Foxes finish distant second at state

Fort Sumner senior Jeremy Gauna competes in the 300-meter hurdles. Gauna won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles for the second consecutive year. (De Baca County News: Scott Stinnett)

By Pete Herrera: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE — Jeremy Gauna repeated as champion of the 110 and 300 meter hurdles, but it was not enough to lift Fort Sumner past Hagerman, who ran away with the Class 1A team title on Saturday.

“We knew Hagerman was a strong team,” Fort Sumner coach Dexter McDaniel said. “They are deserving. We would have had to had a perfect track meet, and even still I’m not sure we would have beaten them.”

The Foxes got second place finishes in the 400 meter, 800 meter and mile relays.

Hagerman scored 94 points, Fort Sumner had 63 points and Cliff was third with 35.

The Clovis Christian boys finished in 11th place with 15 points, but coach Jason Swann saw the meet as a step forward for his developing program.

“We did exactly what I though we could do,” Swann said. “It was perfect. It was a step in the right direction.”

In Class 2A, the Texico boys scored nine points.

“I thought we competed really well,” Wolverines coach Randy Zarate said. “For a lot of them, it was their first time to be here, so I was really pleased.”

Justin Garrison placed fourth in the 200 meters, Mario Posada took fifth in the 400 meters, and the Wolverines got a fourth place finish in the medley relay.

Mountain View’s Tacorey Singleton won the 100- and 200-meter races, but he’s hardly the typical prep athlete.

Singleton is a freshman at Mountain View, the academic and athletic community within the New Mexico Boys School, the correctional facility for youthful offenders located in Springer.

Singleton, who was involved in an armed robbery last year in Albuquerque, has been at the boys school for eight months. He is scheduled to be transferred to a reintegration center at Eagle Nest this summer, the first step in what Singleton is certain will help him turn his life around.

“It’s sort of like a halfway house,” Singleton said during a break between his wins Saturday. “You go to school and they get you a job.”

Singleton says “hanging out with the wrong crowd” got him in trouble and his time at the boys school has been a positive thing.

“I’m not happy that I’m there, but I’m glad I went because it’s turned out good,” he said. “I got my grades up, I get to go off campus and go to track meets and play basketball. I know I have a natural ability for sports and I know I can do better.”

Singleton’s wins in the two sprints gave Mountain View its first individual track titles in school history. Singleton and sophomore Larry McClendon were the only members of the school’s track team to quality for state and McClendon also placed, finishing third in the javelin.

McClendon, 18, too is scheduled to be sent to the Eagle Nest facility.

“Being here is lovely, basically it’s lovely,” McClendon said. “It helps me focus on what I need to do with my life.”

While other athletes at this weekend’s meet spent Friday night in a hotel or at home, Singleton and McClendon were housed at the juvenile detention center in Albuquerque.

Mountain View coach Anthony Sanchez said sports can be a positive tool in getting young offenders on the right path.

“To see these two excel in their events is a plus,” Sanchez said. “Their goals are to go to junior colleges and compete at higher levels.”

Estancia won the team title in the boys 2A meet.

Estancia scored 68 points, with Sandia Prep second with 57 and Hatch Valley third with 46.

Hagerman’s Allen Pilley set a state record in the javelin with a throw of 164-feet, 8-inches. That beat the previous state mark of 160 feet by Jarrod Lindsey of Grady at last year’s meet.

Stephen Jochem of Gallup Catholic won the 1,600-meter run in a state record time of 4:33.82. That was nearly two seconds faster than the previous state meet best of 4:35.20 by Jay Draper of Melrose in 1988.

In girls action, Texico’s Brook Bailey to took home gold in the shot put, throwing 33 feet, 11 3/4 inches.

“We thought she’d be in the top three,” Texico girls coach Mike Littlejohn said. “She had two of the top three throws.”

The Lady Wolverines also had a good showing in the discus, with Zandi Queener and Stephanie Bailey placing third and fourth, respectivey.

In all, Texico scored 25 1/2 points and finished eighth. Santa Fe Prep notched the team title with 69 1/2 points.

“We were hoping to get 20 to 30 points,” Littlejohn said. “We didn’t get some of the things I though we might.”

The Fort Sumner Vixens won first in the 1,600-meter medley, running the event in 4:20.40.

As expected, Cimarron won the team title, scoring 72 1/2 points. Fort Sumner was sixth with 29 points.

Clovis Christian scored more points on Saturday than it had in the history of the program — one.

Cristen Wofford ran the 400 meters in 1:04.34 to place fifth.
“That’s a big deal,” Lady Eagles coach Jason Swann said.

CNJ staff writer Jesse Wolfersberger contributed to this story.