Jason Cramer said he’d been so busy with individual events, he wasn’t aware his Hobbs Eagles had won the Wildcat Relays until he came up for final results. He might have been the only one.
Through a mix of depth and dominance, the Eagles cruised to a 47-point win in the 17-team boys meet. With four first-place finishers and plenty of other top-four finishers, it was an all-around effort for Hobbs, which scored 107 points.
“We’ve got a good group of seniors,” Cramer said. “Everybody pushes themselves, our distance kids, our throwers, our sprinters, our hurdlers. The kids are determined to be successful.”
Had the Eagles skipped the trip, it might have been a pretty close meet in the final few events. Aided by a Clovis disqualification in the 800 relay, Rio Rancho Cleveland finished second with 60 points, six points ahead of the Wildcats.
Clovis coach Darren Kelley, frustrated about a missed exchange, said some of the mistakes could be attributed to youth. But he said the athletes competed well, considering that a home meet takes away coaches (who are running the meet) and adds plenty of home fans to distract you.
Plus, the annual event at Leon Williams Stadium is regarded as one of the state’s tougher meets.
“We’ve got two freshmen on every relay,” Kelley said. “It’s good for them to go against this type of competition.”
Had Clovis placed in the 800 relay, and held Cleveland off in a different event, the Wildcats might have been second. By the same token, Alamogordo (48 points) was an event or two away from catching Clovis and finished in fourth.
Smaller schools, mostly from a 60-mile radius of Clovis, also had good showings. Texico senior Dathan McWhorter won both the shot put and discus events — quite a feat, Kelley said, considering that Kenny Betts and Carlos Garza of Clovis both threw personal records in the shot.
The 6-foot-1, 297-pound McWhorter said he modeled himself after former Wildcat Richie Chavez, a three-time 5A shot put champion, and has his eyes on the Class 2A record of 55-2 3/4, set by Fort Sumner’s Larry Roybal in 2000.
“I can’t be satisfied with just that,” McWhorter said of his throw of 53-3 1/2. “I’m not just competing with everybody else; I have to compete with myself.”
Jesus Rivera made it a Texico sweep in the throwing events with a throw of 173-5 in the javelin to finish up the Wolverines’ 24-point night.
Fort Sumner scored 18 points and got a win in the 800 from Skylar McMath, while Portales scored eight points behind senior Cody Small’s win in the 110-meter hurdles. Small, the defending 3A champion, would have qualified for the Class 5A state meet with his run of 15.02.