Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, April 19, 1999
Eagles quietly send 12 to regionals
By JON FULBRIGHT
EL PASO, Apr. 19 -- They do things differently in El Paso
when it comes to some sports, and the Pecos Eagles found out
this past weekend that district track meets are one of those
Running in front of only a few fans outside those from Pecos
in the stands -- and with no track competitors at all
allowed on the football field -- the Eagles finished second
in the girls division and fourth on the boys' side at the
very quiet District 2-4A track meet at El Paso Mountain View
Clint won both division titles, while Eagles girls and boys
teams each scored over 100 points, qualifying three
individuals and one relay team for the Region I-4A meet on
April 30-May 1 at Angelo State University in San Angelo.
"We got one in with three freshman and a senior running, so
that's all right," said girls coach Lily Talamantez about
her 1600 meter relay squad, which advanced with a
second-place finish behind Clint. Both the girls and boys
teams placed second, while running minus one of their
In the girls' race, they had to go without sophomore Crystal
Garcia, who go sick early Saturday morning. Michelle Saenz,
who had to be helped off the track after a fourth place
finish in the 400 meter run, was able to recover in time to
join two other freshman, Jessica Rodriguez and Christina
Arenivas, and senior Shaye Lara to advance to San Angelo.
Talamantez did say Garcia's absence hurt Pecos in the 800
meter relay, while the Eagles' 400 relay team was
disqualified due to a false start. "Crystal should have been
in there. That would have made a big difference," Talamantez
On the boys' side, senior Lee Lyles earned a rare
`golf-track' regional double, subbing for Len Carson in the
1600 meter relay. Lyles, who was runner-up medalist at the
District 2-4A golf tournament last Monday in El Paso, was
able to hold the lead on the third leg of the relay, and
although Fabens' Vince Culbreath passed Orlando Matta on the
final leg, the Eagles were able to hold off Clint for second.
Coach Vance Washington said Pecos lost Carson for all of
Saturday's running events, after the junior injured himself
in the pole vault on Friday. "He went up and saw the pole
was bending and he wasn't going to make it over, and tried
to come back down, and his arch landed right on the metal
edge of the pole vault pit," Washington said. "He just
landed perfect to hit right on the arch, and it swelled up
"Len's injury hurt us, because he's in five events. So for
us to score 101 points with only 12 kids is pretty good,"
Junior Jason Payne and sophomore Daniel Terrazas were the
other members of the 1600 meter relay squad, with Matta and
Terrazas having already earned regional berths with
victories in the triple jump and 400 meter dash.
Matta went 41-feet-2 to win the triple jump on Friday, and
placed fourth in the 300 meter hurdles on Saturday. Terrazas
won the 400 meters with a 51.88 time, and earned a regional
alternate spot with a third place finish in the 200 meter
Senior Lucio Florez was Pecos' other regional qualifier,
winning the 110 meter high hurdles with a 16.14 time, and
placing second to Clint's Juan Portillo in the 300 meter
intermediate hurdles. Carson was able to earn an alternate's
spot in the pole vault before his injury, while Jacob
Esparza, who owned the Eagles' lone gold medal prior to the
district meet, wound up with an alternate's berth by
finishing third in the triple jump.
"We accomplished some of the goals we set out to do. We got
Lucio in in both hurdles and Daniel in the 400, and we
wanted to get a triple jumper in, but it just wasn't the one
we were expecting," Washington said. "Orlando just
participate real well this weekend, and showed some senior
Fabens and Clint dominated the distance races on the boys'
side, including the 3600-meter-long 3200 meter run -- the
lap judge lost track of the runners on Friday -- but on the
girls' side the Eagles won all the distance races, with
freshman Brandi Harrison taking the 3200 meters while senior
Liz Parent won the 800 and 1600 meter runs on Saturday.
Parent ran a 2:39.37 to take the 800, and came back and won
the 1600 in 6:10.78, with Harrison finishing third. Harrison
had earned a trip to regionals on Friday with a 13:44.35
time in the 3200 meters.
Sophomore Maricela Arenivas had Pecos' other
regional-qualifying effort, placing second in the long jump.
Earning thirds and regional alternate berths were Christina
Arenivas, in both the long jump and 200 meter dash, Julie
Lujan in the discus, and Lara in the 110 meter low hurdles.
Overall, Pecos ended up with 111 points, while Clint ran
away with the girls' title, finishing with 242 points.
