By Dave Wagner
TEXICO — The Texico Lady Wolverines have brought home the third-place trophy from the Class 2A girls state track meet each of the past two years.
With four-year standout Elizabeth Richards having moved on, Texico has its work cut out trying to repeat that success. But first-year coach Randy Zarate doesn’t think it’s out of the question.
“We’re looking to do well at state,” he said. “We want to bring home a trophy again. It’ll be difficult to do that, but I think it’s possible.”
The Lady Wolverines are coming off a solid second-place finish behind Cimarron in the small-school division of Saturday’s Fox and Vixen Relays at Fort Sumner. Texico returns to Fort Sumner on Thursday for the EPAC meet.
Richards accounted for 17 of the team’s 33 points last year at state, taking a second consecutive 2A high jump title at 5-4 while placing third in long jump and fourth in both triple jump and javelin.
Texico still has senior thrower Christina Clark, the defending 2A champion in shot put at 35-8 1/2 who also finished second in discus (108-1) and sixth in discus (107-9) at state. Zarate said the Lady Wolverines are counting on sophomore sprinter Amber Parmer and their relays for production.
Seniors Carrie Rucker (300 hurdles, 1,600 relay and either the 1,600 or 3,200) and Dru Mayfield (triple jump, 400 and two relays) should also help.
“We’re looking for Christina to do well at state, along with Carrie and Dru,” Zarate said.
Parmer has already qualified in the 200, long jump and on the 400 and 1,600 relays. She also made it to state as an eighth grader and a freshman, but wasn’t able to participate last year because of a muscle strain.
“It was disappointing,” she said. “I felt bad because I felt I let my teammates down.”
Parmer said she thinks that while track is an individual sport in many respects, support from teammates is important to overall success.
“I think for us to do good, we have to stick together and help each other,” she said. “To me, it’s more of a team thing than an individual thing.”
Texico’s numbers are up significantly this year, although Zarate said about a third of the team’s 27 athletes are in the freshman class. “We have a lot of freshmen that are going to help us,” he said.
Junior Sissy Loper has been hampered by a lung infection recently, but has already qualified for state as the first leg of the 400 and 800 relays. She’s trying to make it in the 100, the 200 and on the medley relay.
“We’re not far from qualifying our medley; hopefully we can get it qualified,” she said. “Everybody’s been pretty healthy, and we’ve had a lot of girls qualify in different events. We’re trying to qualify as many people as we can.”