The Clovis High boys cross country team wants to keep doing what it’s been doing.
The Wildcats are hoping for a trophy (top-three finish) in Saturday’s Class 5A state competition at Rio Rancho. The Wildcats’ best finish in school history was second in 2003.
The 5A boys race is set for 11 a.m., with 5A girls competition on tap at 1:05 p.m.
CHS coach Mike Hankins said few are probably expecting the Cats to accomplish their goal, but they think they’ve been coming along well as a team.
“We’re going as a team with the ideal of getting a trophy,” Hankins said. “If you look at how the teams have run the last couple of weeks, we’re running times equal to about anyone.”
Senior Izzy Miranda took the District 4-5A champion last week at Ned Houk Park and has become the Wildcats’ leader. Meantime, the runners behind him have been able to bunch up and improve their times.
“We’ve been working hard all year,” junior Ben Reed said. “We’re hoping we can at least get in the top five.”
Reed said the emergence of Miranda, who is out for the sport for the first time, has played a big role. The Cats were 11th in last year’s state meet.
“I think Izzy’s just motivated us because he’s so good,” Reed said. “It’s like if he can pull it off, we definitely can pull it off.”
Other runners for the boys on Saturday are expected to include senior Justin Netcher, juniors Jaron Morgin and Seth Zarate and sophomores Colton Dant and Kenan Bussen.
The Clovis girls are looking to improve on last year’s 10th-place team finish. Hankins said he’s hopeful they will go into Saturday’s race a little healthier than they were in the district meet.
“Our goals are to do our best,” senior Kayla Merritt said. “We’re definitely stronger than we were last year, and I really think we can do well.”
Five of the Lady Wildcats’ seven runners participated in last year’s state meet.
Senior Caitlin Waters has led the team all season and finished third in the district meet, but was a bit under the weather, Hankins said.
“I really think if Caitlin is running to the level she can, we’re hoping she’s (in) the top 10,” Hankins said.
Rounding out the Lady Cats’ state roster are senior Callie Bunce, juniors Anica Chairez and Tara Dewitt and freshmen Gladys Miranda and Kyra Bussen.