Home Sports Local Sports Dexter pushing to get better in early season meets

Dexter pushing to get better in early season meets

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Dexter’s sophomore Marvin Johnson clears the high jump at the Harvey Wilson relays Friday in Hagerman. (Mike Smith Photo)

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HAGERMAN – Typical southeastern New Mexico weather on a Friday afternoon for the Harvey Wilson Alfalfa Relays hosted by Hagerman High School. The weather was a mix of wind and warmth.

Ten teams competed in the relay: Hagerman Bobcats, Loving Falcons, Jal Panthers, Eunice Cardinals, New Mexico Military Institute, Gateway Christian, Roswell High’s junior varsity, Lake Arthur, Mescalero Apache and Dexter.

Dexter came into the event on a high after having 10 people qualify for state in different events, according to coach Demons coach Evan Nevarez. Last week the Demons ran in their own relay, where several athletes set records. Coach Nevarez feels that with the Demons strong athletics program the kids come out for track in good shape. Both the guys and the girls have athletes that play multiple sports and they don’t have to waste a lot of time getting into shape since they are coming out of competitive sports where they are required to be in shape.

“You want them to get into shape,” Nevarez said. “Again a lot of these athletes have done football and basketball, now they’re going into the third sport and that’s the kicker there.”

Athletes like sophomore Martin Meraz, who also competes in baseball, basketball, and football to help lift the Demons back to the state. He’s also looking to juniors Nick Cobos, who also competes in baseball and golf. Sergio Ramirez, he only competes in track and field. Gustavo Macias and Sammy Montanez who also competes in football. Nevarez said some members of the Demons’ basketball team joined the track and field group last week.

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“Our boys had a pretty strong outing,” Nevarez said. “As far as the overall state of the track program, we’re healthy, this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon to May 5,” Nevarez said.

That date is significant for New Mexico schools who compete in 1A-3A, as the state meet will be held May 4- 5, at the University of New Mexico Track and Soccer Complex in Albuquerque.

“Keeping these guys healthy and hungry is kind of a balance,” he said.

This is Nevarez’s ninth year as the head track coach at Dexter. Last year the boys came in second in the state behind Tucumcari.

“We got edged out at the last couple of events and we had all lower classmen as state qualifiers,” Nevarez said. “These young bucks are starting to embrace their roles,” he said.

On the ladies side of things, Dexter had several freshmen and an eighth-grader competing last year.

The Lady Demons do have some upper-class experience coming back with senior Marlou Blankvoort.  What makes Blankvoort so unique is she plays for the three-time defending state champions Lady Demons softball team, and will be seeking a four title. Nevarez expects contributions from junior Aryanna Acosta.

“We’re not quite at full strength, we have some injuries,” he said of the Lady Demons.

As the season wears on, Nevarez is asking his team to have patience and to remember that the track season is a marathon and not a sprint. He wants his team to be at their best on May 4-5 and not in April.

Next week Dexter heads to Tularosa for the Rose Relays where he (Nevarez) is hoping to have more qualifiers and have his runners set personal best.