Staff photo: Andy DeLisle Clovis junior Taylor Muse finished fourth in the shot Saturday at the Class 5A state track meet in Albuquerque.
By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
ALBUQUERQUE — Clovis High boys track coach Darren Kelley knew that for the Wildcats to have a strong showing in the Class 5A state meet, junior Manuel Robles would need a big weekend.
Robles finished third in high jump and long jump on Friday, but on Saturday he secured his third consecutive 5A triple jump title with a best of 47-2 1/4.
Later, he added a sixth-place finish in the 200 in 22.94, helping the Cats to a seventh-place team standing with 27 points.
Robles fought off a challenge in triple jump from Alamogordo senior Carlos De La Cruz, who went a season-best 46-7 1/4. He was in the running for most individual points in the meet, but came up a bit short after tallying 16 for the Cats.
“I felt good today,” Robles said. “I came out here today just to jump. I felt a lot of pressure (to defend the title).”
His best jump came on his final attempt, after he’d already secured the victory.
“(De La Cruz) came out here and did his best,” Robles said. “I think that helped me jump a little further.”
Kelley wasn’t surprised someone like De La Cruz, whose previous best was 45-9 1/2 compared to Robles’ top of 48-1 1/4, came on to push him.
“That’s the scariest thing about the jumps,” Kelley said. “There’s always someone who has the jump of his life.
“Manuel had a good weekend. He competed well.”
The Cats scored in three other events Saturday, highlighted by a 3-4 finish in shot put from senior Michael Cohen (54-1 1/4) and junior Taylor Muse (49-11 3/4).
Cohen was one inch behind runnerup Jamil Wilson of Highland. Alamo’s Michael Gerber won easily at 58-1.
The top four finished in the order they were seeded.
“We all competed pretty good,” Cohen said. “We’ve all been right with each other all year.
“We’ve competed against (Gerber and Wilson) all year, and I’ve run into those guys on football recruiting visits. There’s not two other people I’d rather lose to in the state than those two.”
Muse came up nearly two feet short of his personal best, but he was the only non-senior to finish in the top seven.
“That’s what he came in wanting, and he did it,” Cohen said of Muse. “He’ll get his (chance to try to win it) next year.”
Also placing for the Cats were senior Brian Mead, fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.34), and junior Jordan Mendoza, sixth in javelin (162-8).
Mendoza, the top seed coming in, never got anything going in the day’s first event (8 a.m.). Manzano took the top two positions, with senior Nick Jones winning at 177-8.