Lady Rams finish seventh in Class 4A state track meet

May 21—ALBUQUERQUE — Portales High's girls certainly weren't going to catch Los Alamos on Saturday night, either in the 1,600 relay finale or the overall team standings.

So the Lady Rams did the next-best thing — they took second in the relay, inching the team past Belen and into seventh place in final Class 4A girls standings. PHS finished with 23 1/2 points while the Lady Eagles, who were sixth in the relay race, dropped to eighth place with 20 points.

No one but no one was going to catch either Los Alamos squad. The Hilltoppers (138 points) and Lady Hilltoppers (136 1/2 ) completed a sweep of team honors for the fourth consecutive year, and Albuquerque Academy — which beat out the Hilltoppers and Lady Hilltoppers in 2019 (the 2020 meet was cancelled due to COVID-19) — was a distant second in both divisions this time.

Portales had the top 4-by-4 time in Friday's preliminaries, a season-best 4 minutes, 7.06 seconds with seniors Audrey Paden, Abby Ontiveros and Alondra Acosta and junior Kadynce Reeves.

"All of them ran personal bests today," PHS track coach Quintin Wilson said. "It was beautiful to watch."

Even though they improved on that on Saturday at 4:06.07, they were nowhere near Los Alamos' blistering time of 3:55.70.

"Who ran for Los Alamos yesterday and who ran today was completely different," Wilson said. "I think we ran against their 'B' team yesterday."

PHS added a fourth-place finish in the 800 relay with Acosta, sophomore Skyler Massey, Ontiveros and Paden in 1:47.09, and took sixth in the 400 relay with Acosta, Ontiveros, Paden and senior Savana Heflin in 50.72 seconds.

"The three A's have pretty much been the nucleus of our program," Wilson said of Paden, Acosta and Ontiveros.

Massey was third in high jump on Friday while senior Olivia Low, fourth in discus on Friday, finished fourth in javelin on Saturday at 109 feet, 2 inches. She just missed placing in Saturday's shot put competition, coming in seventh at 32-9.

The other half-point for the Rams came from Reeves, who tied for sixth place with Siena Rolfe of Los Alamos in pole vault at 9 feet.

The PHS boys had a quiet weekend except for javelin, where junior Manny Chavez repeated his 2023 crown with a throw of 178-1. Meantime, Rams sophomore Antonio Bonilla snuck into second place at 170-5, once inch better than Jaxon Bowron of Santa Teresa, and the 12 points boosted PHS into a tie for 10th place with District 4-4A rival Roswell Goddard.

The Rams' third competitor in javelin, junior Gideon Smith, finished eighth out of 16 entrants in the event with a personal-best throw of 146-9.

"We had a lot of kids PR (set personal records) today," Wilson said. "Here at the end of the year, the kids are performing at their best, and that's what the program was designed to do."