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Monday, February 14, 2000

Eagles send eight to state swim meet

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 14, 2000 -- The Class 5A roadblock was finally gone, and the Pecos Eagles’ swim team found the path to Austin a lot easier to manage Saturday, at the Region I-4A Swimming and Diving Championships at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center in Lubbock.

Pecos’ boys, who had won nine of the last 11 district titles but had never sent a swimmer to the state finals, will have seven headed to Austin in two weeks, after running away with the regional title. The boys finished with 119 points in the first-ever regional meet for Class 4A and below schools, almost double the total for runner-up Andrews, which collected 62 points.

“We had a good meet, and it was something that was a long time coming,” said Eagles’ coach Terri Morse. “Really the times were a lot faster than I anticipated from past regional performances.”

The new regional set-up also meant more pressure on all the swimmers during Saturday’s finals. “Some of our kids were shaking. I guess with there being so much on the line there was a lot more pressure,” Morse said. “In the past, you’d just go out there and do your best, but this time they were the ones in the middle lanes and the pressure was on them.”

 Pecos also qualified all three of their relay teams as regional champions, with Kevin Bates and Tye Edwards collecting automatic regional berths, Bates in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles and Edwards in the 100 yard backstroke.

Edwards also qualified - after a few e-mails from Morse - as an at-large qualifier in the 100 yard butterfly, while Grant Holland earned at-large spots in the 200 individual medley and 100 yard breaststroke, Jason Lopez earned an alternate berth in the 100 breaststroke and Randall Reynolds and Patrick McChesney picked up the final two at-large state berths in the 500 yard freestyle.

The girls managed to get only one swimmer to Austin, JoAnn Wein, who won both the 200 and 500-yard freestyles. But overall, the Eagles placed second at regionals to Monahans, with 67 points to 83 for the Loboes.

“On the girls side there weren’t many pickups,” after the automatic qualifiers, Morse said. “In the 400 we just missed getting picked up, and I would guess on the medley we just missed there too.

“We have a young girls team. We’re not as strong as we need to be,” she added. “I feel bad for them, but they’ve come so far this season.”

Bates won the 50-yard freestyle with a 21.69 time, took the 100 free with a 48.27 time, and was named the meet’s outstanding swimmer on the boys’ side. “Kevin’s 21.69 was a personal best and it also was fast enough for All-America consideration, but I won’t send it in until after the state meet, because I’m hoping he’ll do better there,” Morse said.

Cortney Freeman also picked up second place in the 100 free and finished third in the 50 free. But his times of 51.55 and 22.91 seconds were not fast enough to earn at-large spots. “I thought Cortney might get picked up in the 50 free, but he didn’t,” Morse said.  However, she added that it would allow her the option of putting Freeman in all three of the Eagles’ relays at state.

Edwards took the 100 backstroke with a 56.68 time and placed second to Abilene Wylie’s John Ouimette in the 100 butterfly by a 56.72 to 56.90 time. But when the first at-large qualifying list on the Texas Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association site came out Sunday night, Edwards wasn’t on the list, though third place finisher Omar Alba of El Paso Ysleta was with a 57.91 time.

“It was just a preliminary list,” Morse said of the one put up Sunday. “The UIL will post the official list of qualifiers on Monday.”  However, the list on the TISCA site was corrected later in the evening.

Reynolds and McChesney were able to pass Ouimette to place second and third in the 500, though Andrews’ Justin Waldrop pulled away for a win in 5:23, six seconds up on the two Eagle swimmers. Earlier, Reynolds was beaten out by Andrews’ Michael Asabranner and El Paso Parkland’s Isaac Pepper in the 200 freestyle, after Reynolds won the preliminaries on Friday.

“The guy from Andrews just came back and took it,” Morse said. “Randall had a good time. I can’t complain about that. It was the same in the 500. He and Patrick both had good swims,” said Morse.

Holland earned a state spot as the seventh at-large qualifier following a second place in the 200 medley behind El Paso High’s Roberto Grandara. Holland had a 2:13.69 time. In the 100 breaststroke, Lopez was fifth at-large and Holland eighth at-large after they placed second and third to Monahans’ Chris Cain, who won with a 1:04.20 time to Lopez’ 1:04.38. Holland had a 1:05.81 time.

The Eagles had easy wins in the 200-medley relay and 400 yard freestyle relay. Bates, Edwards, Holland and Reynolds took the 400 freestyle in 3:28.39, a 15 second margin over Big Spring, which also went as eighth regional alternate, while Bates, Edwards, Lopez and Freeman won by 5½ seconds over Monahans in the 200 medley, with a 1:43.02 time. The Loboes qualified there as the No. 3 at-large team.

