The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Rams hope to add relays to state field


April 27, 2018

PORTALES - Today's Lovington Ross Black Relays are a chance for the Rams' track and field team to make further improvements as the season winds down, heading into next week's crucial district meet. However, it's also an opportunity for some of Portales' track athletes to make one last statement, heading into the track and field postseason.

"(It's about) fine-tuning our relays," Rams coach Chris Bachicha said. "We're getting Lesther Andrade Oliva back, so that should really improve our time. Our mindset, heading into Ross Black is that we want to get that medley and the (boys) 4-by-100 qualified."

This week has already proved to be a strong one for the Rams, after several solid outings during Tuesday's Hobbs Pat Henry Relays. The qualifying event witnessed the girls 400 and 800 teams getting qualified for state, while individuals like Philip Blidi and Trevor Rawdon also qualified in their respective events.

Blidi qualified for discus (134-4), and was already qualified for shot put, as he currently sits No. 1 in his class. Rawdon successfully qualified in javelin (153-5.75), while Aiden Cabledue is No. 1 in pole vault, as he was able to crack the 13-foot mark on Tuesday.

Others, meanwhile, are dangerously close to qualifying, after just missing on Tuesday. On the girls side, Jessie Campbell missed the 100 by three-10ths of a second, while on the boy's side, the aforementioned relay teams were without Andrew Villegas, who had back spasms.

The 400 and 800 relays actually consisted of Portales' second-teamers, as the 400 tandem of Jacob Nixon, Carlos Delgado, Kevin Ivarbol and Austin Perez recorded a time of 47.01 seconds, placing them in fifth. The 800 team of Julian Tellez, Michael White, Ivarbol and Nixon, meanwhile, recorded a fourth-place time of 1:37.07.

As for individual boys, Tellez just missed in the 300 hurdles, coming in fourth with a time of 42.97 seconds, just a tenth behind third place Matthew Felicetti of Hobbs, who recorded a 42.87. As for freshman Traise Cain, his 17.13-second time in the 110 hurdles missed by less than two-10ths.

Many of the same teams that Portales has faced at recent meets will once again compete head-to-head with the Rams. For Bachicha, seeing so many familiar faces has its advantages, but also, its disadvantages.

"The pros are that you're seeing so many 5A and 6A schools, and that helps to pull us in relays and running (events)," Bachicha explained. "The cons are that if you don't have enough depth, they put you in the slow heat."

As for next Friday's District 4-4A meet, which will be held at Greyhound Stadium, the message that Bachicha delivers to his team is a simple one. "Trying to meet our goals that we set at the beginning of the year," Bachicha said. "I always ask the kids to P.R. (rersonal record), and it's been pretty consistent throughout the team, at every meet."


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