FARMINGTON — After a state runner-up finish in 2013, the Farmington High boys track team has been motivated all season to move up to the top spot on the podium.
If the Scorpions are going to become the 4A champions this year, Avery Rasher will play a major role.
"Avery is a huge factor in how well we do," FHS head coach Jeff Dalton said. "He's going to be in the competition for the high-point athlete."
Rasher is one of the best jumpers in the state, currently holding the top high jump mark in New Mexico at six-feet, six-inches, and is a valuable member of the Scorps relay teams.
Rasher is a part of the 4x200-meter relay team for FHS, which holds the fastest time in the state so far this season at 1:28.47.
"I feel like we're having a really strong season and the guys are coming together," Rasher said. "We're just coming together week by week."
Rasher is coming off a great meet in Aztec at the B&B Invitational.
The FHS junior won four events, the 200-meter, 300-meter hurdles, high jump and long jump, and ran a leg of the 4x100-meter relay team that finished in first place.
"It's just a lot of practice — lifting, coaching, technique-based stuff," Rasher said.
On top of the team's second place finish in 2013, Rasher took the runner-up spot in the high jump and as a member of the Scorps 4x400-meter relay team. He said coming so close to a state title is what fuels him and his teammates.
"A lot of people are motivated by it," said Rasher, who has helped the Scorps win the 4x200-meter title the past two seasons. "We've talked about how it felt to finish like that."
Rasher was also a member of the Scorpions' 2013 state football championship team.
Dalton, who also serves as the football team's defensive coordinator, believes the workouts Rasher does during the football season have contributed to his success during the track season.
"I think our football weight program is one of the biggest things," Dalton said. "He focuses on his power cling and we believe that lift creates jumping muscles. He just works really hard in the weight room. He has a lot of natural ability but the work he puts in in the weight room makes him an elite athlete."
Rasher will be competing in his third state meet in three weeks, and Dalton said that experience will be vital to the team's success.
"He's been on two state championship relay teams the last two years, and he's going to be huge being a leader," Dalton said.
Rasher also has a bright future ahead in the program next season, and Dalton has plans to expand his place on the team during his senior year.
"He's qualified for nine events this year and he wants to go for 10 or 11. He wants to be recruited as a decathlete, so I've told him next year, we'll let him pole vault and throw the javelin," Dalton said.