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Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2000

Pecos boys 5th at state swim finals

AUSTIN, Feb. 28, 2000 -- It may have been a small school meet, at least compared to the previous UIL swimming and diving championships, but the first-ever Class 4A finals still had a big city feel among the top teams this past weekend in Austin, with the exception of the Pecos Eagles.

The Eagles provided a break from the list of schools from the Dallas, Houston and Austin areas, along with Texas High in Texarkana, that dominated the point-leader totals when the meet wrapped up on Saturday morning. Pecos’ boys placed fifth overall, with 97 points in a division won by Highland Park with 188 points to 140 for runner-up Texarkana.

Southlake Carroll with 121 points and Cedar Park with 114 were next, while the Eagles were 13 points up on Conroe Oak Ridge, which finished with 84 points.

“I felt like the kids had an excellent meet. Everybody cut their times, and we got everybody into the finals,” Eagles’ coach Morse said. “This is what they’ve been working for and I’m very, very proud of them.”

The meet for Class 4A and below schools was the first time the University Interscholastic League has split the smaller schools apart from the Class 5A teams that had dominated the regional meets over the years. For the Eagle boys, it was the first time they had sent any swimmers to Austin, despite winning nine district titles over the past 11 years.

While Pecos finished in the exact spot Morse said they were seeded in entering the finals - fifth - they moved up in the finals in three events following Friday’s preliminaries, and also moved up one spot in a fourth race on Saturday, but under the rules weren’t able to pick up any points on it.

“I thought we did much better today. We didn’t lose it on the second day, like you see happen so many times,” Morse said.

Bates, who finished third in the prelims of the 50-yard freestyle, was able to edge out a trio of swimmers at the finish to take second place, behind Auston Ayres of Houston King. Bates cut .11 off his Friday time to finish with a 21.83 time, while Ayres won with a 21.52 time.

Later, Bates, Tye Edwards, Cortney Freeman and Grant Holland moved up from sixth place on Friday to fourth place in the 400 meter freestyle, setting a new school record with a 3:19.26 time, five seconds better than their prelim time, while Edwards also advanced two spots, from sixth to fourth in the 100 yard backstroke, finishing with a 55.83 time, a .59 improvement from Friday.

“The 400 set a school record and the medley also was a school record,” Morse said, of the 1:42.06 time that earned Bates, Edwards, Jason Lopez and Freeman their third place award. That was a .43 improvement, though they still finished behind Cedar Park and Highland Park for the second straight day.

Bates and Edwards also stayed where they were in their other races. Bates placed fifth both days in the 100 freestyle, finishing with a 48.50 time, while Edwards was 11th both days in the 100-yard butterfly, finishing with a 56.24 time. Both swimmers cut .06 off their times from Friday to Saturday.

 The other race Pecos moved up in was the 200-yard freestyle. The Eagles swam a 1:34.11 on Saturday 1.39 seconds better than Friday and the sixth best time overall. But because they failed to make the finals, Morse said the best they could do was a seventh, even though they edged out Oak Ridge on Saturday.

Morse said the Eagles had to swim the race on Friday with Lopez replacing Scott Pounds. “Scott said his shoulder was bothering him, but the time Jason went was only as good as Scott could do even with his shoulder sprained. I opted to go with Scott today to give Jason more time to rest for the breaststroke, and it paid off for us.”

Freeman, along with Holland and Reynolds, who missed out on the Top 12 in their events on Friday, made up the rest of the 200 freestyle team. Lopez placed 12th both days in the 100 breaststroke, while Holland was 15th, and Holland finished 14th in the prelims of the 200 yard individual medley on Friday. Reynolds finished 14th and Patrick McChesney was 15th on Friday in the 500 freestyle.

The Eagles’ lone state qualifier on the girls’ side, JoAnn Wein, also missed out on a Top 12 finish on Friday, She finished 14th in the 200 freestyle with a 2:16.09 time, and was 15th in the 500 freestyle, with a 6:08.01 time.

Of the District 3-4A qualifiers, Andrews’ Jerred Tochterman picked up the other medal on the day, taking third in the one-meter diving. The Mustangs finished 11th overall in the boys’ standings with 34 points, while Monahans tied for 25th, with eight points.

On the girls’ side, Austin LBJ beat Highland Park for the team title by a 193-182 margin. Monahans, which like Pecos won both the District 3-4A and Region 1-4A titles, placed 11th with 40 points. Abilene Wylie, in 24th place with 12 points, was the only other 3-4A team to score on the girls’ side.

Of the group of swimmers in Austin, Pecos will lose Bates and Pounds to graduation this year.  “We have a lot of kids coming back, so this is good. It can inspire them to work harder,” Morse said. “Now we can say we’ve been here once, and we can grow from that to become much better.”

Eagles, Loboes split low-scoring openers

PECOS, Feb. 28, 2000 -- More hits didn't add up to more runs for either the Pecos Eagles or Monahans Loboes on Saturday.

Both Josh Casillas and Roy Porras found that three-hit pitching efforts weren't enough to earn them wins, as the Eagles and Loboes split a pair of low-run, low-hit games in their season opening doubleheader in Monahans.

