CHS runners struggle in 5A state cross country
Published: Sunday, November 11th, 2007
RIO RANCHO — It didn’t take long for Caitlin Waters to start thinking about next year’s Class 5A state country meet. On Saturday, Waters was Clovis’ best hope for both the girls and boys teams for a high finish. It was her first cross country state meet since she was a freshman and, after missing last year’s meet due to illness, Waters finished in 20th place for the girls with a time of 20 minutes, 11.15 seconds over five kilometers. “Yeah — just try to go out and stay in the front and hold on as hard as I can,” said Waters, asked if she was formulating strategies for 2008. “I tried really, really hard. I thought it was pretty tough with all the sand. Whatever the outcome, I know I did my best.” Clovis’ girls were 13th out of 15 teams with 318 points. Eldorado ran away with team honors, finishing with 38 points to 89 for runnerup La Cueva, which had the individual winner in Laura Labezo (18:35). Rounding out the Clovis girls team finishes were Kayla Merritt, 62nd in 22:22.60; Callie Bunce, 71st in 22:51.45; Anica Chairez, 87th in 24:06.20; Becca Clark, 88th in 24:28.00; Kyra Bussen, 89th in 24:46.05, and Yuridia Leyva, 102nd in 26:22.80. Clovis cross country coach Mark Bussen thought that Waters wasn’t being pushed hard enough, or quick enough, for the season that ended on Saturday. “I don’t think it really hit her, until a couple of weeks ago, that her training intensity was not what it was a year ago when she had a couple of teammates that could really push her,” Bussen said. “She started then, really committed to working with the guys and she has worked really hard the past couple weeks. But you can’t make up two months of training in two weeks. “She actually did come close to tying her best time in a 5K if you do the conversion on it, so I’m not disappointed at all in her efforts today.” Junior Justin Netcher led the CHS boys, finishing 34th in 17:36, while Justin Kyle was 37th in 17:44. Other Clovis performances included Seth Zarate, 50th in 17:57; Jaron Morgin, 53rd in 18:03; Ben Reed, 63rd in 18:13; Kenan Bussen, 96th in 19:25, and Bryan Davis, 98th in 19:30. Both CHS squads lose only one senior to graduation. “The kids ran well,” Bussen said. “We had a good weekend. The good news is that we have a lot of youngsters ready to come back next year.” Gallup finished with 82 points to edge Cibola by four for team honors. Clovis was 11th with 237, followed by district rivals Hobbs (277) and Carlsbad (286). Eldorado’s Kevin Palmer took individual honors in 16:05.
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