Pacer Hill took his pole vault game outdoors this weekend and cleared 13-6 to open a new season.
You can barely call it the opening weekend of the New Mexico season, but what else would you call it?
The only two meets for New Mexico teams were both in Texas and both meets drew exactly one New Mexico team. Clovis was at the Frenship Don Black Invitational, while Alamogordo traveled to the Franklin Invitational in El Paso.
Both teams showed us a little of what they have this spring and gave us something worth talking about, even if only relatively briefly.
For anyone hoping Clovis would go away and not be part of the 5A title hunt this spring, hopes were dashed rather quickly.
Pacer Hill went 13-6 in the pole vault. That's not an unbeatable standard, but it's up there and it was still February.
Ethan Culliver won the 400 in 50.69, a very solid February time for that event.
Brandon Mason's 23.10 in the 200 finals is also a mark of note. Don't figure on that one sticking around as Mason's best time, but it is a starting point for the season, and a solid one at that.
The 4x400 took second in 3:29. Zecheriah Gonzales had a sixth in the shot put at a little over 45 feet. The mark is better than the place at this time of year.
Eye-catching marks were fewer and farther between for the Clovis girls. Kiara Cox went 15-11 in the long jump. The mark of the weekend for the Clovis girls was likely a 10-6 pole vault for Camryn Baros.
Now is a good time to remind ourselves of the very early nature of the meet, the length of the basketball season, and things like that. We're only getting a few very early glimpses here. It's just that some of the glimpses we did get were portentous.
Moving south, we peek over the fence to see what the Alamogordo Tigers did on the track in El Paso over the weekend.
Of note, William Gil (11.49) and Julio Mendoza (23.51) turned nice times in the 100 and 200, respectively. It would be nice to know what the accompanying winds were with those marks, but that kind of information is not forthcoming. Mendoza, by the way, also went 52.65 in the 400. Wind is essentially irrelevant where the 400 is concerned. That's a nice February time.
Aiden Jarvis put a scare into the two-minute 800 standard with a 2:00.65. Mark that one down for memory. Celso Garcia had a 4:39 1600 for a solid opener in the 1600. Jarvis and Garcia went 10:02 and 10:03, respectively for the 3200. You should be paying attention by now.
Bryson Kangas had times of 16.66 and 42.06 in the hurdle events. While those times aren't likely to find him a place at state, they are a decent place to start your season with hurdle events.
Shane Sargent went 46-3.5 in the shot put. Noted.
Freshman Davion Smith won the high jump at 5-10. Gil, already mentioned, got an even 20 feet in the long jump.
All in all, it was a nice set of marks for the Tiger boys. There's reason to be optimistic about this team.
For the Alamogordo girls, Graciela Walker won the 400 in 1:00.46. She wasn't walking for that one. Oh, and by the way, she's a freshman. Ellary Battle, another freshman, opened her season with a 2:26 in the 800. There will be a lot of decent 800 types who don't open that well this coming weekend.
Janae Shaklee's 5:48 in the 1600 is another nice way to start your season. Both Shaklee and Battle were just over 12:30 in the 3200 as well.
Flora Jarvis led the Tigers with a 16.73 and 48.64 in the hurdle events. Assuming those times keep coming down, she's very likely to be seen in Albuquerque come the middle of May.
Gwen Payton was just over 31 and just over 101 in the shot and discus, respectively. Those were good enough for wins this weekend, but competition will heat up in those events as we get deeper into the season.
Jayden Kruger went an even 5-0 in the high jump for another win.
So, it was a solid start for the Lady Tigers. They've validated a little bit a preseason recognition that came their way. We'll watch and see where things go from here.
PLEASE NOTE: I would very much appreciate submissions of photos from the action coming up this weekend. I need photos to illustrate these articles. Any photo of an athlete on the high end of New Mexico performances sent to firstname.lastname@example.org is a welcome submission. If crediting instructions are sent with the photo, the photo will be credited if I'm able to use it. Thanks!