Home Sports Local Sports Hagerman track and field looking to get back to Albuquerque

Hagerman track and field looking to get back to Albuquerque

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Alex Morales, Hagerman’s head track coach, watches action during the long jump at Thursday’s Bulldog Relays in Artesia. The meet was hosted by Artesia High’s junior varsity track team and served as a state qualifier for schools like Hagerman. (Mike Smith Photo)

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ARTESIA — Hagerman High School Junior Linda Barraza gave a big boost to the Lady Bobcat track and field program Thursday at the Bulldog Relays in Artesia.

Alex Morales, head track coach, was watching his team compete in the long jump area of Bulldog Bowl when she qualified for state.

“That’s big for us,” he said.

The varsity teams from Hagerman, Jal, Gateway Christian and Loving competed at the junior varsity meet hosted by Artesia High School.

“It’s a varsity qualifier for the small schools,” said Matt Conn, Artesia’s head coach.

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He said the junior varsity teams from his school along with Carlsbad, Hobbs, Clovis, Roswell, Goddard and Lovington competed as well.

The meet was the curtain lifter for Hagerman, whose boys won state last year in 2A and the girls finished in fourth place.

Before the meet started, Morales said the Bobcats were going to “try and see what we got.”

He also called it “a good practice.”

On the ladies’ side of the track, Morales said his team has plenty of experience in the relays, mile and 8-mile races.

Along with Barraza, Morales said senior Paige Hoppes has plenty of experience and is a state champion in the medley relay.

Morales said there is another Hoppes who will be seeing some action this season, Paige’s younger sister Emily, who is a sophomore and a sprinter. Esther DelaCruz is another sophomore sprinter that Morales is looking to as well.

This is Morales’ 10th season in Hagerman athletics and his third as the head track coach.

On the boys’ side of the track, Morales has nearly a handful of members coming back from last year’s state championship team.

Junior Martin Flores will compete in the 2-mile, mile and open relay.

“Last year he won the 2-mile and mile,” Morales said.

Ozzy Najera is another member that Morales will be looking to this season and he’s also looking for some senior leadership from Martin Trevizo.

Morales said he was injured last year. This year, he is looking for him “to hit all the relays.”

Morales added that most of the track and field student-athletes were competing on the basketball court and he didn’t get those kids until the end of the season.

Hagerman will compete next in the Dexter Relays on March 16, and on March 23 they will host the Harvey Wilson Alfalfa Laps.