By Eric Butler
Clovis High senior Will Greig may seem like some kind of bionic long-distance runner sometimes, especially when his training regimen is considered.
But two days before the district track meet — his last chance to qualify for the state meet in an individual event — Greig was hurting.
A sore back was making him walk gingerly across the high school campus.
Greig, though, assured those around him that he would be ready to run in the two-day District 4-5A track meet starting Friday at Wilson Stadium in Albuquerque.
“My back’s been bothering me. It hurts, but I have to run on Saturday,” Greig said.
Greig is among a few Clovis High track and field athletes close to reaching qualifying marks for next week’s state track meet. The 4-5A meet is the last chance.
In his best event, the 800 meters, Grieg is oh-so-close.
The state qualifying time is 1:59.10. Greig has finished it in 1:59.20 this year.
“He keeps flirting with it, but we just haven’t quite hit it yet,” said Clovis assistant Mike Hankins, who works with the middle-distance runners.
“He’s real determined though. And he’s made himself a pretty good half-miler.”
It’s not unusual to see Greig running the two miles from his home to Clovis Community College before school starts to get in some laps at the swimming pool.
“I’m not trying to, like, be a swimmer,” said Greig, who will put in 25 laps at the pool about twice a week. “I just do it for conditioning — to expand my lungs.”
Nor is the sight of Greig, who plans on attending Kansas State University, running around town on weekends rare.
“We ask that the kids go run on their own,” Hankins said. “With Will, I will actually see him out on the roads on the weekend. He’s one you don’t have to worry about taking care of business.”
Greig is already qualified as part of a medley relay team to run at state next week in Alamogordo.
Another Clovis athlete who is trying to get qualified this weekend is junior Ben Teconchuk, who is close in the 100 and 200 meters.
Clovis boys coach Darren Kelley said long jumper Tanner Williams and four discus throwers may also be able to qualify for state this weekend.
“To win it,” said Kelley, asked what the team’s goal is at district. “The kids haven’t lost to a New Mexico school so far this year. So we don’t want to start now.”
There’s two ways to qualify for state: 1) through a qualifying mark; or, 2) by being one of the top two finishers of an event at the district meet.
Clovis girls coach Darrel Ray is hoping Latoya Anderson can qualify in the 200 meters.
Anderson has run the event in 25.78 and 25.88 this year — just short of the 25.70 qualifying mark. But if weather conditions make hitting the qualifying time difficult, finishing in the top two is still an option — if Monique Walker, who’s already qualified, is accommodating.
“She (Anderson) is going to make it on time. She’s probably the third best in the state — behind Monique and Chevonne Miller (of Manzano),” Ray said.