The Tiger track team went to Los Lunas for its first meet of the season to run with the big teams. Between both the boy’s and the girl’s squads they sent just a dozen to the meet, with the team still waiting for a half dozen athletes who are finishing their winter sports seasons.
Though only two Tigers finished in points in the meet, with Josiah Tidwell taking a bronze medal home along with four points for his third place in high jump. Tidwell cleared 5 feet eight inches, which is just four inches short of the qualifying height needed to earn a spot at the State Championship meet in May. Also gaining points at Los Lunas was Buddy Neeley, though not in his long-distance running events for which he is better known, but in the javelin throw. Neeley earned to points with a fifth place in the event, throwing 119 feet seven inches.
In track and field events, athletes are assigned points for first through sixth place finishes, with first place gaining seen points, second place receives 5, and then descending from there. A tie results in splitting the points. Total points by all of a team’s athletes at a meet are what determine team wins. An individual athletes overall season points can be used in assessing individual performance.
At the Los Lunas meet the dozen Tigers were entered into 17 events. Seven of the team achieved a personal record, or PR in their event, a notable achievement for their first meet of the season.
A bit different from other Tiger sports, the track team has separate squads competing in the men’s and women’s divisions. They are entered into the same meets, with the divisions running, jumping or throwing separately. They all train together, with the TCMS team also training at Tiger Stadium daily, after school, alongside their older, varsity teammates. Though points accumulate for the team, athletes compete individually, except on relay squads, and qualify for the State Championships individually as well. They qualify by meeting the standard for their event or events, or by earning a first or second place finish in an event at the District 3-3A Meet this year held May 1 at Cobre.
With numbers down a bit this year, the team is still encouraging prospective athletes who want to compete wearing the Tigers red, white and blue to come out to practice and talk with the coaches.
Next up for Tiger Track is the Mike Tooley Relays, at Tiger Stadium on Thursday, March 19 starting at 3 p.m. Our own home track giving all the local Tiger fans the chance to come and cheer on their favorite athletes in track and field events.