Track season kicks off


March 20, 2019

Ron Warnick

Tucumcari junior TJ Lampkin prepares to make a warm-up throw of the javelin as assistant coach Eddie Encinias watches during practice Thursday. Tucumcari's boys and girls track teams open their seasons with the Rattler Relays on Saturday.

Tucumcari track and field coach Wayne Ferguson will get his first good look at his boys and girls teams in competition Saturday during the season-opening Rattler Relays.

The Rattler Relays, which begin at 9 a.m. at Rattler Field, also will include competitors from Logan and San Jon.

Ferguson said he was optimistic his boys team, which finished third in the state last year, would make another strong showing in Class 3A.

"I return a pretty good crew," he said. "I have a pretty good group of sprinters coming back. I did lose quite a bit in my field events, though. And we've got some kids that I thought were going to run for us that didn't, so that's hurt us depth-wise."

Among the top returning athletes is senior Seth Martinez, a two-time defending state champ in 300-meter hurdles. He finished second and first in the 110-meter hurdles in the last two years. Martinez also is expected to be a key member of several relay teams.

Ferguson said he expects good things from Gerardo Villa-Vargas on the relay teams, state discus qualifier Robbie Hartmann on several relays, state-medalist medley relay member Josh Chavez, plus Rod Dunlap in the sprint events.

He added he hopes to see improvement from TJ Lampkin in the javelin throw and help from track newcomer Casey Carter.

"He hasn't run before," Ferguson said of Carter. "We hope he can fill in the gaps from the couple of guys that we lost."

Ferguson said this track season will contain some unknowns because of realignments by the New Mexico Activities Association that took effect last fall.

"With the new classification, we're going to have to see how we match up," he said. "We're going to see a lot of new schools, and I don't know who they have returning or what they did."

He expects a senior-laden Dexter team, also is a defending state champion, to be Tucumcari's key competition at the May 3 district track meet at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell.

Ferguson said he isn't sure how his girls track team will stack up competitively until he knows how many basketball players will go out for the team.

He said he expects another strong year from Secilee Skinner, who qualified for state in the shot put last season.


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