Clovis track teams focusing on district titles

Clovis junior Kim Perkins hopes to qualify for state in the 200 meters and the 100 hurdles Saturday at the District 4-5A meet in Carlsbad. Perkins has already qualified in the 300 hurdles. (CNJ staff: Eric Kluth)

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

Having already qualified most of the entries they wanted for next week’s Class 5A state meet in Albuquerque, the Clovis boys and girls track teams can concentrate this weekend on trying to repeat as District 4-5A champions.

Carlsbad will host the five-school district meet on Friday and Saturday. The top two finishers in each event at district qualify for state.

The Lady Wildcats already have 22 entries qualified for state. Coach Darrel Ray is hoping to get junior Kim Perkins through this weekend in the 100 hurdles and the 200.

“I think she can qualify by time if not by placing first or second,” Ray said. “We’re in a position where we want to allow a few of our kids to try to win their events and walk away with some gold medals.

“We’ve tried to figure what events we can score in against the rest of the district.”

The only team which could deny the Lady Cats the title, Ray said, is Cibola.

“Sandia, Hobbs and Carlsbad are not that strong, but Cibola is a pretty good team,” he said.

The boys are pretty much in the same boat, looking for a district title more than qualifying people. “The only thing we need to get qualified is our (1,600) relay,” coach Darren Kelley said.

“If we go and compete, we’ll be fine. We’ve got a group of about eight that has to compete really well for us to win.”
Cibola and Carlsbad are the Wildcats’ primary challengers at district. The Cats are looking for their fourth district title in six years.

“If we do what we’re supposed to do, we should be fine,” Kelley said. “We’re loading up as heavy as we can and trying to score as many points as we can.”

Ray and Kelley figure their teams have the ability to be near the top of the pack at state next week.

“We’re in the top four,” Ray said, mentioning Highland, Cibola and La Cueva as other contenders for the girls’ team title. “We shape up pretty well with the top teams.”

Kelley said the boys don’t quite have the depth they’d like and may need some things to go their way to have a chance at a state title, or perhaps even a top-three finish. He said Highland, Rio Rancho and La Cueva go in as favorites, followed by the Cats and Alamogordo.

“We’re a top-five team,” he said. “We’re going to be a team at state where if we run perfect and someone else messes up, we could move in there.”