Lady Cats second to Cleveland again

CNJ staff
ALAMOGORDO — Mike Hankins has seen this act before.

As Clovis High’s cross country coach last fall, Hankins’ Lady Wildcats came up second in a number of meets during the season.

The same thing is happening in track — this time, though, courtesy of Rio Rancho Cleveland.

Clovis competed well, but finished with 81 points to 128 for the Storm in Friday’s Bob Sepulveda Invitational.

It’s the sixth time this spring the Lady Cats have finished second in a meet, Hankins noted, including three times against Cleveland.

No such problems for the CHS boys — the Wildcats scored 116 points to win by five points over host Alamogordo.

Of course, the most important thing is to get ready for Class 5A state competition next month, and the Lady Cats are doing quite well in that regard. Senior Sasha Smith-Pollard posted wins in the 100, 200 and 400 on Frida as the Lady Cats won six events, including getting their 1,600 medley relay qualified.

“That was just a great job,” Hankins said of the medley. “They dropped about 12 or 13 seconds from what they had been running.”

Juniors Heather Pastirchak (pole vault) and Sara Lucero (triple jump) also posted individual wins.

Smith-Pollard will run the 100 and 200 at state, but the 400 isn’t a done deal yet.

“She’s politicking me to let her do it,” Hankins said. “Sara Lucero is such a big part of our team on relays, and she was third in long jump and wins triple.”

The Lady Cats were without junior thrower Shelby Jones, who was away at a basketball competition.

The boys, meantime, notched seven first-place finishes, winning all four relay races.

“We improved our time in the medley relay,” CHS boys coach Darren Kelley said. “It’s nice to win the meet. That’s our third win (this spring), and the only New Mexico team we’ve lost to is Cleveland.”

Individual winners for the Cats were senior Kamal Cass (100), junior Kaine Bender (pole vault), senior Pedro Acuna (shot put) and junior Alfonso Rivas (javelin). Clovis posted 1-2 finishes in the 100, shot put and javelin.

Clovis squads will be in Lovington for their next two meets, including Friday’s regular-season finale, the Ross Black Invitational. They return to Lovington on May 10 for District 4-5A competition, which will be conducted in conjuntion with the District 4-3A meet.