Sports

Rapid Rise to the Top; A year after slow start, track team wins state title

ALBUQUERQUE — More than a year ago, the Cimarron High School boys track team won the 1600-meter relay at a meet in Clayton. It was the first time that year the boys had placed first in any event.

“We were jumping up and down after that relay,” remembers team member Cody Pittman. “With that win in the mile relay, we realized what we could do.”

Fast forward to this past Saturday, as the Rams claimed the Class A boys state track and field championship.

“It’s awesome,” says Pittman, now a CHS senior. “The credit goes not to just our team and to our coaches, but to God as well. It’s awesome — it’s the best I can say it.”

En route to the Class A team title, the Ram boys took first place in three individual events and three relays, and five other top-six placings.

Ram coach Joe Giglia remembers the parents’ meeting prior to the 2012 season, in which he told the parents and athletes that “‘you are working for three years from now.’ Darned if they didn’t make it happen in their second year.”

Junior Henry Sime says that relay victory in 2012 was “where we first realized we are a better team than everyone — and even we — thought we were.”

Sophomore Jacob Subratie adds it made the athletes realize they had what it took to accomplish bigger things.

“The coaches told us to carry that with you into a state,” Subratie remembers about heading into the state meet last year, adding the coaches reminded them that “everyone on this team has got one more race” and could continue to progress.

Sime adds that cross-country and summer running helped. The Ram boys won the Class A state title in cross country last fall.

“Being on a state championship team and pushing each other got everybody much better,” he says.

Senior Malik Subratie says, because he and his teammates push each other in practice, it makes them better on the track.

“It’s amazing how much they push you,” he says. “You always want to get better and be at the same level as the rest of your team.”

“We push each other, encourage each other,” adds senior Stephen Hawkes. “We’re really a tightly-knit family. That thought just makes me want to work harder, for their sake.”

Sophomore Efrain Acosta says the athletes keep in mind the advice Giglia gives them when it comes to working hard.

“Coach always tells us that work always beats talent if talent doesn’t work,” Acosta says.

Malik Subratie says the tradition the Rams have for a quality program helps, crediting Giglia for the work he puts into the program. “We just happen to be the latest installment,” he says.

And Pittman believes the Rams will carry forward their latest high level of success — a level that only grew ever since that 1600-meter relay team took first in Clayton more than a year ago.

“This is just the beginning,” the senior says. “These kids coming up will be back.”

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