CHS cross country teams host invitational

Clovis High School sophomore cross county runner Bryan Davis, left, leads fellow sophomore runners Marisa Burton, center, and Nicole Johnson, right, during a workout last month at Ned Houk Park in Clovis. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth)

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

Brian Stacy has mixed feelings about the relatively small number of teams competing in Clovis High’s cross country invitational, scheduled for this morning at Ned Houk Park.

“On one hand, I wish we had two or three more teams and could make it a bigger field,” Stacy said. “On the other hand, it gives our kids a better chance to medal.”

Clovis, Hobbs and Bovina are scheduled to have full boys and girls teams, Stacy said, while Hereford will bring its boys squad and Canyon its girls contingent. He added that there may also be a few individual runners.

The varsity girls race is scheduled for 10 a.m., followed at roughly half-hour intervals by the varsity boys, junior varsity girls and JV boys. All races are three miles.

Clovis teams have competed in Texas in their first two meets, meaning the girls races have only been two miles.

Lady Wildcats junior Tori Northcutt said she’s looking forward to the longer course.

“That’s what we train for, so I’m ready for it,” she said. “We’re trying to build toward district and state (meets).

“Two miles is more like a sprint. With three miles, you have to more time to get your composure and try to catch someone.”

Hereford’s boys and Canyon’s girls dominated last weekend’s meet at Plainview. The Wildcats and Lady Wildcats were seventh in team standings.

Stacy said he hopes the Cats’ top runner, senior Mike Wareham, can keep Hereford from a perfect score of 15, which the Whitefaces would attain by taking the top five spots.

“They’re pretty strong competition,” Clovis senior Josh Worley said. “But our team this year is really good. We’ve got a lot of new people (out) who are really excited about cross country. It’s a team that’s only going to get better.”

Northcutt said running at home should be a plus.

“We run here all the time,” she said. “We know all the hills and where the holes are.”

She doesn’t have any set goals for the race.

“Not really for the first (three-mile) meet,” she said. “I guess we’ll just see where we’re at.”