Portales High girls track coach Sandie Shillings is hoping to make a run at a top-five team finish in this year’s Class 3A state track meet, scheduled for today and Saturday at the University of New Mexico track facility in Albuquerque.
To do it, the Lady Rams need a big weekend from sophomore Jenna Sievers.
Sievers will be busy, competing in both hurdles races and in high jump while running anchor on the 1,600-meter relay. She’s ranked third or better in each of her individual events.
“We finished 10th last year, but we hope to get in the top five this weekend, if we can,” Shillings said.
The PHS girls have entries in each event except long jump, the 200 and the 400. They have multiple entries in high jump, triple jump and the 1,600.
Sievers is tied for the best 3A high jump this year at 5-2, while ranking second in the 100 hurdles and third in the 300 hurdles. Last year, she finished second in high jump and the 300s, accounting for all 10 PHS points.
“In most events, we want to get in the top five and better our bests,” Shillings said. “We’re young, so I feel like we can (improve). I think we can have a lot of personal bests this weekend.”
The PHS boys don’t have a lot of entries, but they’re counting on a strong weekend from senior Cody Small in the 110 and 300 hurdles. Small, who also qualified in the 200 and is running on the 1,600 relay, won the 110s last spring.
The Rams will send all four relay teams to Albuquerque, led by their fourth-ranked 800 relay.
“In the relays, anything can happen,” Rams coach Glenn Johnson said. “The kids have worked hard this week to improve on the little things.”
Portales, which tied with district rival Ruidoso for 10th place last season at 15 points, has one entry in each of four field events. The Rams are qualified in nine track events, with only the hurdles races having multiple qualifiers in Small and junior Colin McAfee.
Johnson is simply hoping for the best.
“We’re looking for performance,” he said. “It’s going to be pretty tough to out-point (the top teams) like Lovington and (Las Vegas) Robertson, which have 20-24 people going and we’re going with 13.”
Lovington’s boys and Hope Christian’s girls are the defending champions.