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The two-hour event also served as a fundraiser for the track program,
which will try to move up from consecutive fourth place finishes in
District 4-4A competition.
"I was real pleased with the turnout of the community," Ferrell said of
the fans who showed up in the mid-40s temperatures. "Today was really
like a glorified workout. It was a chance for the kids to test the
"It was just a chance to find out where they are, and a lot of
improvement needs to be made, but I'm excited about this season."
Ferrell took over this past summer from coach Victor Tarin, who sent
three qualifiers to San Angelo last season. Like coach Becky Granado's
girls, Ferrell saw one of his regional qualifiers move away, but returns
seniors Mauricio Villescas and Bryan Brownlee. Villescas was Pecos' lone
gold medal winner last season, taking the 3,200 meter run, while
Brownlee placed second in the shot put a year ago at district, and threw
54-feet-5 on Tuesday, 18 inches off the school record.
"If he continues to improve he has a chance to win the individual gold
at state," Ferrell said. "I'm excited about Bryan's chances. He has a
great work ethic, and with that and his attitude he should be able to
continue on in college."
Villescas, who didn't get a chance to run the mile or two-mile races on
Tuesday, will be seeking his third trip to regionals this season. He did
compete in the 800 meters during Tuesday's workout, finishing second to
Billy Rodriguez. He missed a chance to advance last year due to a
mid-season injury, after running the half mile in just over two minutes
in early season meets.
"Right now our strong points are the throwers and our distance people,
and I really have a lot of confidence our 4-by-4 (1,600 meter relay)
team can become competitive," Ferrell said.
He said Rodriguez, Orlando Matta, Eric Aguilar and Israel Paredez were
the ones he was looking at for the mile relay, while also sounding
optimistic about putting together a good sprint relay squad. Pecos last
earned a regional berth in the 400 meter relay in 1993 and in the 1,600
meter relay in 1989.
Ferrell said Aguilar and Paredez would also run the quarter-mile, while
Matta would compete in the hurdles. "We're trying to make progress there
and in the field events, with the triple jump, long jump and pole vault."
Pecos opens its season in 10 days, at the Comanche Relay in Fort
Stockton. Ferrell said he expects to get a look at all five of the
Eagles' 4-4A rivals before the district meet, with most set to compete
at the West Texas Relays in Odessa and the San Angelo Relays, coming on
either side of spring break in March.
This April, when they go back to Andrews for the first time in three
years, the Eagles will be trying to move up from the third place finish
they scored at last year's district meet.
Coach Becky Granado's team went from zero to 36½ to 73½ points at
district the past three seasons. This year, Pecos returns two regional
qualifiers, though they lost Tamika Gardner, who qualified second in the
100 meter dash as a freshman before moving over the summer.
"Lindsey Hathorn and Michelle Garcia run the sprints, but it's hard to
tell right now how we'll do," said Granado, who is also seeking to
replace Gardner on the mile relay.
"Overall, I feel very good about the number of kids we have," the
Eagles' coach added. There are 18 out right now, including senior
Veronica Carrasco and junior Marisol Arenivas, the Eagles' returning
Arenivas placed second in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs to
Andrews' Nadia Lujan, who graduated last year. "She's excited about
running this year, although without Nadia, everyone will be shooting for
her this year," Granado said.
Also returning for Pecos in the distance races is sophomore Liz Parent,
while Granado will added freshmen Stephanie Montoya and Jennifer
Martinez this season.
Carrasco qualified second last year in the 800 meter run, a race she
began running in mid-season, while placing third in the 300 meter
hurdles, where she qualified for regionals as a sophomore.
"I think she wants to concentrate more on the hurdles this year,"
Granado said. "If she makes it to regionals, she'd like to make it in
the hurdles, but right now, it's too early to tell what she'll run."
The Eagles still have Annette Marquez in the 800 meter run, while Monica
Carrasco came close to a regional berth last season in the 400 meter
It's been a while since the Eagles have sent anyone to regionals in
field events, and Pecos will be a little shorthanded when the season
begins, while Jennifer Barrera recovered from her arm injury. But
Granado said junior Lori Marquez would participate this season, after
skipping her sophomore year.
"She should help us, and we've got a couple of freshman kids who should
help," said Granado. "Julie (Lujan) and Penny (Armstrong) both throw the
discus, and Lori throws the discus too, if she can get her form down,"
the Eagles' coach said. Armstrong will also compete in the high jump and
Lujan will be in the shot put.
The Eagles season opens as usual with a trip to the Comanche Relays in
Fort Stockton, set for Feb. 21-22 this season. They'll also go to Crane,
Snyder, Alpine, Kermit and Monahans before the district meet, on April
The Bears, 16-2, who swept through District 29-A play undefeated, will
take on Garden City late next week, at a site and time to be determined.
The Bearcats, 15-11, took an early 12-4 lead on Irion County Tuesday
night, but couldn't hold on over the final three quarters and lost,
56-43, in the District 30-A championship game.
Bears coach Michael Barrandey was in Midland today, but girls coach
Ennis Erickson said Barrandey has scheduled a pair of playoff practice
games for Thursday and Monday.
The boys will be in Imperial on Thursday for a 6:30 p.m. playoff
practice game against the Badgers, 22-7, who were District 6-2A
runners-up to state-ranked Stanton this season. Balmorhea will then take
on the team they've faced previously in post-season play, Dell City, at
6:30 p.m. on Monday in Van Horn.
The Bears and Coguars have been bi-district opponents in the past, but
the University Interscholastic League opted this season to pair area
Class A districts containing six-man (small) schools against those made
up of 11-man (larger) ones.
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State and Regional Sports Pages--San Angelo Standard-Times
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