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Goddard scores state qualifiers at track meet

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Steve Notz Photo Camarynn Villalpando

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ARTESIA — Goddard track head coach Chris Deck viewed Friday’s District 4-5A track meet as the last chance for some Rockets and Lady Rockets to qualify for next week’s state meet in Albuquerque.

“For the other kids, we’re looking for personal records in their events and we’ve had a lot of those so far today,” Deck said.

Diego Miranda, Bailey Beene and Destiny Lawrence have already punched their tickets for the state in multiple events.

Deck spent a couple of seasons as an assistant coach at Goddard and this year he assumed the mantle of command. His blueprint for the Rockets and Lady Rockets is to see an increase in participants.

“We don’t have great numbers at Goddard; the kids that we do have are outstanding athletes and work really hard,” Deck said. “That’s one of my main goals taking over this year as head coach is to really build me a program number-wise.”

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During his tenure at Goddard, Deck has seen other student-athletes try out for the track and field team.

“We’re starting to get more and more of the football kids that come out,” Deck said. “We’re starting to get more throwers come out, too, so that’s probably the main thing.”

Meanwhile his cross-town counterpart, Roswell High head coach Tim Fuller was roaming around Bulldog Bowl watching the Coyotes and Lady Coyotes. He said more than 20 athletes will be going to the Duke City next week.

“The kids have done really well getting personal bests,” Fuller said. “We’re getting a lot of state qualifiers by placing and by time, some of the kids we didn’t expect to do qualifiers are stepping up and getting their tickets punched to state.”

While Goddard’s Deck may be new to track and field in Chaves County, Fuller is a veteran, having coached at Roswell and Dexter in the 1990s. Three years ago, he returned to guide the Coyotes and Lady Coyotes.

“We’ve had more qualifiers this year than we’ve had in the past and that’s nice,” Fuller said. “It’s more of a family this year than in year’s past and that’s really encouraging. I had some really good teams in Dexter that did well, too. But overall, we had more kids this year. They have fun together and they work hard. This is a fun year and this is a good group of kids.”

The Artesia Bulldogs won the boys crown with 130 points. Roswell was second with 101, Lovington was third with 52 points and Goddard had 21 points.

The Artesia Lady Dogs came in first with 126 points. Roswell was second with 69 points, Lovington was third with 68 points and the Lady Rockets finished fourth with 41 points.