Area track team qualifies 10 for regionals

CNJ staff

ALBUQUERQUE — The Clovis-based New Mexico Stars youth track and field team had 10 of its 17 participants at the USA Track and Field state championships finish in the top three Saturday and Sunday at the University of New Mexico track stadium.

The 10 qualified for regionals, to be held July 14-17 in Denver.

Those results more than doubled the expectations of coach Derico Cooper.

“The team ran way better than I expected them to, because we only expected four, maybe five people to advance,” said Cooper, who is also an assistant track coach at Clovis High School.

Cooper’s biggest surprise was 13-year-old Tara DeWitt, who had never run the 200-meters in less than 31 seconds. She finished third with a time of 28.95 seconds.

“She was the longshot of the day,” Cooper said. “We just worked with her and worked with her and she practiced really hard.”

Event winners included Kim Perkins (200 hurdles, 400 hurdles), Phillip Williams (100, 200), Damian Robinson (110 hurdles), Brandon Williams (400) and Deon Clere (200).

Other qualifiers were John Dawson (100, 200); Latasha Moon (100, 200), Bianca Hampton (400), Charles Moon (800), Robinson (200 hurdles), Clere (100) and Brandon Williams (200).