattlers had a successful year , we didn't finish as strong as we thought though we had some near misses on state championships though it went as well as we expected, said Wayne Ferguson, track and field head coach.

Lady Rattler's sophomore Aby Jimenez won the AA state shot-put championship with a throw of 36 feet, 3-1/2 inches. She beat Clayton Lady Yellowjacket's Kristi Wagner by a distance of nearly three feet for the win.

"Even though I had the championship with an earlier throw I was not satisfied," Jimenez said.

Jimenez said she knew she had won the championship with an earlier throw of 34 feet, 5 inches, but she kept pushing herself to do better.

"That was not my best and I did not want that mark beside my name as a state champion if it was not my best," Jimenez said.

Jimenez said she was driven by her passion to be the best a passion she said is shared by her uncle Jake Jimenez, a three time Rattlers state wrestling champion and one time Rattlers football champion.

Jimenez said her desire to be the best was satisfied with her state champion throw of 36 feet, 3-1/2 inches. She said her final mark is one she looks to defend next near and a mark she looks to beat.

The Rattlers 4×100-meter relay team Zach McElroy, Zach Hurd, Dimitri Chappell and Edgar Gardea all seniors won the state championship with a time of 44.63 seconds.

The Rattlers boys and girls track team had an impressive showing at the meet.

Lady Rattlers senior Brook Dow placed second in the long jump with a distance of 16 feet, 6 inches; freshman Melissa Gardea placed second in the discus with a throw of 103 feet, 11 inches; and senior Esperanza Moncayo placed fifth with a throw of 99 feet, 3-1/2 inches.

The Rattlers 4×200-meter relay team of McElroy, Hurd, Gardea, Chappell placed second with a time of 3 minutes, 38.08 seconds, and the 4×400-meter relay team of Hurd, Gardea, Stephen Chacon, Chappell placed fourth with a time of 3:37.48.

Ferguson said the teams have worked hard over the years to build up the program to an elite level. He said the coaches as well as the students expect the best from their performances and capable of performing at an elite level.

Team standings:

The Lady Rattlers finished in a three-way tie for sixth place with Cloudcroft and Eunice with an overall score of 23 points . First-place Santa Rosa accumulated 45 points and third place Clayton received 40.

The Rattler boys finished in eighth place with 23 points, trailing first-place Texico with 53. Sixth- place Santa Rosa scored 32 points, and seventh place Clayton collected 23.5.

Additional Rattlers and Lady Rattlers finishes:

1600-meter run- 5. Crystal Hernandez (5:45.76).

4×400-meter relay- 5. Dow, Kaycee Lease, Madeline Wiegel, Keannette Perkins (4:25.96).

1600-spirit medley- 8. Dow, Cyann Armijo, Lease, Perkins (4:44.97)

300-meter hurdles- 6. Luke Smith (42.19)

110-meter hurdles- 7. Smith (16.91)

3200-meter run- 9. Hernandez (13:01.86).

Discus- 9. Brad Lopez (103 feet, 5 inches)

Shot put- 10. Marcus Chavez (41 feet, 4-1/4 inches)

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