ALBUQUERQUE — In his approximate decade of coaching track and/or football at Portales High School, Glenn Johnson has always liked to say that adversity introduces a man to himself.
That said, there were quite a few introductions Friday for the Rams at the Class 3A track and field championships.
The University of New Mexico track held plenty of adversity for both the Portales girls, who could never crack the top eight in relays, and the Portales boys, who qualified before losing on technical errors.
The boys went scoreless in the first day, whle the girls managed two points on a fifth-place finish in long jump by Alexis Orcutt.
Lovington leads the boys field with 19 points, followed by Hope Christian (18), Bloomfield (12.5), St. Michael’s (11), West Las Vegas (10) and eight other teams with single-figure points.
Robertson leads the girls field with 23, ahead of Pojoaque (14), Ruidoso (13), Cobre (12) and nine other teams. The Lady Rams are tied for ninth.
Portales, which finished third last year in the boys competition, was disqualified in both the 400 and medley relays — each time on a bad exchange. The medley relay was especially difficult to swallow, as Portales finished comfortably ahead of the rest of its preliminary opponents.
Johnson focused on the positive, as the Rams finished the 1,600 relay with the field’s second-fastest time of 3:33.22.
“The way our young men came back and ran in the 4-by-4 says a lot about their character,” Johnson said.
Johnson said Portales could still score points in a few field events, including the shot and discus.
Portales girls coach Sam Lee said with a good day in Saturday’s 100-meter hurdles, triple jump and 400, there’s still a chance to score somewhere between 15 to 20 points.
“We ran pretty well, competed fairly well,” Lee said. “We just don’t have a lot of speed.”
Jenna Sievers, who runs in Saturday’s 400 final, just missed out on a point when she came up short in a jump-off for sixth place in the high jump.