Cats find way into school record books


May 26, 2019

Clovis’ track and field season is over. But the results of it will go on and on and on.

The Wildcats’ track and field season officially ended May 18 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque when the Clovis boys finished second in the state 5A championship meet behind Cleveland, and the Lady Wildcats took fourth. But there were some marks this year, championship-winning or close, that elevated some current Wildcats into the school’s top 10 all-time.

“I guess you never know how you do at a meet until you start looking at it from a historical perspective,” Clovis boys coach Mark Sena said. “It still hurts that you didn’t win a championship, but when your see your boys give that kind of performance, it makes you feel better.”

Sophomore Jerrick Maldonado set a new record in the 800 (1:55.27) in the Wildcat Relays on Apr. 18 at Leon Williams Stadium. “And that kid’s only a sophomore,” Sena said, “so I imagine we’ll have to keep that plaque off the wall for a while.”

Maldonado first made the 800-meter top 10 last year with his time of 1:59.05, good for seventh place on Clovis High’s all-time list. He shaved almost four seconds off that last month with his record-setting number.

Jon Fuentes had already made the top five in the 800 last year (1:57.97), which was then fourth, now fifth. He added another top 10 mark this season, posting the sixth all-time number (1:58.46). T.J. Gregg cracked the 800-meter top 10 this year, posting the school’s ninth-best time (1:59.83).

In the 1,600-meter run, Jon Fuentes established the school’s third-best time this year (4:25.82), while his 4:25.27 time from last year still ranks at No. 2. T.J. Gregg posted Clovis’ fourth-best time this season (4:26.17). Izzy Miranda owns the top spot with his 4:21.83 time from 2009.

In the 3,200-meter run, Fuentes became No. 2 all-time this year (9:35.66), while Maldonado and Gregg each landed in the top five. Maldonado is now fourth (9:47.92), Gregg seventh (9:58.06). Fuentes also has the fifth spot from last year (9:54.15) and the eighth spot from 2017 (9:58.1). Miranda is still Clovis’ 3,200 king, with his 9:27.8 time from 2009.

The 1,600 medley relay team of Jeston Webskowski, Ernesto Acuna, Brandon Mason and Maldonado ended the season with the No. 2 all-time mark, 3:33.55, which won that quartet a state championship last weekend. They ended the season still chasing the top number (3:31.4), established in 1964.

“We’ll give that one another shot,” Sena said. “We still have Maldonado a little longer.”

In fact, the whole medley relay team is due back next season. Webskowski, Acuna and Maldonado will only be juniors, Brandon Mason a senior.

The 4x200 relay team of Brandon Mason, Acuna, Malik Phillips and Montez Wright posted the school’s eighth-best all-time mark of 1:29.52, good enough for third at last weekend’s state meet. Last year’s team of Phillips, Wright, Seth Lopez and Austin Fuentes sits at No. 1 (1:26.84).

Kris Byrd and Richard Masterson each put up top-10 marks in the 110 hurdles this year; Byrd landed in seventh (15.23), Masterson in eighth (15.26). Former NFL player Hank Baskett, a 2001 Clovis High graduate, still reigns at No. 1 after 18 years with his time of 13.93.

Byrd made fifth on the high jump list this season (6-2), tying for that spot with Lincoln Nora (2010) and Traivon Sopila (2012). Baskett still owns that mark, too, with his 7-foot jump in 2001.

Wright, the top points earner at last weekend’s state 5A meet, set plenty of top-10 Clovis marks this year, among them getting second all-time in the 200-meter dash (21.6), which won him a state title last weekend and placed him on the Clovis High list behind only Tanner Fickling’s 21.22 mark set in 2006.

Wright’s 10.69 time in last weekend’s 100-meter dash earned him a state championship and put him eighth on Clovis’ all-time list. Phillip Williams’ 10.36 time from 2005 is still No. 1.

Wright also notched the school’s seventh-best time in the 400 (50.10). Wright’s former teammate Austin Fuentes broke the school’s 400 record last year with his time of 49.36.

Wright this year also grabbed the fifth spot in the long jump (23-0.75) and seventh in the triple jump (45-6.5). Dorond Jackson still owns both the long (24-1 inch) and triple jump (49 feet) marks, both set in 2003.

Pacer Hill reached third all-time in the pole vault this year (14-2). A recent Wildcat, Burgin Foster, holds the top two spots — 16 feet from last year and 15-3 from 2017.

Jaylen Mason and Bryce Cabeldue were each top 10 in the javelin this past season — Mason was ninth (166-3), Cabeldue 10th (165 feet). Alfonso Rivas’ 2014 mark of 183-8, still stands at No. 1 five years later.

A Clovis athlete who didn’t quite make the school’s top 10 but excelled nonetheless was Stephen Acosta, who rang up a new personal best in the shot put, and placed third at states (49-0.5). “That was at a time when we were really needing points,” Sena said.

Also not to be overlooked was Brandon Mason, who didn’t set a school triple jump record this year, but showed heart in Albuquerque. Mason is already ninth on the school’s all-time list with last year’s distance of 44-2.75, but early in the morning on the last day of this year’s state championship meet, Mason was injured in the third triple jump preliminaries, coming down wrong which caused his hip to buckle.

“He was on the ground for several minutes and had to be checked out by the athletic trainers,” Sena said. “Just a few hours later he was on the track running again, because he didn’t want to let anybody down. It was a supreme show of guts by that kid. He wanted to give it a shot, so we let him. That was just an example of the kids having a lot of fight.”

All in all, it was a memorable season for the Wildcats.

“When you have that number of kids putting up all-time numbers, that’s pretty special,” Sena said.

Which makes it not-too-suprising that the Wildcats brought a red trophy home from Albuquerque.

“Everyone told me how proud they are of me,” Sena said, “But it wasn’t me, it was those kids. ... Not enough good things can be said about our track team this year. We’ve had a lot of fast kids here at Clovis. Special group of kids. It was a joy to work with them.”


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