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Isaac Lopez powers through the final lap in the boys’ 800-meter run at the Artesia Invitational at Bulldog Bowl. (Brienne Green – Daily Press)

The Bulldog track and field team came just one point shy of a victory in their lone home outing of the season last week while the Lady Bulldogs finished third, but both teams were able to add new qualifications to their list while bettering marks throughout their rosters.

The Artesia boys took second, 100-101, to Class 6A Hobbs at the 2017 Artesia Invitational, while Carlsbad and St. Pius took the top two spots over the Lady ‘Dogs by four-and-a-half and nine points respectively.

Standout performances could be seen all over Bulldog Bowl and Morris Field from a multitude of athletes representing the 12 teams in attendance, creating a beneficial parity.

“Especially with the ladies, Carlsbad has been further out from us at other meets, but at this one, there were four competitors who came from Friona, Texas, who had gotten out of regionals there, which is really good for their area,” head coach Matt Conn said today. “They were able to score 18 points with just those four girls, so that took some points away from other schools and spread the points out a little differently.”

The ‘Dogs picked up a pair of new state qualifications at the meet, both courtesy of junior Joe Willingham.

Willingham took third overall in both the 110-meter hurdles and triple jump, qualifying with a 15.87 in the former and a 42’1” in the latter.

Classmate Honesty Segura also qualified for the first time for the Lady ‘Dogs in the javelin with a sixth-place throw of 108’, right on the state standard.

The Artesia girls also re-qualified in three events, with all three marks season bests.
Freshman Elliot Harrison bettered her previous qualifying mark in the 100 hurdles with a second-place time of 16.46, then matched her top mark in the high jump with a 5-foot leap. Senior Shaylee Fuller, meanwhile, bested her prior mark in the javelin with a field-topping throw of 119’1”.

On the boys’ side, the 800-meter relay team of Tyler Greenwood, Kale Mauritsen, Kameron Aguilar and Erik Cueto re-qualified with a second-place, season-best time of 1:31.28, as did the 400 relay squad with a third-place 44.04 and Mauritsen in the pole vault with a first-place 13’.

Presley Skinner competes in the girls’ long jump. (Brienne Green – Daily Press)

Also re-qualifying in the 110 hurdles were Chandler Youtsey in first (15.81), Chase Thompson in second (15.84) and Mauritsen in fifth (16.05, season best), while Mauritsen (first, 40.88) and Youtsey (second, 41.61, season best) re-qualified in the 300 hurdles, as well.

In field event re-qualifications, Marcus Bramwell placed fifth with a 47’1” throw in the shot put, Cueto tied for fourth with a 6’ leap in the high jump to match his season best, and Alan Cosio came in second in the triple jump with a 42’3” mark.

“It was a fun meet,” said Conn. “The boys stayed really close with Hobbs, and the girls competed hard, as well. I’m just really proud of how our kids competed; we got a lot of personal bests at home.

“I’m also super happy to have the workers we have who make it go so easy. We’ve been to a lot of meets this year that had issues, and knock on wood, ours went off without a hitch. It was just a good night.”

The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs are now heading to Lovington to close out their 2017 regular season with the annual Ross Black Relays. They’ll head to Roswell next Friday for the District 4-AAAAA event.

“We’re hoping the wind won’t get up too bad tonight and that our field events will keep coming along,” Conn said. “We’ve got some kids who have a good chance at getting in, some solid relays put together… we’re not sure what will happen overall, but we’ll see how we compete tonight, wind or no wind.”