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Thursday, February 8, 2001

Pampa to challenge Pecos' girls at regionals

PECOS, Thursday, February 8 - Some things are easier for the Pecos Eagles and other Class 4A and 3A teams then they've been in the past at the regional swim meet. But one thing remains the same, and that's that anyone wanting to go to state had better make sure they finish first.
After years of bumping up against Class 5A schools at regionals, the Eagles took advantage of the creation of the Class 4A and below regional and state meets last year. They won the Region I-4A title on the boys side and were second at regionals in the girls' division, and the boys then finished fifth overall at the Class 4A meet in Austin.
This year's Region I-4A competition gets underway with diving this afternoon at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center in Lubbock, and continues with the swimming preliminaries and finals Friday and Saturday morning. Going by the results of last month's District 3-4A meet and the seeding times for this weekend, the Eagles appear ready to defend their Region I-4A boys title, and have a far better shot at claiming the regional title on the girls side than they did a year ago.
But unlike track, tennis and golf competition, where the top two teams advance to state, only the winner of each race is assured of a trip to Austin, while the eight at-large spots are based on the best times across Texas. That means more pressure to finish first on all the Eagle swimmers, especially the girls' team, which will be challenged by the Pampa Harvesters in Lubbock.
Pecos swept the District 2-4A boys and girls titles in Big Spring on Jan. 26-27. For the girls, that included a big win over Abilene Wylie, a team they had lost to in a meet earlier this season. Now they'll try and do the same to Pampa, the only other sub-Class 5A team to beat them this year.
The key races will be the 200 medley relay, where Pecos goes in with a 1.25 second advantage on Pampa, and the 400 freestyle relay, where the Harvesters are seeded ahead of the Eagles by less than one second. Pecos is also seeded second in the 200 free relay by one second to Abilene Wylie.
Individually, JoAnn Wein will challenge Pampa's Tamara Henthorn for first and a guaranteed trip to state in the 200 freestyle. Henthorn's best time is a 2:12.78, while Wein goes into regionals with a 2:13.81 time. In the 200 medley, Pecos' Sarah Flores won the 3-4A title, but her best time is 12 seconds behind Pampa's Andrea Branchetti, who comes in with a 2:22.41 time, while in the 100 yard butterfly, Rebecca Wein's 1:14.02 time is seeded 3½ seconds behind Pampa's Misty Moman.
Branchetti is also seeded first by nearly nine seconds over Lauren Wein in the 100-yard backstroke, while two Pecos swimmers go in seeded No. 1 in their events _ JoAnn Wein in the 500 yard freestyle (6:01.68) and Rachelle Eisenberg in the 100 yard breaststroke (1:15.28). Eisenberg's time is 1½ seconds better than Flores, who is seeded second, while Jessica Minjarez is seeded second in the 500 freestyle, 14 seconds behind Wein.
Pecos' boys go into regionals seeded first in all three relays _ by 4½ seconds over Andrews in the 200 medley relay, by two seconds over Monahans in the 200 freestyle relay and by four seconds over Big Spring in the 400 free relay.
Individually, the Eagles have five No. 1 seeds going into Friday's preliminaries. Grant Holland is seeded first in the 200 medley with a 2:11.82 time, 1½ seconds up on El Paso High's Robert Gandara; Courtney Freeman is seeded first by .23 second over Monahans Ethan Lewallen in the 50 freestyle, with a 23.07 time; Randall Reynolds in the 500 free with a 5:14.94 time, 16½ seconds ahead of teammate Patrick McChesney; Tye Edwards in the 100 backstroke, with a 56.46 time and a six second advantage over Big Spring's Mark Sheedy; and Jason Lopez in the 100 breaststroke, where his 1:03.36 time is three seconds ahead of Holland, who is seeded second.

