ALBUQUERQUE — By all considerations of the field at the University of New Mexico, Friday was a pretty good day to be a Clovis Wildcat.
By the time the sun set on the UNM track and field complex, the Clovis girls squad held the lead and a lot of opportunity to score their second-straight Class 5A title and third in four years.
“We did pretty much what we had lined out,” Clovis girls coach Darrel Ray said after his squad scored 24-first day points and ran the fastest preliminary times in all four relays — including a school-record 1:42.85 in the 800 relay. “We got the points on the first day we wanted to get.”
Clovis holds an eight-point lead on Los Lunas (16), with 2008 runnerup Cibola close behind at 13. Las Cruces and Valley are tied at 7 and eight other teams have at least one point going into Saturday’s events.
The Clovis boys, meanwhile, have 12 points for fourth place, but plenty of reasons to be optimistic for Saturday.
Senior Meagan Baglein scored the girls’ only first place with a throw of 122 feet, 11 inches in the discus, and combined with junior Francesca Cabrera to total 17 points in discus and shot put.
Cabrera, who finished one place ahead of Baglein with a third-place throw of 35-6 3/4 in the shot and went for 106 feet and fifth place in the discus, is hopeful her Saturday as a spectator will include her teammates finishing off the title.
Her only regret was that a personal best would have got her third in the discus.
“I thought we did a great job,” Cabrera said.
Her coach would agree, and he noted the bonus of good health.
“We’re staying healthy, all of our kids feel well,” Ray said. “Nobody’s talking about this pain or that pain.”
Clovis boys coach Darren Kelley, who had conceded the top two spots to Highland and defending champ Cibola going in, figures the Wildcats have a great chance at third if they build on their 12 points.
“It was a fun day,” Kelley said, “especially with two school records getting broken.”
Izzy Miranda broke a 31-year-old record with a time of 4:20.82 to finish second in the 1,600, while Richie Chavez won the discus with a school-record 171-5. Chavez hopes to pick up another seven points Saturday by repeating in shot put.
“I want to get over 60 feet,” said Chavez, who holds the school record at 59-7. “That’s my goal. I’m not done yet.”
If Chavez and senior Lance Lukkar can finish 1-2 in discus, Miranda can win the two-mile and Moses Bibbs wins the 100 and 200 — and none are stretches of the imagination — Clovis would have 50 points before any of its three qualified relays (400, 800 and 1,600) race.
“We could score 45-50 if we take care of business,” Kelley said. “If we could do that, that gives us a chance to win a trophy.”