Hobbs girls win Gene Wells relays
Friday was early in the season, last day of March, but the Hobbs girls track and field team made a statement by winning the meet they were hosting, taking first place in the Gene Wells Relays at Watson Memorial Stadium.
The Lady Eagles had six first-place finishers, seven second-place finishers and four third-place finishers to earn 123 points and the championship.
“I’m really excited right now,” Hobbs girls head coach Cricket Lopez said. “We’re making improvements every track meet, we’re making improvements in practice, so I’m excited.”
The Hobbs boys team, meanwhile, finished a solid second place with 85.5 points, behind champion Artesia’s 87 points.
“I thought it went very well,” Hobbs boys head coach Tyler Wilson said. “We had a lot of kids compete hard and run their best times today, so I’m extremely proud about that. I just look forward to getting better every single week.”
For the Lady Eagles, first-place finishes were posted by: Areli Palacios in the girls 3,200-meter run (13:17.60); the girls 4×100-meter relay team of Zayla Mitchell, Alexi Wright, Hannah Davila and Faith Vine (50.30, state qualifier); Vine in the girls 100-meter dash (12.78, state qualifier); the girls 4×800 relay team of Bhret Clay, Kacelynn Muniez, Nakia Mojica and Yisel Palacios (10:32, state qualifier); the girls 1,600 sprint medley team of Wright, Vine, Clay and Palacios (4:28.87, state qualifier); and Muniez in the girls 1,600-meter run (5:53.32).
Palacios, who recently signed to run Division I track and cross country for New Mexico State University, was honored to be part of two of those relay teams.
“I was proud of the girls,” she said.
Palacios took second in the girls 800-meter run with a time of 2:32.11.
“It’s just another race,” she said. “I take it as a workout and practice to better myself and challenge myself mentally, because at the end, it’s a race against time.”
Also finishing second for the Lady Eagles were: Mitchell in the girls 100-meter dash (12.87); the girls 4×200-meter relay team of Mitchell, Wright, Davila and Vine (1:48.28); Brisa Serna in the girls pole vault (7 feet even); Mitchell in the girls long jump (16 feet, 5 1/2 inches); Ibree McCorvey in the girls discus (83 feet, 2 inches, state qualifier); and Desiree Bosquez in the girls javelin (104 feet, 3 inches).
Finishing third for the Lady Eagles were: Wright in the girls 100-meter dash (13.12), completing a 1-2-3 sweep for Hobbs in that event; Jaelyn Strickland in the girls 400-meter dash (1:04.65); the girls 4×400-meter relay team of Davila, Brianna Baker, Audrey Marin and Strickland (4:26.18); and Vanessa Esparza in the girls discus (94 feet, 4 inches).
For the Hobbs boys, first-place finishes were tallied by Gabriel Palomino in the boys 300-meter hurdles (41.74) and Kaden Trevino in the boys 200-meter dash (23.28).
The Eagles had second-place finishes from: the boys 4×100-meter relay team of Palomino, Jeremiah Jaquez, D’Shawn Franklin and Trevino (43.41, state qualifier); Trevino in the boys 100-meter dash (11.32); the boys 4×200-meter relay team of Franklin, Manuel Murillo, Jaquez and Trevino (1:32.37); Ryan Middleton in the boys 300-meter hurdles (42.95); Jaquez in the boys 200-meter dash (23.59); the boys 4×400 relay team of Middleton, Jovonni Torres, Christopher Espino and Palomino (3:33.61); and Kylar Pickering in the boys discus (120 feet, 3 inches).
Taking third place for the Hobbs boys were: Palomino in the boys 110-meter hurdles (15.77) and Sage Baeza in the boys discus (117 feet, 9 inches).
Derick Castellanos had a great day for Lovington, starting with his first-place finish in the boys 3,200-meter run (10:21.55). Castellanos was also second in the boys 1,600-meter run (4:48.36).
Also placing second for Lovington were: Ismael Martinez in the boys high jump (5 feet, 10 inches, state qualifier) and Nora Gallagher in the girls triple jump (31 feet, 3 3/4 inches).
Lovington’s third-place finishers were: the boys 4×800-meter relay team of Alexander Villasenor, Payton Hernandez, Ethan Castellanos and Ethan Stephens (8:47.09, state qualifier); the boys 4×200 relay team of Peyton Hooks, Ryan Marquez, Damon Willard and Martinez (1:33.69); and Jayden Garza in the boys pole vault (10 feet, 6 inches).
Eunice had two first-place finishes from Kaitlyn Gallant, whose 119 feet, 11 inches in the girls discus and 37 feet, 7 3/4 inches in the girls shot put were both state qualifying marks.
Chloe Jones was second in the girls 100-meter hurdles (18.01, state qualifier).
Jal’s best finish was turned in by Isaiah Rodriguez, who was fourth in the boys pole vault with a state-qualifying mark of 10 feet even.
Tatum’s highest finish was notched by Louann Villasenor, who took fourth in the girls javelin with a state-qualifying mark of 102 feet, 7 inches.
The season now marches on for all area teams. The Lady Eagles in particular are looking to keep their momentum going.
“We have to continue to work hard and to fight hard in races,” Lopez said. “I think we’re on the right track on that right now. We don’t like to lose.”
For the Eagles, it’s a matter of staying focused and hopefully getting healthy.
“I think the sky’s the limit for us,” Wilson said. “We’ve got a couple of kids who are injured right now who, once they come back, will help us tremendously. So I’m excited for that and excited to see what can happen in the next couple of weeks.”