Lady Rams’ Ledbetter off to good start

Portales junior Alex Ledbetter finished fourth in high jump and tied for fourth in pole vault in last year's Class 3A girls state track meet, and she's on course to possibly improve both events.

JOSHUA LUCERO: CMI correspondent

Portales' Kylie Katalinich took first place in the girls 1,600 during Saturday's Jim Love Invite at the PHS track.

Ledbetter won both in Saturday's Jim Love Invite at the PHS track, going 7 feet, 6 inches in pole vault and setting a personal best at 5-2 in high jump. The Lady Rams cruised to the team title with 149 1/2 points to 88 1/2 for Texico in the five-school meet.

Lovington took the boys team title with 153 points to 101 for Texico and 86 for Portales.

"It was a good meet for me, especially with a personal best," Ledbetter said. "I'm shooting for 5-4 or 5-6 (in high jump). In pole vault, I'm shooting for nine feet."

Last year at state, she went 5 feet in high jump, 8 feet in pole vault. She said she needs a bit more work in the latter event.

"It's a lot more technique, and more steps to perfect," she said. "I just need to get back in the groove and get things to where they were last year."

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Texico senior Donovan Johnson placed fifth and sixth in last year's Class 2A boys 110 and 300 hurdles, respectively.

Right now, though battling a bit of a knee injury, he managed to earn a state qualifying mark on Saturday in the 110s. His time of 16.49 seconds put him second behind Portales senior Collin McAfee.

"I just want to score points for our team (at state)," Johnson, who also competes in pole vault and the 1,600 medley relay. "I'll hopefully be able to break 16 (in the 110s). If I have a goal, that would be it."

In part because of his knee, Johnson didn't compete in pole vault or the relay on Saturday.

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JOSHUA LUCERO: CMI correspondent

Portales senior Collin McAfee jumps the last hurdle en route to a victory over runnerup Donovan Johnson of Texico in the boys 110 hurdles during Saturday's Jim Love Invite at the PHS track.

McAfee had a good day for the Rams, winning both hurdles races. He was fifth in the 110s and sixth in the 300 last year at state, but hopes to move up.

"There's always room for improvement," McAfee said. "I think the beginning of this year has been better for me than last year. For our second meet, I think it was pretty good."

He also hopes to help the Rams' 400 and 1,600 relays do well down the line.

"We have a pretty good chance to go pretty far if we just work on the conditioning and the technique," he said.

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JOSHUA LUCERO: CMI correspondent

Texico's Brandon King finished second to Eunices' Dylan Frank in the boys 100 during Saturday's Jim Love Invite at Portales.

Texico senior Karina Salazar's specialty is the 800, but she didn't run it on Saturday. Instead, coach Ryan Autrey had her anchor the 1,600 medley relay, which is 800 meters.

"It's a distance I'm used to, but it's a little more pressure because you don't want to let the other people (on the relay) down," she said.

Salazar helped the Lady Wolverines post a second-place finish in the medley with a time of 5:17.10.

She acknowledged her work is cut out trying to meet the state qualifying time of 2:36 in the 800.

"I have a 2:49, so I'm about 13 seconds away," she said. "I just have to work hard in practice every day."

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