Friday’s Gene Wells Relays at Hobbs High School were long – about seven hours – and it seemed like there was a year’s worth of weather in that span.
The track & field meet began in hot and sunny conditions, ended when it was cold and dark.
There was wind throughout, wreaking havoc with the throwing events, especially the discus, with sometimes comical results.
But, athletes for host Hobbs, along with Lovington, Jal, Tatum, Carlsbad, Artesia, Portales, Roswell, Goddard, Valencia and Los Lunas managed to ‘weather’ it all and turn in some solid performances.
Especially Hobbs, whose boys and girls teams won the meet by fairly comfortable margins. The Eagles racked up 118-1/2 points, while the Lady Eagles tallied 108-1/2.
“I thought it was pretty good,” Hobbs boys head coach Tyler Wilson said. “We came out and really competed, which is all I ask for. We ran faster times in all of our relays, so I’m happy.”
“I’m pleased that we won at home,” Hobbs girls head coach Cricket Lopez said. “We showed that we were tough – we’re toughing out those 400s, we’re toughing out the 200s. I think our field events are improving.”
Hobbs had 11 first-place finishers – six for the Eagles, five for the Lady Eagles.
Winning for the Hobbs boys were: Kaden Trevino in the 100-meter dash (11.67); Yahir Chacon in the 400-meter dash
(52.04); Adrian Villegas in the 3,200-meter run (10:34.40); the 4×100-meter relay team of Alex Blanchard, Malachi Rodriguez, Chacon and Trevino (43.60); the 4×400-meter relay team of Gabriel Palomino, Blanchard, Caelan Pando and Chacon (3:34.87); and Aldo Argott in the discus (133 feet, 11 inches).
Taking first place for the Hobbs girls were: Faith Vine in the 100-meter dash (13.21); Bhret Clay in the 800-meter run (2:25.51); the 4×800-meter relay team of Celeste Oaxaca, Janelle Saravia, Yisel Palacios and Clay (10:44.20); the 1,600 sprint medley team of Alexi Wright, Vine, Oaxaca and Palacios (4:46.95); and Ibree McCorvey in the discus (104 feet, 6 inches).
Jal’s Roger Carreon and Lovington’s Vanessa Gallegos each notched individual victories for Lea County schools. Carreon won the boys shot put with a toss of 47 feet, 8 inches; Gallegos won the girls 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:41.47.
And, the Lovington boys 4×200-meter relay team of Alec Holguin, Cristian Mendoza, Angel Salcido and Adam Aguilera captured first place with a time of 1:34.51.
The county saw second-place finishes from: Holguin in the boys 100-meter dash, who at 11.68 finished just a hundredth of a second off Trevino’s pace; Trevino in the boys 200-meter dash (23.73); Lovington’s Ismael Blanchard in the boys 400-meter dash (52.35); Pando in the boys 800-meter run (2:04.08); Hobbs’ Diego Vega in the boys 3,200-meter run (10:51.00);
Hobbs’ Ryan Middleton in the boys 300-meter hurdles (44.19); the Lovington boys 4×100-meter relay team of Holguin, Mendoza, Salcido and Aguilera (44.44); Blanchard in the boys long jump (19 feet, 7 1/4 inches); Hobbs’ Soni Siaosi in the boys discus (118 feet, 4 inches); Wright in the girls 200-meter dash (29.14) and girls long jump (16 feet, 3 1/4 inches); Palacios in the girls 800-meter run (2:27.31); the Hobbs girls 4×100-meter relay team of Wright, Brianna Dunlap, Trinity Vasquez and Vine (52.36); and Hobbs’ Leilani Clay in the girls triple jump (31 feet, 5 inches).
And, the county had third-place finishes from: Wright in the girls 100-meter dash (13.66); Gallegos in the girls 800-meter run (2:27.86); the Hobbs girls 4×200-meter relay team of Ja’Nya Banks, Hannah Davila, Jayda Jenkins and Vine (1:54.02); the Hobbs girls 4×400-meter relay team of Oaxaca, Davila, Jaelyn Strickland and Clay (4:29.39); Vine in the girls high jump (4 feet, 8 inches); Hobbs’ Vanessa Esparza in the girls discus (98 feet, 5 1/2 inches); Blanchard in the boys 400-meter dash (53.93); Loving-ton’s Alexander Villasenor in the boys 800-meter run (2:06.17); Villegas in the boys 1,600-meter run (4:50.95); the Hobbs boys 1,600 sprint medley team of Nathan Cereceres, Isaiah Benavidez, Jovonni Torres and Jair Cruz (4:01.23); and Rodriguez in the boys triple jump (39 feet, 8 inches).
During the meet, Chloe Fouts and her family were honored when winners of the pole vault – Artesia’s Brian Benge and Portales’ Kylyie Paden – were presented plaques named after the late Brad Fouts, Chloe’s husband, who passed away in September after batting COVID-19. Fouts, a beloved coach at Hobbs and Jal, most recently coached the Eagles’ pole vaulters, so the plaques were ‘Brad Fouts Memorial’ awards.