Although they don't look intimidating at 4-11 and 5-feet tall, Clovis High seniors Maddie McNaughton and Gladys Miranda are giant killers when it comes to distance events in track and field.
This year both girls set the CHS school record in the 1600 meters. Miranda set it first at Alamogordo on April 20, and four days later, McNaughton broke Miranda's record at the Hobbs qualifier.
CHS distance coach Mark Bussen said this is an extraordinary event.
"In my 25 plus years of coaching, I don't remember ever coaching a team where one runner sets a school record and that record is then broken by their teammate in the same season," Bussen said
Miranda said the record really wasn't a goal for her.
"I just wanted to run a time that was fast enough to qualify for state," she said. "On the fourth lap, I could hear the coaches yelling at me, but I thought they were telling me I needed to speed up to qualify for state. It wasn't until it was over that I knew that I broke the school record."
Conversely, breaking the record was a goal McNaughton set for herself at the beginning of the season.
"Gladys and I are friends on and off the track," McNaughton said. "I was happy for Gladys when she broke the record, and just thought if it was God's will perhaps I could set a new record.
"At the Hobbs qualifier, we worked together for three laps and then the last lap was all about the race. When I started the fourth lap, coach (Billie) Merritt said, 'If you run the last lap in 80 seconds, you have the record.' I thought, 'I run that all the time in practice.'"
McNaughton finished the race in a time of 5:21.
Bussen said he will miss the duo.
"They've made everyone better," he said. "They raised the standard, the bar of what is normal. Everyone's expectation of themselves is higher than it used to be."
Miranda is considering running cross country at Lubbock Christian, where her brother Izzy was a three-time national qualifier.
"They've offered me a full ride scholarship, so I'm considering it," she said.
However, both have some unfinished business at the District 4-5A and Class 5A state track meets.
Miranda said her sights are set on breaking 5:20.
"Both Maddie and I are capable of doing it.," she said. "We just need to go do it."
The previous 1,600 record-holder, Amanda (Swann) Bullen, who was part of the distance medley relay team that set the school record at the University of New Mexico, had the following advice for Maddie and Gladys: "Congratulations and give your all every day whether on the track, in the classroom, with your family, or in your job because there are no re-do's in life. You get one chance, so make it count."