Trailing the Eagles were Canutillo with 92, Mountain View
with 84, and Fabens with 34 points. San Elizario ran all
their girls in the junior varsity division, where the Eagle
girls scored 87 points and were second to Canutillo's 184
Lara and Maricela Arenivas are the only Eagles who have
advanced to regionals before, earning regional berths a year
ago as members of the Eagles' 800 meter relay team. The 800
relay finished fourth this year, while the Eagles' other
points came from a fourth place finish by Lara in the high
jump, a fifth by Lujan in the discus, fifths by Rodriguez in
both the 100 meter dash and triple jump, a fourth by Jenny
Alvarez in the 3200 meters, and a sixth by Shana Tredaway in
the 100 meter hurdles.
The boys' 101 points left them trailing Clint's 173-point
total, Fabens' 131 points and Canutillo's 122 points.
Mountain View finished with 16 points and San Elizario had
Aside from their medal winners, the Eagles got points from
fourth place finishes by John Gutierrez in the shot put and
Jason Gonzales in the 110 hurdles, a fifth by Gonzales in
the 300 hurdles, and a sixth by Oscar Luna in the 100 meter
The Eagles also got a controversial fourth place in the 400
meter relay. "Us, Canutillo and Fabens came in at the same
time (behind Clint) in the sprint relay, and they wouldn't
look at the tape," Washington said. While there was no
Accutrack photo-timer at the finish line, a video camera was
set up there, then taken away shortly after the 400 meter
relay was finished. "We protested and asked them to look at
the tape, but they threw it out. What can you do?"
Canutillo won the JV division on the boys' side with 182
points, while Canutillo had 123 and Pecos was third with 99
points. The meet also included a freshman division at the
insistence of Canutillo, even though in some of the races,
such as the 1600 meter relay, Canutillo was the only team
"I was very disappointed in the way the meet was run," said
Washington, and both Eagle coaches are hoping they cane
start hosting their own meets again, if plans being
discussed between the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school district,
the Town of Pecos City and Reeves County to repair the
crumbling track, can be finalized.
The last time the track at Eagle Stadium was fully repaired
was in 1983, before almost half of Pecos' regional
qualifiers were born.
Double plays for district's tennis teams
PECOS, Apr. 19 -- It was almost all or nothing for the four
teams at the District 2-4A tennis tournament on Friday and
Saturday in Fabens, with three of the four doubling up and
winning both Region I-4A berths in a division.
Pecos took both first and second in the boys doubles
competition, as No. 1 seeds Mark Marquez and Jonathan
Fuentes won their matches as expected, while No. 3 seeds Tye
Graham and Jeff Lam scored a semifinal upset before losing
to Marquez and Fuentes in the finals.
Pecos was on the other end of an upset in the girls' doubles
division, when Erin Dominguez and Teresa Minjarez were upset
by Clint's Fay Abalelgada and Michelle Perez in the
semifinals, 6-4, 6-1, before coming back to beat Fabens'
Daisy Gonzales and Luz Sigala for third place, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.
"It was a weird tournament. We won both doubles for the
boys, Clint won both in girls doubles and Mountain View won
both the boys doubles," Eagles' coach Bernadette Ornelas
said. "The only one that didn't work like that was boys'
singles, where Fabens won and Clint was second."
Graham and Lam rallied from a 6-1 opening loss to Fabens
Mario Gomez and Tim Pinon to win the final two sets by 6-2,
6-3 scores. They also went three sets in their loss to
Fuentes and Marquez, who rallied from a 6-3 opening loss to
down their teammates by 6-2, 6-3 scores.
"In the Fort Stockton Tournament (on April 10) they played
Gomez and Pinon and upset them, so they knew they could win.
But they lost the first set in Fabens, so it was kind of
tense," Ornelas said of Lam and Graham's semifinal win.
Fuentez and Marquez won in the semifinals by a 6-3 ,6-3
score over Omar Rodriguez and Bobby Dixon of Mountain View.
"From what I saw all the other teams had been preparing for
this tournament, because all of their levels of play had
improved," she said.
Clint sisters Laura and Mabiza Lechuga went in seeded No. 1
and took the girls doubles title over their unseeded
teammates by a 6-2, 6-1 score. They opened with a 6-1 6-1
victory over the Eagles' other doubles team, of Vanessa
Miranda and Rachel Pharoah.