Walls happy with results of Eagles' first scrimmage

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thursday, February 8 - Pecos Eagles' softball coach Tammy Walls was happy with the way her varsity players looked on Tuesday, in their first scrimmage of the 2001 season.
On Saturday, she'll have a few more varsity players out and a few more teams to face, when the Eagles travel to Sweetwater to face the host Mustangs, along with the Stephenville Yellowjackets, the Lubbock Cooper Pirates and the Kermit Yellowjackets in a four-way scrimmage.
The Eagles scrimmaged in Kermit this past Tuesday and will face the Jackets again to close out Saturday's scrimmage, at 5:30 p.m. Before then, they'll face Stephenville at 10:30 a.m., Sweetwater at 12 noon and Lubbock Cooper at 2 p.m.
"We looked pretty good the other night," said Walls. "The varsity won 3-0, but then when the JV got in there some of those girls have never played before and we got creamed."
"I started out with Stephanie Herrera pitching and she did really well. They didn't get a single hit off her," the Eagles' coach said. She said after the freshman finished her work on the mound, senior Alexa Marquez also no-hit Kermit in her first outing of the season.
At bat, Walls said, "Alexa got a hit, Stephanie hit the ball and Ashley (Salcido) hit the ball. Another freshman Marissa Mendoza also got a good hit."
Walls had only about half her starters out Tuesday, including Marquez and Salcido, but will have a few more out for Saturday's scrimmage, with the end of the Eagles' basketball season.
"We'll have everybody out except for Becca (Wein)," she said. Herrera may play some at catcher on Saturday, but Walls said she plans to start her at shortstop once Wein returns after the Eagles' swimming season ends later this month.
Regular season play for Pecos begins next Tuesday, at home against the Crane Golden Cranes. It's the only home game for the Eagles until their District 2-4A opener, on March 16 against the Clint Lions.

Powerlifters place eighth at Stockton

PECOS, Thursday, February 8 - The Pecos Eagles' powerlifting team came away with eighth place this past weekend in competition at Fort Stockton.
Coach Steve Cross said Chris Lara took first in the 132-pound weight class, Adam Salgado was fourth in the 181-pound division and Hector Contreras took fifth in the super-heavyweight division.
Cross said several Pecos girls also competed in Fort Stockton, but did not place.
"It was the first time we had more than 20 lifters and a meet, and the kids all pulled together and helped each other," said Cross. "The girls did a real good job even though they didn't place. Victoria Gomez increased her total by 70 pounds, and Alex Vasquez went up by 30 pounds."
The boys' finish was hurt by the absence of Gito Crawford, who won first place the previous week in the 275-pound weight class at Midland Greenwood. "Gito attended an FFA meeting last week, then he had to turn around and drive straight through from San Antonio to El Paso because he was showing at a stock show," Cross said.
The meet was the last of three straight weekend competitions for the Eagles. "We'll have three weeks to get ready for out next qualifying meet at Seagraves on Feb. 24. That will be the last meet before regionals," Cross said.

Mustangs avenge loss to Balmorhea's girls

PECOS, Thursday, February 8 - The Fort Hancock Mustangs got some revenge for an early-season loss to the Balmorhea Bears on Tuesday night, as they went into Balmorhea and came out with a 55-38 victory over the Bears.
"We had beaten them at the Sanderson Tournament, and their coach said their girls were all fired up before the game," said coach Gary Gallego, who added Tuesday's game to the schedule after the Bears clinched a playoff spot last week. Balmorhea still has one District 9-A game remaining, Friday night in Dell City, where they'll try and tie the Cougars for the district title.
Gallego said Fort Hancock took control inside against Balmorhea, which had both foul and health problems. "We were in the ballgame until Celina (Rodriguez) picked up two fouls that was the big difference in the ballgame, and Celina has been sick the last couple of days, so she didn't have a good game.
"She only had 10 rebounds, and most were in the second half, and she scored nine points and Terry Hernandez only had nine points," Gallego said. "They're my two main scorers and they only shot 7-for-29. My younger girls, Julia Garlick had eight points, Diana Lujan had seven and Vanessa Baeza who just got eligible, had four. Those girls shot 10-for-25 which is not bad."
The Bears were still in the game until the third period. The teams were tied at 9-9 after one period, and Fort Hancock led at halftime 25-21 before outscoring Balmorhea 16-6 in the third period. Gallego said the Mustangs were led by Mel Ramirez' 17 points, while their 6-foot post Kim Alcorn added 15 points.
Balmorhea's boys did not play on Tuesday, but will also close out their regular season on Friday at Dell City. The Bears are 7-0 in district and used a 24-2 run in the fourth quarter last month at home to beat the Cougars, 58-35.

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