ALBUQUERQUE — Every sixth-place finished mattered for the Texico Wolverines, and a fifth place delivered a win.
Texico recovered from losing relay leg Victoria Richards to a hip flexor injury to narrowly edge Estancia for its third girls state track title in school history and first in 30 years.
Texico posted 40 points, and finished just half a point ahead of Estancia in Class 2A after claiming fifth in the 1,600 relay behind the Bears.
Texico also won as a Class 1A school in 1979 and was the overall state champ in 1973.
“It took every single person everything they did,” said assistant coach Glynna, who Texico in head coach Mike Prokop’s absence. “When we went into that last race, we were up on Estancia by 2 1/2 points. We knew we had to beat them or come up right behind them.”
The Class 1A competition wasn’t much of one, as Fort Sumner posted 141 points and a 99-point victory over Cimarron to claim its ninth girls state title in school history and third in a row.
Prokop, who called the victory “bittersweet” when reached via cell phone, had previously scheduled family commitments after the track meet was pushed back following the postponement of sporting events, as a few New Mexico schools closed due to H1N1 flu fears.
Martin had plenty of unexpected situations to deal with.
There was the bad unexpected, as Richards tried to tough out a tweaked muscle from Wednesday. Martin said Richards pulled out after running one relay and the long jump.
The two relays Richards missed were the medley, where Texico didn’t place, and the 1,600.
But there was the good unexpected, as well. Katlin Luscombe won the high jump Wednesday and claimed the javelin win Thursday to compile the school’s only event victories. Martin said that, plus junior Lisa Vidal’s second-place finish in the javelin, helped because the two were ranked fourth and fifth in the state coming into the finals.
Vidal also placed fifth in the 800.
Fort Sumner brought 15 girls to the meet and 14 took home a medal. The Vixens won all four relays and claimed seven individual victories.
“It was such a great team,” coach Lisa McMath said. “They just produced and stepped up to the plate.”
Vixen senior Bree Lucero claimed high-point honors in 1A with 23 points, just ahead of freshman teammate Christa Boyle with 21 points.
Clovis Christian finished third in Class 1A, just one point behind Cimarron with 41 points.
Coach Jason Swann said it’s been quite a feat for his teams, which both took third place after the school started its program with four athletes five years ago.
“If you told me when I started that we’d finish third five years from now, I would have laughed,” Swann said. “It’s a blast for me to see how far we’ve come in five years.”
Floyd finished sixth in Class 1A with 22 points, as Kelsi Gray won the triple jump Wednesday and finished second in the long jump Thursday and Tori Tucker won the javelin competition.