Published: 1:55 pm, Sun. Apr. 9th, 2017Updated: 1:52 pm
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article has been edited from its original version in Sunday’s print edition to reflect changes reported by AHS track coach Matt Conn. Conn said Sunday that, after reviewing the meet results, he noticed scoring errors that he subsequently reported to the host school. Due to those errors, the Bulldogs dropped from second place to third place behind Hobbs.)
The Artesia High School track and field teams logged solid placements amidst 12-team fields Friday at the Jim Love Invitational in Portales, with the Bulldogs coming in third behind Class 6A Clovis and Hobbs, and the Lady Bulldogs sixth.
The ‘Dogs weren’t able to keep pace with the Wildcats despite leading early in the meet but battled with Hobbs for the runner-up spot before being edged out.
“Clovis’ depth just kind of got away from us,” head coach Matt Conn said Saturday. “It’s difficult to compete with a school that large that consistently has a great showing, but to be able to stay right there with Hobbs was exciting.
“It was a pretty exciting meet against such a big field.”
The Artesia athletes and their opponents were able to get their first glimpse at Eastern New Mexico University’s new Greyhound Stadium on a night that saw the ‘Dogs log one new state qualification and eight re-qualifications, and the Lady ‘Dogs re-qualify in one event.
The Bulldogs’ 400-meter relay team qualified for the first time Friday with a third-place time of 44.14. Sophomore Kale Mauritsen, meanwhile, re-qualified with season-best marks in two events: the pole vault, with a second-place vault of 13 feet, and the 300-meter hurdles, with a runner-up time of 41.33.
Also re-qualified at the meet for the boys were Alan Cosio in the triple jump (1st, 42’6”), Denver Williams in the pole vault (T-3rd, 12’), Marcus Bramwell (2nd, 47’6”) and Nathaniel Zarazua (4th, 46’3.5”) in the shot put, and Chandler Youtsey (1st, 15.86) and Chase Thompson (2nd, 15.90) in the 110 hurdles.
Mauritsen was .80 of a second away from re-qualifying in the 110 hurdles, as well, and flirting with first-time qualifications were Tyler Greenwood in the 100 dash (8th, 11.87, .57 off), Kameron Aguilar in the 400 dash (4th, 52.51, 1.21 off), and Codey Scott in the 200 dash (5th, 23.84, .94 off) for the Bulldogs, as well as Lady ‘Dog freshman Elliot Harrison in both the 100 (1st, 17.25, .35 off) and 300 (fourth, 51.00, 1.90 off) hurdles.
The Artesia girls did get one re-qualification from senior Shaylee Fuller in the javelin with a third-place throw of 110’5”.
“The girls are coming along,” said Conn. “We’ve been surprised with the way the young ones are competing and working in practice, and the veterans are setting the tone for them.
“It’s a building season for the girls, and they’re coming along nicely. And the boys are setting up pretty well for state.”
The athletes will have their next chance to add qualifications to their lists Thursday when they travel to the Ruidoso Invitational, although they’ll be competing shorthanded for the majority of the meet.
“The students in 10th and 11th grade will be PARCC testing all next week, so that kind of complicates athletics, but academics are, of course, more important,” said Conn. “So we’re going to test those kids and then bring them up late to Ruidoso.
“The kids who aren’t testing, our freshmen and seniors, will take the early bus and compete like normal. We won’t have as strong a squad, and the testers will be missing half of the events, but it’s important to us as teachers and coaches to stress that academic part of our athletes’ lives.”