Clovis High senior Charles Purdy earned a fifth-place finish in shot put on Thursday in Class 5A state track competition at Albuquerque with a throw of 52 feet, 3 1/2 inches. Photo by Rick White
STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
ALBUQUERQUE — The good news is the Clovis Lady Wildcats qualified first in the 400- and 1,600-meter relays. The bad news is it might not matter.
Clovis coach Darrel Ray said the Lady Wildcats’ slim hopes of upsetting favored La Cueva in the Class 5A state track meet suffered a big blow Thursday as junior Cristin Vick finished sixth in pole vault with a height of 8-6.
It didn’t help that freshman Kela Williams fell in the 100 hurdles and failed to make the finals.
“That was a huge disappointment,” Ray said of Vick. “We were counting on some big points for her.”
Vick entered the three-day meet at the University of New Mexico track and field stadium tied for the best vault (10-feet) this season in 5A.
Ray said he expected the 400 relay to qualify with the best time but got an added bonus when senior Monique Walker turned in a strong anchor leg that earned the Lady Cats a top seed in the 1,600 relay.
Meanwhile, the Clovis boys got on the scoreboard early when senior Charles Purdy finished fifth in the shot.
The Wildcats also qualified for the finals in the 400 and 1,600-meter relay.
But junior Phillip Williams (100) and freshman Brian Mead (110 hurdles) failed to advance.
“We did all right,” Clovis coach Darren Kelley said. “Part of it is we’re so young we haven’t figured out how to compete at the state track meet yet.”
Seven-time champion La Cueva was the runaway first-day leader with 22 points behind wins by Shadrack Kiptoo in the 800 and Aaron Lewis in the shot.
Kiptoo, a native of Kenya, cruised to the 800 championship with a time of 1:53.24 despite a 20-mph wind. His teammate, Derek Skinner, finished second in the event.
Kiptoo said the wind, which was in the 20 mile-an-hour range much of the day, also hindered his bid to catch or surpass Krummenacker’s time.
“Oh man, the wind was like really, really bad,” Kiptoo said. “I tried to push, but the backstretch, it was crazy.”
Meantime, Lewis took first place in shot put, throwing 57-3 1/2 for a margin of more than a foot over runnerup Phillip Harrison of Highland.
Competition in the state’s three largest classes (3A, 4A and 5A) for both boys and girls continues Friday, with most of the finals run on Saturday.
Shot put — 1, Aaron Lewis, La Cueva, 57-3 1/2. 2, Phillip Harrison, Highland, 55-11 3/4. 3, Brandon McKinney, Rio Rancho, 55-3 1/2. 4, Travis Dekker, La Cueva, 54-7. 5, Charles Purdy, Clovis, 52-3 1/2. 6, Mark Paiz, Valley, 50-5 3/4.
High jump — 1, Chris Williams, Rio Rancho, 6-10. 2, Derek McDonald, Eldorado, 6-8. 3, Quentin Burrell, Highland, 6-6. 4, Darren Prentice, Alamogordo, 6-6. 5, Stuart St. Louis, Eldorado, 6-6. 6, Frank Borden, Gadsden, 6-0.
800 — 1, Sharack Kiptoo, La Cueva, 1:53.24. 2, Derek Skinner, La Cueva, 1:59.04. 3, Luis Marquez, Santa Fe, 1:59.24. 4, Jason Smith, Rio Rancho, 2:00.44. 5, Nathan Garcia, West Mesa, 2:01.44. 6, Frank Borden, Gadsden, 2:02.44.
800 — 1, Anna Petrov, Eldorado, 2:19.42. 2, JoJo Calderon, Carlsbad, 2:22.8. 3, Rebecca Johnson, Sandia, 2:23.36. 4, Krystal Becenti, Gallup, 2:23.73. 5, Lynn Brashear, Eldorado, 2:24.05. 6, Lorraine Villegas, Hobbs, 2:24.86.