In the 200 freestyle, the Eagles lost to Monahans in the preliminaries just as they did at district two weeks earlier, then came back to edge the Loboes in the finals. Holland, Reynolds, Freeman and Scott Pounds won with a 1:35.54 time to 1:36.39 for Monahans. Both the Loboes and third place Andrews earned state berths as the fifth and sixth at large teams.

“Scott even did good in his 100 free. I thought he might get third, but the kid (Monahans’ Noah Miles) just out-touched him,” Morse said.

The boys’ other finals qualifiers were McChensey, fifth in the 200 freestyle; Luis Nieto, fifth in the 100 backstroke; Lopez, sixth in the 100 fly, and Mike Howard, seventh in the 500 freestyle.

In the girls’ 400 freestyle relay JoAnn Wein, Lauren Wein, Briar Prewit and Sarah Flores finished third behind Monahans and Big Spring with a 4:12.57 time. Big Spring placed ninth in the at-large rankings, just missing a trip to Austin. In the 200 medley, Flores, Lauren Wein, Rebecca Wein and Rachelle Eisenberg placed third by .02 seconds to Andrews, with both the Eagles and Mustangs finishing just off the Top 8 for at-large state berths. Monahans won with a 2:01.43 time.

Wein finished one second ahead of Andrews’ Kelli Wallace to earn a state berth in the 200 freestyle, and had an easier time in the 500 free, taking it in 6:01.81, six seconds up on Wallace.

Flores finished one second behind Big Spring’s Melissa Sheedy in the 200 medley, with a 2:29.77 time. In the 100 breaststroke, she had a 1:14.83 time, two seconds in back of Monahans’ Autumn Ware. Eisenberg was third in that race, with a 1:19.63 time.

Others qualifying for the finals included Prewit and Eisenberg, who were third and fourth in the 500 freestyle, while Prewit also placed fourth in the 100 freestyle. Lauren Wein was fifth in the 200 free and sixth in the 500 free, Rebecca Wein was sixth in the 200 medley, Rebecca Wein was sixth in the 100 fly, and the 200 freestyle relay team of  Eisenberg, Prewit, Rebecca Wein and Victora Gomez finished fifth.

The Eagles also picked up two third place medals on Thursday, in the one-meter diving competition. Jenny Alvarez and Wesley Roberts earned thirds, but also missed out on at-large state berths, while Leroy Rodriguez was fourth in the boys division.

The Class 5A regional meet was held in Lubbock following the 4A finals on Saturday. Based on the two results, Morse said the Eagles’ best finishes would have been third place efforts by the boys’ medley relay team and Bates in the 50 freestyle. Bates also would have finished fourth in the 100 free while both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays had the fifth fastest times in Lubbock on Saturday.

Overall, 10 teams scored points on the boys side at regionals. Trailing Pecos and Andrews were Monahans with 44 points, El Paso High with 32, Big Spring with 23, El Paso Ysleta with 13, Abilene Wylie with 12, El Paso Parkland with 11, Pampa with eight and Fort Stockton with six. On the girls’ side 12 teams scored points, with Big Spring third with 47, Andrews fourth with 44, Abilene Wylie fifth with 43, Pampa sixth with 22, Amarillo Caprock seventh with seven points, El Paso High eighth, with 4 points, Fort Stockton ninth with four points, El Paso Burges and Parkland tied for 10th with two points and El Paso Riverside 12th, with one point.

Lobos' big first quarter stops Pecos

PECOS, Feb. 14, 2000 -- El Paso Mountain View's basketball team has been to District 2-4A this year what the Big Spring Steers were to the Pecos Eagles' old District 2-4A in the past -- when they're bad, they're bad, but when they're good…

…they're the team the Eagles ran into Friday night.

Mountain View, which ran through it's pre-district competition then struggled to a 2-4 mark though the first six games of the District 2-4A schedule, continued their late surge for a playoff spot Friday night with an impressive 85-49 victory over the Eagles, in the teams' next-to-last regular season game.

The Lobos, who went into Clint and defeated the Lions last Tuesday to stay in the playoff race, outscored Pecos 27-3 in the opening quarter to put the game away quickly.

"They started off the game like the Mountain View team that beat Lubbock High in the championship of the Sandhills Tournament," said Eagles' coach Tino Acosta. "That and the fact we were flat made for an ugly first quarter."

