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Track coach looks for his young team to improve

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Fourth-year Roswell track coach Tim Fuller has his hands full, with 86 members out for the boys and girls track team. The cheerleaders have come out and Fuller is hoping to have his team ready and qualified once state rolls around.

Fuller has one qualifier for state as of this article in Javelin thrower Cheyenne Martinez. Martinez has thrown 113 feet and 8 inches and Fuller sees her as being able to throw in the 120s in the next few weeks with the goal of throwing 130 by state.

“Cheyenne (Martinez) has a chance to win in our division,” Fuller said.

On Friday, the Coyotes participated in the George Love Relays in Portales — results were not available at press time. Fuller will miss state high-jumping champion Jasia Reese and veteran Ethan Valenzuela.

Roswell senior Dylan Tucker is looking to qualify for state in the next four meets in the hurdles and javelin. (Brenda Pierce Photo)

On the boys’ side, look for senior Dylan Tucker to be there. Last season, he placed in the high hurdles at state and is close to qualifying in the hurdles and javelin this season. Last week, the team was hit with sickness and it has affected their performance at the last couple of meets.

“We are young,” Fuller said. “We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores, out of the 86, I would say half are freshmen and sophomores. We have some really good looking athletes, and I’m excited about them getting better as the season goes on.”

Even though the track team is young, another challenge his team will have to face is moving up in reclassification. With this move, the team will go up against Hobbs, Carlsbad and Clovis in district. Fuller welcomes the challenge and sees it as a chance to get his team better.

“Hey, let’s run with them,” Fuller said. “We’re either going to run with them or we’re not. All three of those programs have established track programs, so I’m excited to see how we compete against them. We get to host district this year on May 10.”

Being so young is a good thing because Fuller hopes it will raise the level of competition for his team and show them that they can compete with the more established teams. On every relay team that Roswell has, they have at least one freshman on it.

“We have had some really young talent that has had to step up,” assistant track coach Nathan Fuller said. “Kids that are freshmen have had to step in and learn how to compete.”

Tim Fuller is using these next couple of meets to shake things up and see where he can put together the best relays and athletes that will garner the most points when it comes to the district. Tim Fuller is looking to qualify Tucker who is five-hundredths of a second off in the hurdles, and just a few feet off in the javelin.

Roswell track has always done well in the high jump and is looking to continue that tradition this season. Last year, they won first place, and in 2017, they earned second place in boys and girls.

“I enjoy the track,” Tim Fuller said, “because they see what they ran this week and we’re going to beat it next week. As long as we’re improving, then we’re winning. Are we ever going to win a meet? Probably not. But, can we get them qualified for the state and get them to do well at state? Yes.”

The main goal for the Coyotes this year is to get his team to qualify for state. Tim Fuller feels like at the state meet it is about quality performance and all it takes is one good day to place or be a state champion.

On any given day, a favorite can have a bad day — and his athletes can have a good day to win it all. Tim Fuller believes an athlete has to be at their best on that day for the main event, and anything can happen in one race or throw.

“Track is fun,” Nathan Fuller said, “because it just takes one good day. You can have a kid that’s a half a second off all year, but comes out and has one good day — and has one good person in front of him to pull him along and then all of the sudden they’re in. All it takes is one good day, an athlete wakes up, has one good breakfast and boom, they’re in.”

Both coaches feel like in their program, it is important to focus on the athletes improving from week to week and going through the process. Tim Fuller feels like the key to the team has been to be able to get the students to come out for the team and other athletes that play other sports to come out. Tim Fuller believes that if an athlete will come out for track, just by being in the sport, it will make them a better overall athlete.

Roswell will lean heavily on seniors: Julian Vigil will throw the shot put and disc. Justin Carrasco will run sprints, relays and long jump. Tucker will throw javelin and high hurdles. Joshua Morrow is the manager of the team. For the girls, seniors: Kaileigh Holloway will run relays and sprints. Martinez and Isabelle Trusan will throw the javelin.

“I feel like we are going to get faster automatically,” Tim Fuller stated. “We’re going to be running against faster schools. What happens in three years if they (New Mexico Activities Association) adjust us and we get moved back down? Yes, we want to win this year, of course, we do. We want the kids to do well, by the time the freshmen are juniors, by the time they are juniors — they could be three steps ahead of the game, just because they ran against the bigger schools.”

During the district season, the first- and second-place finishers automatically qualify for state if they don’t make it on times. Tim Fuller has four meets to get his team qualified before the big District 4-5A championship at the Wool Bowl on May 10.