FARMINGTON — Farmington High School can add a new trophy to its collection after Saturday's District 1-4A Track and Field competition at Hutchison Stadium.
The Farmington boys track team won its first-ever District 1-4A title, and the Aztec High School girls won their sixth straight district trophy. The teams will compete Friday and Saturday in the New Mexico State Track and Field Championships at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Jeff Dalton, the Farmington boys track coach, said his team knew it had a good chance at the title.
"If they can compete like they did today, I think we'll definitely come home with a state trophy," Dalton said.
Dalton said the team always prepares for the state competition before district. Devin Hull, a FHS senior, said athletes wrote the state record for the 4x200 meter relay — 1 minute, 28.57 seconds — on the board at the beginning of the year and have been working toward it all year.
On Saturday, the team broke the district record with a time of 1:28.10.
Hull ran the anchor leg of the relay.
"It was kind of nerve wracking," he said.
The teams gathered in the center of the field to receive their awards.
"It was tough," Aztec girls coach Anne Strauss said. "We had to dig down there and compete."
Strauss said she believes District 1-4A is the toughest district, and she was ecstatic when her girls won.
"They run with all their heart," she said.
Sarah Root, a junior at Aztec High School, won state last year in the triple jump and hopes to repeat that performance this year.
She qualified for state during the first meet of the year. The state qualifying jump length is 32 feet. On Saturday, Root jumped 35 feet, 7 inches. She said her personal best is 36 feet.
"I was really excited to jump today because I always jump really well at Farmington," she said.
Beau Clafton, a Piedra Vista High School senior, also broke a district record with a javelin throw of 205 feet, only 2 feet short of the state record.
The throw put Clafton at No. 7 in the nation for high school boys javelin.
Clafton said reaching the record began when he was a freshman and his football coach had him lifting weights.
"I just want to go for the state record and keep building off it," he said, after hearing he was ranked seventh in the nation.
The Piedra Vista girls and boys both took second-place in the district.
Zhianna Flores, a Piedra Vista senior, took home her fifth 300-meter hurdle district championship.
Last year, Flores won state in both the 300-meter hurdles and the 200-meter dash.
Flores started running when she was 6 and joined track when she was in eighth grade. Her first year running, she took third-place at state. As a sophomore, she broke the state record, and she hopes to break her own record at state this year.
She said the other girls in the district have helped her a lot.
"These girls are really good," she said after winning the 200-meter dash Saturday. "They push you a lot."