Senior Mike Wareham finished ninth in the District 4-5A cross country meet Saturday at Ned Houk Park. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth)
By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
A wrong turn by Carlsbad twins Brandy and Brittany Castillo opened the door for the Clovis High girls in Saturday’s District 4-5A cross country meet at Ned Park.
The miscue by the Castillos, who were comfortably in front at the time, cost them individual honors and nearly the team title. But the Cavegirls held on to edge the Lady Wildcats 29-32 in the three-team event, with Hobbs a distant third at 67.
Carlsbad ran away with boys competition. CHS outlasted Hobbs by two points for second place.
Clovis freshman Caitlin Waters took individual honors for the girls, finishing the three-mile course in 19 minutes, 2 seconds while her fellow Yucca student, eighth-grader Michelle Schenck, came in second at 19:16. Both times were personal bests by more than 10 seconds.
The wrong turn probably cost the Carlsbad twins, both freshmen, well over a minute in time. Brandy Castillo finished third in 20:02, one second ahead of her sister.
“When they turned, I knew they were going the wrong direction,” Waters said. “I tried to tell them ‘good race’ afterwards, but they didn’t say much. I think they were upset.”
Clovis coach Brian Stacy said seeing Carlsbad in person should help the Lady Cats in next week’s Class 5A state meet in Gallup, where he thinks they’ll be in contention for a top-five team finish.
“We’re still going to have to beat Carlsbad at state,” he said. “But now we know how we’re going to have to train to get ready.”
Waters and Schenck had hoped to come out and set the pace on Saturday, but they quickly found themselves in arrears.
“They’re quick,” Waters said of the twins. “They really take off at the start. You just have to try to stay up with them.”
Carlsbad made quick work of things in the boys race, taking seven of the top 11 spots and finishing with 24 points to 53 for Clovis and 55 for Hobbs. Junior James Dickenson led the Cats, placing fifth in a season-best time of 17:49.
“The boys competed as well as they could,” Stacy said. “I was surprised by how far Carlsbad was ahead. Carlsbad was ready to go today.”
While the girls will compete at state next week, Stacy said the boys will not go, even though they are eligible by coming in second in the district.
Dickenson’s time was only the second sub-18 time for the team this season. Stacy said to be in the hunt at state, runners would probably have to be under 17 minutes.
“I told them we can’t run (in the) 18s at state and be competitive,” he said.
District 4-5A meet
Saturday at Ned Houk Park
Varsity boys (3 miles, 21 runners)
Team standings: 1. Carlsbad 24; 2. Clovis 53; 3. Hobbs 55.
Individual winner: Nico Barrera, Carlsbad 16:50.
Clovis results: 5. James Dickenson 17:49; 9. Mike Wareham 18:06; 12. Luis Gonzalez 18:27; 13. Brian Croke 18:31; 14. Cameron Waters 18:37; 18. Bryan Davis 19:10; 19. Josh Worley 19:29.
Varsity girls (3 miles, 20 runners)
Team standings: 1. Carlsbad 29; 2. Clovis 32; 3. Hobbs 67.
Individual winner: Caitlin Waters, Clovis 19:02.
Other Clovis results: 2. Michelle Schenck 19:16; 6. Kayla Merritt 20:38; 11. Monica Soto 21:26; 12. Vanessa Croke 21:31; 13. Lora Esquivel 21:33; 14. Tori Northcutt 21:41.
JV boys (3 miles, 12 runners)
Team standings: 1. Carlsbad 21.
Individual winner: Atanacio Lopez, Carlsbad 18:07.
Clovis results: 8. Andrew Rizer 21:36; 9. Anthony Lopez 22:07.
JV girls (3 miles, 15 runners)
Team standings: 1. Clovis 21; 2. Carlsbad 40.
Individual winner: Rebecca Clark, Clovis 22:04.
Other Clovis results: 3. Kelsey Wymore 22:33; 4. Marissa Burton 22:38; 6. Sabina Hoppe 22:44; 7. Nicole Russell 22:50; 9. Erin Pierce 24:03.