The Lobos' 6-foot-7 post Dustin Maloney led Mountain View with 18 points, while 6-5 post Javier Garcia added 12. At the same, time, El Paso's guards also got on the board often in the opening period.

"In the first quarter especially they ran the fast break well against us," Acosta said. "That little Garcia kid (Gilbert Garcia) is probably the best guard we've seen all year."

Adrian Rayos had Pecos' only basket in the opening period, while Hector Rodriguez was held to just one foul shot, though he did finish with a game-high 20.

Acosta was happy the Eagles did better over the final three periods Friday. "We played them even the rest of the game, which shows you what big hearts these kids have. They could have laid down after the first quarter, but they kept on fighting."

Mountain View improved to 5-4 in district with their win, while Pecos fell to 0-9 and will try to avoid an winless season on Tuesday when they face Canutillo, which will be trying to clinch at least a share of the district title with a victory.

Pecos did win Friday's junior varsity game, by a 63-50 final score. Richard Rodriguez led the Eagles in scoring for the game.

PECOS (49)
Weidner 3 0-0 8; A. Garcia 1 2-3 4; Rayos 3 1-1 7; Chavez 1 1-2 3; Tarin 3 0-0 8; Rodriguez 8 4-7 20; S. Garcia 0 1-2 1; Terrazas 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 8-13 49.

Lerma 0 2-2 2; Lamas 3 0-0 8; A. Garcia 2 0-0 5; Arredondo 4 1-1 9; G. Garcia 4 0-0 9; Lopez 3 0-0 6; Muniz 3 0-0 6; Moody 4 2-2 10; Maloney 9 0-1 18; J. Garcia 4 4-5 12. Totals 36 9-11 85.

Pecos                    2   17   11   18 - 49
EP Mtn. View    27   17   17   24 - 85
Three-point goals; Pecos 4 (Weidner 2, Tarin 2), El Paso 4 (Lamas 2, A. Garcia, G. Garcia).

Landry recalled by friends, fans following death

Associated Press Writer
DALLAS, Feb. 14, 2000 - Forget two Super Bowls, the fedora, 20 straight winning seasons, or "The Stare." Friends and family remember Tom Landry as a man of class and Christianity.

"There is a great difference between a winning team and a team with class," Tex Schramm, former Cowboys general manager, said in an interview Sunday night. "No team was looked upon as the Dallas Cowboys were.

"When you left the organization, for the rest of your life you could be proud you were a Cowboy."

Landry died around 6 p.m. Saturday at Baylor University Medical Center surrounded by his immediate family. He was 75 and had been fighting a form of leukemia since May.

Funeral arrangements were expected to be released today.

Landry coached the Dallas Cowboys for 29 years, from their birth in 1960 until Jerry Jones bought the team Feb. 25, 1989. He maintained a low profile in retirement, but he remained one of the most beloved members of the community.

Faith was more important to Landry than football. He became a born-again Christian in 1959 and was a member of Highland Park United Methodist Church for 43 years.

At the church on Sunday, Landry was remembered as a devout Christian who learned to appreciate life and taught others to do the same.

The Rev. Mark Craig focused his sermon on making memories. The theme was based on a sermon Landry gave several years ago, one Craig called the best he'd ever heard.

"He talked about joys and pain and happiness," Craig told more than 1,000 worshippers. "Through all the good and the bad he said he was thankful God gave him another day. If you want great memories, you need to live each day fully and thank God for another day."

Throughout the Dallas area, fans paid their own tributes.

Outside team headquarters in Irving, several mourners created a makeshift memorial with bouquets, candles and cards.

An index card placed in the ground behind several candles read: "Coach Landry, We will always love you. You were a great person first and a great coach. We know you are in heaven and in peace. Thank you for everything."

At Texas Stadium - which one local columnist suggested Sunday should be renamed Landry Stadium - another gathering point was beneath a giant photo of Landry that is among many pictures surrounding the facade.

Delores Castorena bought a blue flag featuring the team's helmet at a concession stand in the parking lot. She wrote, "A legend never dies" near the star, signed her name and attached it and a photo to the chain-link fence under Landry's image.

The gathering point in Mission, Texas, Landry's hometown, was the downtown mural on a street named in his honor.

"He's one of our heroes," said Marco Ramos, who visited the painting with his mother and brother. "He's a role model and example for all of us."

Dr. Bryan Frank, who leads the medical outreach at Highland Park United Methodist Church, said his first memories of Landry were his lectures to members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes when Frank was a teen-ager running track.

"In a world of celebrity and ego, coach Landry was really a man of faith, character, integrity and dignity," Frank said.

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