HOBBS — The Clovis Lady Cats cross country team snuck into the state meet Saturday with a third-place finish at the District 4-5A championship.
The top four spots in the girls race were separated by 13 points. Carlsbad was the winner with 52 points, followed by Carlsbad (53), Clovis (57) and Cibola (65).
Senior Megan Willis led the Lady Wildcats with a fifth-place finish.
The top three teams at district qualified for the Class 5A state meet Saturday in Gallup.
The Clovis boys finished a distant fourth.
Senior Chris Sawyer led the Clovis boys with a 13th-place finish in a time of 18:18. The top 10 runners qualify for the state meet.
“18:18 is not a bad time,” Clovis cross country coach Brian Stacy said. Stacy said Sawyer was running between eighth and 10th most of the race.
“I was sure he’d be in the top (10),” Stacy said. “He ran a really good race, he just got outkicked at the end.”
Stacy said he has never seen such a close girls race, but he wasn’t surprised.
“With 35 girls, one place is going to dictate where you’re at,” Stacy said. “They ran as well as they probably could have.
They’re disappointed in their placings, but next week when there’s 90 to 100 girls, we’re going to do very well, because there’s going to more girls up there displacing other girls.”
Besides Willis, Clovis placed three more runners in the top 12. Monica Soto in sixth, Lindsey Appelman in 10th and Tori Northcutt in 12th.
Cibola’s Vanessa Ortiz won the race in 19:07.
Sandia’s Keith Howard won the boys race in 17:07, leading the Matadors to first place with 23 points.
Clovis junior Mike Wareham finished 20th with sophomore James Dickenson coming in 24th.
“The good thing is, you look at everyone behind Chris and they’re all coming back next year,” Stacy said.
Clovis won the girls junior varsity race, beating Carlsbad 27-31. Senior Jennifer Robinson placed second with a time of 23:36.
Bryan Davis was the top boys junior varsity runner for Clovis, finishing in 20:42 for ninth.