by David Tesitor
HUERFANO, LAS ANIMAS AND COLFAX COUNTIES — With spring comes track and field, and with it comes the return of champions, qualifiers, and the fastest people in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.
John Mall, Trinidad, Primero, and Raton will field teams of their best sprinters, long haul runners, jumpers, and vertical leapers to various events this spring, leading up to the state tournament this May.
For many local teams, schedules are still being finalized and athletes must come on strong from the onset to set the benchmark and be among the top 16 in each event and class. (1A- La Veta and Kim take the top 10).
The Primero Bulldogs, Hoehne Farmers and Trinidad Miners begin this Saturday at the CSU Early Bird tournament and, if the weather cooperates, athletes must turn in their best times before conditions this spring have the potential to turn ugly. The John Mall Panthers and La Veta Redskins will begin the season March 16 at the Center Invitational. The Raton Tigers are slated to begin later this month and the Kim Mustangs have not posted their schedule. Because of changes, the World Journal will include the upcoming track events in the weekly sports edition to keep fans apprised.
As in the past years, the WJ will post event finals for every school with the top eight finalists because of the sheer numbers of events and qualifiers. We will also report on school records, personal best records, and summaries of each event. The WJ welcomes fan photos of events to be included with the stories. Be sure to identify the athlete, event, and school and maybe it will be included along with the story. Send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year, the John Mall Sports Complex will host the Santa Fe league meet on April 4. Volunteers are needed to help run the event. JMHS will also host their second annual Cinco de Mayo Invitational on May 4. This will be a key event for many athletes hoping to break into the top 16 before state begins two weeks later.