In singles play, Alan Fleming and Nichi Dannelley finished
fourth in their divisions. Dannelley beat Clint's Laura
Loera in her opener, 6-2, 6-4, before losing to No. 2 seed
Cynthia Falcon, 6-2, 7-6. She then lost in the third place
game, 6-4, 6-0 to Fabens' Cindy Cordero, who had bee upset
by Mountain View's Diana Ceniceros in the semifinals.
Cordero downed the Eagles' Lorrie Minjarez in the first
round, 6-2, 6-3, while Falcon won the title, 6-1, 6-2 over
Fleming downed Gabriel Morales of Mountain View, 6-2, 6-2,
then lost to eventual tournament champion Adam Canales of
Fabens, 6-1, 6-0, and then was beaten by Canales' teammate,
Adrian Zavala, in the third place match, 6-0, 7-5.
The Eagles' other singles player, David Lam, was beaten in
the opening round by Clint's Martin Renteria, 6-1, 6-3.
Renteria lost in the finals to Canales, 6-2, 6-1.
"Overall, the weekend was tough, and the brackets were
pretty evenly spread out. We did get our boys doubles teams
to regionals, and Teresa and Erin are regional alternates,"
The regional tournament will be on April 26-27 at Angelo
State University in San Angelo.
Cowboys happy with draft picks
IRVING, Texas, Apr. 19 (AP) -- Jerry Jones took stock of his
Dallas Cowboys after the NFL draft ended Sunday and said the
team has the perfect blend of kids and veterans to produce a
Super Bowl contender.
The team owner is well aware of the perception that too many
of the Cowboys' stars have seen their best playing days.
When the regular season kicks off in less than five months,
key players such as quarterback Troy Aikman, running back
Emmitt Smith, wide receiver Michael Irvin, cornerback Deion
Sanders and tackle Erik Williams will all be 30 or older.
But the Cowboys think that some speedy players picked in
this weekend's draft, along with free agents and young
players who have earned starting jobs in recent years, make
the team much faster. And that has Jones thinking Super
``I'm convinced that we've got the high-performance veteran
players with the guys who've never won a Super Bowl ring,''
Jones said Sunday after the seventh and final round of the
draft. ``That hunger is there to go get one. As far as
average age was concerned, we were about in the middle last
year. We've got experience where we need it and the youth
where we need it.''
The Cowboys were hurting for speed and play-making ability
when they were knocked out of the playoffs in the first
round by the Arizona Cardinals in January.
``Every year we're trying to get faster,'' coach Chan Gailey
said. ``At the same time, we want great football players.
You can sign a 4-by-100 relay team, but what you need are
Dallas made moves to pump up a pass rush that produced only
34 sacks last season by selecting defensive ends Ebenezer
Ekuban of North Carolina with the 20th overall pick and
Hundens ``Peppi'' Zellner of Fort Valley State in the fourth
Cowboys scouts and coaches say Ekuban and Zellner were two
of the most athletic defensive ends at the scouting combine.
Ekuban downplayed concern that he has played defense for
only two years.
``Through the hard work I've put in ... working on my
technique, improving my steps and my quickness, it just
carries over,'' he said of the switch from tight end.
Texas A&M inside linebacker Dat Nguyen, who won the Lombardi
Award for defensive players but slipped to the third round,
apparently due to his relatively small size at 5-foot-11 and
231 pounds, also visited Valley Ranch on Sunday. The team
projects him as a backup at all three linebacker spots next
season and a candidate for starting middle linebacker the
``I'm not a prototype linebacker,'' Nguyen said. ``I'm just
a small guy out there trying to make some tackles.''
The Cowboys also added depth at wide receiver by drafting
Wane McGarity of the University of Texas in the fourth round
and MarTay Jenkins of Nebraska-Omaha in the sixth round.
They think McGarity has a chance to be a factor at wide
receiver if he can stay healthy -- the 5-foot-8 receiver has
had four knee operations since 1992.
``He has the ability to do something with it when he gets
the ball,'' Jones said.
With their two seventh-round picks the Cowboys took tight
end Mike Lucky of Arizona and offensive guard Kelvin Garmon
of Baylor -- additional help for the offensive line, which
was targeted with Saturday's second-round selection of West
Virginia's Solomon Page -- possibly making guard Nate Newton
Despite uncertainty surrounding the future of All-Pro
defensive tackle Leon Lett, who, according to reports, could
be suspended again for violating the league's substance
abuse policy, the Cowboys did not draft a defensive tackle.
Team officials say privately that last year's top pick,
defensive end Greg Ellis, could move to tackle. Michael
Myers, who played much of last season at defensive end, also
will be a full-time tackle.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, 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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Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise