San Juan County state track and field titles

Farmington s Devin Hull: 400-meter dash

Farmington s Avery Rasher: high jump

Farmington High School: 4x200 meter relay

Kirtland Central s Christian Mackey: discus and shot put

Piedra Vista s Beau Clafton: javelin and 200-meter dash

Bloomfield High School: 4x100 meter relay

ALBUQUERQUE — The hard work paid off for Farmington High School this year at the class 4A state track and field championships.

The Scorpions won their first-ever state track and field championship, beating Albuquerque Academy by 13 points, on Saturday during the New Mexico 3A-5A State Track and Field Championship at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

"They did an unbelievable job," said Coach Jeff Dalton. "They put in so much hard work."

Dalton said it was the first state win for the boys in Farmington High School history.

"Hands down, this is the best team we've had," he said.

The win, he said, wasn't dependent on one or two boys. Instead, many of the team's athletes picked up points in a variety of events.

Kirtland Central High School’s Christian Mackey competes in the shot put on Saturday in the New Mexico 3A-5A State Track and Field Championship at
Kirtland Central High School's Christian Mackey competes in the shot put on Saturday in the New Mexico 3A-5A State Track and Field Championship at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. (Curtis Ray Benally/Special to The Daily Times)

The Scorps' 4x200 meter relay team, which featured Devin Hull, Avery Rasher, Chayton Salcido and Vincent Gomez, narrowly missed breaking the state record.

"It was bittersweet," Hull said. "I felt like we were going to get it, but we still won."

Hull later went on to win the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.30 seconds.

For the first 200 meters of the race, Hull was running toward the back of the pack. He said he got scared when he reached the 200-meter point and thought about how he had never been so far behind during a 400-meter race.

"I could see everybody dying off, and I knew I had enough in the tank to push it," Hull said. "So I just pushed it as hard as I could."

The FHS title comes after finishing as the state runner-up a season ago.

One of the closest races of the day was the 100-meter dash. Piedra Vista High School senior Beau Clafton took second place in the 100-meter dash by a fraction of a second.

Clafton ran the race in 10.916 seconds, while Joshua Burbank of Valencia High School finished in 10.912 seconds.

"All I could do was know that I did my best," Clafton said.

Clafton picked up a gold medal in the javelin, although he missed the state record by 5 feet. Clafton's goal going into the event was to break the record.

Although he went into the meet ranked among the top 10 javelin throwers in the country, Clafton said he didn't feel pressure during the event.

"I kind of lost the feeling of pressure," he said. "I'm more focused on my form."

Clafton has been throwing since he was a freshman. He earned second at state his sophomore year and won the event his junior year.

Kirtland Central High School senior Christian Mackey also had a title to defend when he won the shot put event on Saturday for the second year in a row.

Piedra Vista’s Beau Clafton runs in the 200-meter dash on Saturday in the New Mexico 3A-5A State Track and Field Championship at the University of
Piedra Vista's Beau Clafton runs in the 200-meter dash on Saturday in the New Mexico 3A-5A State Track and Field Championship at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. (Curtis Ray Benally/Special to The Daily Times)

Mackey said he was motivated to work harder this year after Kirtland Central's basketball team, which he starred on, failed to make it to state.

"It feels great just to come back here and do good again," said Mackey, who also won his second straight discus title on Friday.

Bloomfield and Shiprock high schools also competed in the 3A division

When Bloomfield stepped onto the track for the 3A boys 4x100 meter relay on Saturday, none of the team's four members — Brendan Ramsey, Gabriel Chief, Sergio Payan or Taylor Harris — expected to win. They were ranked fourth going into the race.

Ramsey, a sophomore, said they knew on Friday that it would be a good race. But, he said, the first time the team thought it had a chance at getting a medal was while practicing the hand-off on Saturday morning.

The team finished with a time of 43.63 seconds, the fastest they had run all year.

"I've been telling the team all year we could be a 43 team," Ramsey said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.