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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, April 19, 2004

Eagles send eight to track regionals

Staff Writer

There weren’t any big surprises, good or bad, for the Pecos Eagles track teams on Friday, during the second day of the District 4-3A Track and Field Championships at Walton Field in Kermit. But the final race of the night did produce a bit of a surprise for the girls and a bit of a disappointment for boys.

Meet judges decided Pecos’ Jenny Palomino did not deliberately interfere with Kermit’s 1600-meter relay team, when she crashed to the track and landed in thee path of a Yellowjackets runner while handing off to Bianca Baeza on the second of three exchanges. Jummy Akinyode was then able to catch Monahans at the finish for third place, and the Eagles ended up in fourth place overall in the final standings with 97 points.

Pecos and Kermit also were involved in a collision in the finals of the boys’ 1600-meter relay. But this time, it Alex Orosco had the baton knocked out of his hand as he tried to pass Kermit’s Jay Bennett on the final lap of the race. The Jackets’ ended up third while Pecos wound up with no points, but the Eagles were still able to hang on and take second overall in the meet with 97 1/2 points.

“He tried to pass on the inside, which you don’t do because that’s what you risk,” said Eagles’ coach Jerry Parent. “All he had to do was go around him on the outside, and I think we would have had a chance to catch (second place) Greenwood.”

Orosco was one of five Eagles to qualify for regional berths individually on Friday, and one of eight overall, in 12 events, during the two-day meet. Two of those who qualified Friday, Rashad Terry and Jennifer Martinez, already had earned trips to the Region I-3A meet with first place finishes on Thursday, while Akinyode won first in the 200 meter dash, Orosco was second in the 400 meters and Alessandra Carrasco was third in the 800 on Friday.

Terry set two new district records on Friday. He won the 100-meter dash with a 10.43 time to break the record set last year by Monahans’ Richard Covington, and broke his own record from a year ago in the 200, taking that race with a 21.43 time.

“His start killed him last year,” Parent said. “This time after his first three steps he was in the lead.” Covington finished with a 10.50 time, .01 faster than his time of a year ago. The Loboes’ sprinter didn’t compete in the 200-meter dash, and Terry had an easy win in that race, breaking his own record from last year by a quarter-second. However, in-between he was unable to make up enough ground on Greenwood on the anchor leg of the 800-meter relay to earn a regional berth, as the Eagles placed third and wound up with an alternate spot for the I-3A meet.

Orosco had to run that race after John Parent pulled a hamstring on an exchange in the finals of the 400 meter relay, and then had to come back and immediately after the 800 and run in the 400 meter dash, where he barely held off Presidio’s Kevin Tavarez for third. “He was a little tired after running both races,” Jerry Parent said. “I didn’t want to do it, but when John got hurt I had no choice.”

The 400 meter relay team ended up in fourth place, while the other finishers for the boys on Friday included a fourth place by Jeremiah Mora in the 800 meter run and a sixth place in the 400 meter dash and a sixth place by Justin Hannsz in the 110 meter high hurdles.

On the girls’ side, Martinez’ win in the 1600 meters was a repeat of her victory the day before in the 3200 meter run, as she pulled away from Kermit’s Amber Jones late in the race to win with a 5:50.31 time, one second off the district record.

Akinyode, like Terry in the 200-meter dash, scored an easy victory, taking the race for the second year in a row with a 26.75 time. She then made up almost a quarter lap in the 1600 meter relay to get Pecos a third place medal, after the Eagles had finished sixth in the 400 meter relay and fourth in the 800 meters.

“I thought we were going to be disqualified, but I guess they decided against it,” coach Roxie Chavez said about Palomino’s fall, which then sent Kermit’s runner sprawling to the track. Earlier, the Jackets had avoided a disqualification for allegedly interfering with Presidio in the finals of the 400-meter dash, and finished second to earn a regional berth. Carrasco pulled past Presidio’s Cynthia Wright and almost caught Fort Stockton’s Kayla Potts at the finish of the 800 meters, earning a regional berth with a time of 2:36.31. The Eagles had no other runners place in the Top 6 in Friday’s races.

“They did a good job, considering we only had 14 girls,” Chavez said. “Hopefully next year we’ll have a lot more girls. I only have three seniors, and I should have a lot coming up from eighth grade.”

One of the seniors, Stephanie Herrera, picked up Pecos’ other two regional berths on Friday, winning the discus and placing second in the shot put. On the boys’ side, aside from Terry’s win in the high jump, John Parent took the discus and Chad Evans won the shot put to advance to regionals, on April 30 and May 1 at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa. Monahans took both the boys and girls titles at the meet, winning with 148 points in the girls’ division too 116 for Greenwood at 111 for Kermit. Fort Stockton had 72 points and Greenwood finished with 67.

Monahans rolled up 213 1/2 points to win the boys title over Pecos, which had taken last year’s 4-3A championship. Greenwood and Kermit were just behind the Eagles wit 95 and 94 points, while Fort Stockton finished with 68 and Presidio had 48 points.

Seven Pecos golfers competing at regionals

Five Pecos Eagle girls teed off this morning at Ratliff Ranch in Odessa, in the opening round of the Region I-3A Tournament, while two members of Pecos’ boys team did the same at Nuevo Vista Golf Course in Midland, for the first day of the 36-hole boys’ regional tournament.

Pecos’ girls will be trying for their second straight Region I-3A title and their second trip to state today and Tuesday, while junior Michael Nichols and senior Pete Vasquez will be trying to advance to state as medalists, after both qualified by finishing in the Top 6 last Wednesday at the conclusion of the District 4-3A Tournament in Fort Stockton.

The girls finished district with a 1,019 score, 30 strokes behind Monahans to earn the runner-up regional berth. But the Eagles did beat out the Loboes by three shots in the final round of district play, after the Loboes added 28 strokes to their lead on their home course.

Aside from Monahans, coach Tina Doan said, “I know Snyder and Sweetwater will be there.” The Tigers won a playoff for the second place state berth last season, and then beat the Eagles for the Class 3A state title in Austin. Snyder again won the District 3-3A title this year, while Sweetwater is second. Borger and Canyon are among the other teams at regional.

Aside from the teams, the medalist and runner-up spots also earn automatic berths to the state tournament. On the girls’ side, Shelly Martinez finished second in the 4-3A medalist race to Monahans’ Allison Jordan, while Sarah McKinney was fourth overall. The two are the holdovers from last year’s state runner-up squad.

Pecos’ boys missed regionals as a team, placing third at district behind Fort Stockton and Monahans despite having three of the Top 6 individual finishers. Nichols won medalist honors with a 222 score for 54 holes, while Vasquez was fourth, with a 230 total.

Coach Kim Anderson said that because only two individuals from each team can qualify for regionals, senior Sal Nichols was unable to play in the regional tournament. He placed sixth at district with a 234 total.

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