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Walker won her division with a jump of 10 meters, 48 centimeters
(34-feet-6¼), and qualified for the national finals, set to begin July
26 in Baton Rouge, La., said Darrell Erickson, Pecos Eagles' summer
Walker's jump was a about four feet less than the effort by defending
District 4-4A triple jump champion Jacyln Owusu of Big Spring, who also
competed at the meet. Owusu, who is moving to Frisco this fall, went
38-3¼ to win the intermediate division.
Erickson said Walker has also qualifying for the Texas Amateur Athletic
Federation's state track finals in Lubbock, which are scheduled for the
same time as the USA T&F nationals. "If we can get some money raised,
we'll have her go to nationals," Erickson said.
Walker was one of three Pecos athletes to place in the Top 6 in their
divisions at Abilene. Ricky Martinez was fourth in both the intermediate
boys long jump and the triple jump, while Tootie Franklin placed fifth
in the midget girls high jump competition.
The three were among eight summer track program members who made the
trip to Abilene. Erickson said Adriana Gonzales, Lisa Evans, Shqunice
Joiner, Jeremiah Mora and Shay Evans were the others.
Along with Walker, Erickson said Ashley Clark and Michael Pena were the
state qualifiers from the TAAF regional meet two weeks ago in Odessa.
Walker won first in both the long jump and 200 meter dash, while Clark
took first in the shot put and discus in her division and Pena won his division in the 1600 meter run.
It's the first time the 13-year-old division has been divided into
subsectionals. Four teams will compete in Snyder, while four others will
play in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The winners of the
double-elimination tourneys will meet in Abilene on either Sunday or
Monday for the right to advance to the state Junior League Tournament in
The Junior League advanced last week with a pair of wins over San
Angelo Lake View, 4-3 at San Angelo and 9-1 in Pecos last Saturday, to
claim the District 4 title. Richard Rodriguez earned the road victory
over Lake View, and coach John Salcido said he'll be on the mound
tonight against Perryton, the District 1.
"We're going to go with our ace. It's no secret we're going to try and
win the first game before we think about anything else," Salcido said.
The Lake View team Pecos faced will be pretty much the one they'll meet
at the high school level in a few years (they'll add some players from
the San Angelo Northern area after ninth grade), and depending on the
outcome tonight, Pecos could face another future District 4-4A rival on
Wednesday in Big Spring.
Big Spring American, one of three Junior Leagues in that city, won the
District 3 title on Tuesday with a 12-9 victory over Midland Eastern.
They'll face the District 2 winner from the Lubbock area in tonight's
first game, at 6 p.m.
Tonight's winners will play at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, while the losers
meet in a 6 p.m. elimination game. The loser's bracket finals are 7:30
p.m. Friday, with the championship game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. A
deciding game, if needed, would be at 1 p.m. Sunday and would push back the Abilene sectional final to 6 p.m. Monday.
Charles Haley and Jay Novacek, with eight Super Bowl rings between them,
retired Tuesday because of similar back injuries.
``This is a sad day for our organization,'' said owner Jerry Jones.
``Like I said, we couldn't spell Super Bowl until Charles joined us. He
was our missing link. Jay had that magic ability to get open and it was
so routine we almost took it for granted.''
Haley, 33, resplendent in coat-and-tie, had 97.5 career sacks in his
11-year career and was the only NFL player to own five Super Bowl rings.
``I played with all my heart through my pain because I loved the game,''
said Haley, who had three operations in the last four years. ``I wanted
to retire as a Cowboy because of the respect I have for Jerry Jones.''
Haley thanked everybody, including San Francisco management and some of
the 49ers players, although he bitterly left the organization in a 1992
He also praised Barry Switzer but didn't mention Jimmy Johnson's name.
Johnson, who brought Haley to Dallas, wrote a book that caused a falling
out with the defensive end.
Novacek, who came to Dallas in 1990 as a Plan B free agent, showed up in
a T-shirt, ball cap, shorts and tennis shoes.
``Unfortunately, I have to talk to the media another day,'' Novacek
said. ``It's been a heck of a ride. I see Troy (Aikman) in the audience
and I want to thank him for what he meant to me. He gave me a great
compliment one day when he hit me with a pass while he was going down. I
asked him how he did it and he answered, `I knew you would be there.'''
Said Aikman: ``I always looked for Jay on third down because I just knew
he would be open. Most of the time he was.''
Novacek, who missed last season with a degenerative back condition,
caught a club record 339 passes.
``Jay was 65 percent of our third-down offense and you saw what happened
last year when we didn't have him,'' coach Barry Switzer said. ``We were
24th in the league in offense.'
Novacek, 34, caught 422 passes for 4,630 yards and 30 touchdowns in his
12-year career that began with St. Louis.
Haley said it was hard for him to retire.
``I've been fighting depression for a long time because of this injury,
but you know ... I've had a pretty good career,'' Haley said. ``It's
time to move on.''
Neither Cowboy plans to drift very far from Valley Ranch.
``I might show up in training camp and help out with some of the tight
ends,'' Novacek said.
Haley said he would take his family to Virginia for a visit then return
``I told Jerry I owed him to help with some of the young guys on the
team,'' Haley said.
Jones gave them both an impressive piece of crystal and a promise:
``They're destined for the Ring of Honor.''
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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