Casillas allowed just three hits in the opener and struck out 11, but he was matched by Monahans' Brady Hawkins, who fanned eight and allowed just five hits, and picked up a 2-1 win when the Loboes pushed across a run in the bottom of the sixth inning.

In Game 2, it was Porras that allowed three hits while Pecos' Pifi Montoya surrendered five. But the Eagles were able to push across solo runs in the first, second and fourth innings, and after Monahans scored once in the fifth and sixth, Montoya was able to shut the Loboes' down in their last at-bat to pick up a 3-2 win.

"In the second game Pifi did an outstanding job pitching," said Eagles' coach Bubba Williams. "In the seventh inning we were up 3-2 and he struck out the side.

"In the sixth inning they started catching up with his fastball, and he started using his off-speed pitch, which made his fastball look even faster," Williams said. "He struck out Roy Porras, who's their best hitter, to end the game. He got him on a 3-2 pitch with a knuckle-curve, and he didn't know what it was."

Montoya also got into double-digits in strikeouts with 10 while Porras fanned eight Eagles. "They got as far as we did (in the Class 3A playoffs last season), and their pitchers did a good job shutting us down," Williams said.

Williams said Luis Salgado did a good job hitting the ball, including a double in the second game off Porras, while Sebero Jaquez had an RBI single.

"Luis hit the ball pretty good and Capi (Magana) put the ball in play. Joey Garcia also did a good job bunting," he said. "In the two games against Monahans we tried to put a lot of pressure on the defense. We did a lot of hit-and-run and stealing."

Casillas, who lost just twice in 13 decisions last season, saw the Loboes score an unearned run on Robert Ramos' RBI single in the sixth to win the game. But Williams said the senior hurt himself as well due to control problems.

"Josh made several mistakes in the first game that cost us," Williams said. "He walked five and hit two. He didn't pitch as well as he could, but he'll come around."

"Our pitching and defense was good, and that's what you want to see as a coach. Our hitting just really needs to come around," added Williams, who was minus two of his regular starters on Saturday in second baseman Orlando Lara and outfielder Kevin Bates.

Saturday's doubleheader was originally supposed to be a home-and-home weekend series, but Friday's game in Pecos was changed because of Monahans' Class 3A basketball playoff game that night against Dimmitt. The Eagles will now play their home opener on Tuesday against Kermit, then go back to Monahans on Thursday to face Alpine in the first round of the Monahans Sandhills Tournament.

Pecos girls 3rd at Stockton, boys 12th in Midland

PECOS, Feb. 28, 2000 -- The same score over 36 holes of play worked out a little bit better for the Pecos Eagle girls' golf team than it did for the boys during tournament play in Midland and Fort Stockton.

Both Eagle golf teams shot 719s over the weekend, which earned the girls a third place finish at the Blue Ribbon Invitational at Fort Stockton and put the boys in 12th place in Division II at the Tall City Invitational in Midland.

Andrews shot a 639 to win the boys' championship 15 strokes ahead of Sweetwater, while the host Prowlers won their own tournament, shooting a 658 to beat out Andrews, which shot a 671. Monahans trailed the Eagles in fourth place, with a 763 score. Pecos' `B' girls team finished 10th in the 20-team tournament, shooting an 820 over 36 holes.

"I was real pleased with both teams," said coach Tina Hendrick. "The weather was beautiful on Friday, but Saturday was cold and windy all day, so they had to contend with that but they never quit."

Pecos shot a 356 during the first round and a 363 on Saturday, while Fort Stockton and Andrews also saw their scores increase as the wind picked up during the final round.

Individually for the girls, Salem Mitchell and Amanda Stickels both shot 176 over 36 holes. Mitchell shot an 84-92, while Stickels had an 87-89 on Friday and Saturday. Candace Hillard shot a 92-88-180, Cassie Foster shot a 93-94-187 and Lauren Martinez had a 96-100-196 for the other `A' team scores.

Brandi Bradley had the best score for the `B' team, which cut 15 strokes off its total on Saturday, despite the weather. Bradley had a 95-91-186, while Dena Dutchover shot a 107-100-207, Brandi North had a 104-103-207, Kelsey Riley shot a 111-113-224 and Kattie Davis shot a 116-108-224. Pecos' other golfer, Jacqueline Marquez, shot a 117-110-227.

Over in Midland, the Eagles improved by 17 strokes from the first to second day, shooting a 351 over the final 18 holes. The Midland tournament was divided into two divisions, with the Eagles placing 12th out of the 16 sub-5A schools entered.

Individually, John Granado's 87-86-173 was the boys' best score in Midland, and was followed by Austin Alvarez with a 92-90-182, Michael Baca with a 93-90-183, Trey Perkins with a 91-91-187 and Casey Breiten with a 105-97-202.

Coach Kim Anderson's varsity golfers were back in action again today, competing in a one-round tournament at Alpine, while Hendrick said the junior varsity girls would host six other teams for an 18-hole tournament on Tuesday at the Reeves County Golf Course.

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