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The Artesia High School track and field teams will try to use the blustery weather to propel them over the competition today at Bulldog Bowl and Morris Field as they host the annual Artesia Invitational Track Meet.

The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs will play host to 13 teams today, including all the traditional attendees of the annual meet plus a few new faces, such as Clovis and Albuquerque High.

“We’re excited to see some great competition today,” Artesia head coach Matt Conn said this afternoon. “There should be tough competition in all events.”

Conn says spectators can look forward to seeing solid athletic performances from the field to the pits to the track. Clovis’ Burgin Foster, for instance, is currently exceeding state qualifying standards by four feet in the pole vault with 16-foot jumps, four inches away from the state record in the event. Conn says the Wildcat has a chance to break the Artesia Invite meet record today.

The Lady Bulldogs have been competing well as a team throughout the season, winning the Wildcat Relays in Lovington and the Roswell City Meet and placing in the top three in the remainder of their competitions.

On the boys’ side, junior standout Kale Mauritsen will be competing in five events today, including the four in which he’s already qualified for state: the long jump, pole vault, and 300- and 110-meter hurdles. Mauritsen currently holds the top mark in Class 5A in the hurdle events and the pole vault.

Conn says senior Joe Willingham is also on the verge of qualifying in the triple jump, and the Bulldogs will additionally be looking to qualify their relays.

“We’re looking to put together some strong relays tonight,” said the coach. “We’ve loaded our relays hot in a few areas, and we’ve got a good tail wind for the 100 dash and 100 hurdles, so we should be able to produce some good times and jumps.”

The meet is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., with throwing events at Morris Field and jumping and running events at the Bowl.

“We sure do appreciate all the help the community gives us and all the volunteers,” said Conn. “Without that, we couldn’t run this meet.

“We’re excited for our team and what we have a chance to accomplish today.”