ALBUQUERQUE — The Portales High track teams saved their best performances for last. Unfortunately, sometimes even that wasn’t enough at state.
Coaches and athletes for the Ram squads were pleased with their efforts, even if the scoreboard didn’t reflect it.
The girls team earned five points in Friday’s session from freshman Jenna Sievers’ second-place finish in the high jump, and are in a three-way tie for 10th.
Portales girls coach Sandee Shillings was pleased with the first day, noting all three Lady Rams’ relays teams ran their best times of the season. The medley and 1,600-meter relays qualified for Saturday’s finals and the 400 relay squad finished one-hundredth of a second out of the top eight.
“We were on the lower end of qualifying times,” Shillings said, “but if our girls run well, we have a great chance to score points.”
Other chances for points will come from Megan Sutton, who took the final slot in the 100 hurdles, and Sievers, who has the fourth-best time in the 300 hurdles going into Saturday.
Regarding Friday, Sievers wasn’t at all disappointed to finish second to Ruidoso’s TyLynn Smith, the only athlete to clear the 5-2 mark.
“I was pretty excited,” Sievers said. “I hadn’t cleared five feet this year, and I got it on my first jump.”
Portales is certainly familiar with Smith, who won the District 4-3A meet.
“That girl is just a ninth-grader, so we’re going to have battles with her for the next three years,” Shillings said. “She’s just a great competitor.”
St. Michael’s leads a crowded field with 15.5 points, ahead of Hot Springs, Robertson (11 each) and Cobre (10). Four other squads have seven points.
The Portales boys are tied with Santa Fe Indian School with one point, coming off Seth Christensen’s sixth-place finish in the pole vault. But Portales coach Glenn Johnson is happy senior Cody Small has a chance to win both the 110 and 300 hurdle events. Small had the top times in both during preliminary heats.
“That’s the thing about the state track meet,” said Portales coach Glenn Johnson. “You do a lot of work on Friday, and Saturday is your opportunity to score points.”
None of Portales’ three relay teams advanced to the finals, but Johnson said Morgan Hiner has a chance to score points in Saturday’s shot put.
Lovington leads the boys field with 33 points, well ahead of Bloomfield (18.5) and Socorro (14).
No other 3A team has a double-figure point total.