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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Eagles sending nine to regional track meet

Staff Writer

The Pecos Eagle girls’ track team had a good two days with limited numbers at the District 3-3A Track and Field Championships in Fort Stockton on Thursday and Friday, while Pecos’ boys had a few disappointments and a couple of surprises at the two-day meet.

Five Pecos girls qualified for regionals, four of them in two different events, while four boys qualified for regionals, with only one, senior Rashad Terry, going in more than one event. But Terry, who went into the meet bothered by a leg injury, re-aggrivated that injury while winning the 200 meter dash, and his status for the Region I-3A meet in Odessa on April 29-30 is up in the air.

The lack of competitors overall for Pecos, due to both injuries and grades, left the girls in fourth place in the final team standings, with 72 points, while the boys placed fifth with 52 points. Monahans easily won the girls division title with 211 points to 108 for second place Lamesa, while the Loboes scored 159 points to win the boys title over the host Panthers, who finished with 121.

Terry collapsed at the finish line of the 200 meters, after not running in either the 100-meter dash or on the 800-meter relay team earlier on Friday. “He qualified in the 100 (Thursday), but I didn’t let him run, because it’s too tough a race,” Eagles’ coach John Fellows said before the final of that race, won by Monahans’ Richard Covington, and before the 800 meter relay, in which Pecos was just edged for the third and final regional berth.

“His leg just balled up,” Fellows said, as opposed to a hamstring pull. It left Terry with a winning time of 23.52, well off his state qualifying time of a year ago. He also went to Austin in the 100 meters last year, placing second at district and regionals to the Loboes’ Covington.

“We’ll just see what we can do and re-evaluate it on Monday, and then see what happens,” the Eagles’ coach said.

While Terry’s injury problems weren’t encouraging, the Eagles came close to sweeping all three regional spots in the 200. Pete Juarez placed second, just behind Terry with a 23.56 time, while Ricardo Morales was just edged out for third place by Fort Stockton’s Matt Garvin. On Thursday, Terry had placed second and Morales third in the high jump, Terry going 6-foot-1 and losing out on a tiebreaker to Greenwood’s Winn Milby, while Morales cleared 6-feet to earn a regional spot.

This was the first year third place finishers advanced to regionals, and several other Pecos competitors also qualified in the No. 3 spot on the boys and girls’ sides, while a couple of Eagle girls pulled off some upset wins.

Senior Jummy Akinyode rallied at the finish to nip Seminole’s Erin Sheets in the 400 meter dash, winning that with a 60.59 time to Sheets’ 60.75. Later Akinyode qualified in the race she had won at district the past two seasons, the 200-meter dash, placing second to Cassie Smalls of Monahans. She finished with a 27.15 time, one second behind Smalls. “That’s the first time she’s beaten her (Sheets) this year,” Eagles’ coach Veronica Valenzuela said. “She just caught her at the finish.”

Both of Pecos’ discus throwers, Chantel Mazone and Jessica Florez, earned regional berths in that event and also qualified for regionals in the shot put. Mazone won the district title in the shot put with a 35-foot-10 1/2 throw, while Florez was third with a 35-foot throw. Allison Miller of Monahans finished second in that event, after winning the discus on Thursday, with Florez second with a 109-foot-4 throw and Mazone going 106-1.

“That the best throws of the year for both of them,” Valenzuela said of the discus results. In the shot, Malone’s throw was about three feet below her best throw of the season, but Valenzuela said, “She won it yesterday (Thursday) on her last throw and today she got third on her last throw.”

The other double-qualifier for Pecos was freshman runner Heather Lamka. She won the 3200 meters on Thursday with a 13:32.18 time, and then rallied at the finish on Friday to earn the third and final regional berth in the 1600-meter run, with a 6:10.87 time. Her sister Kathryn also qualified for regionals in the 3200, placing third with a 13:58.43 time. “If everybody would have been healthy, we might have sent some more people, but we’re a very young team. We only have one senior runner (Akinyode) and only one senior thrower (Kelsey Flores),” Valenzuela said. “So I’m proud of what we did. We had 11 girls and five are going to regional, and even though some of the others didn’t advance they stuck it out and improved through the season.”

Aside from Morales getting to regionals for the boys with a third place finish, the other third place finisher was senior Chad Evans, though his results for the weekend were a bit of a disappointment. Evans advanced by placing third in the discus, after winning the event in his previous four track meets, but he missed out in the event he won at district a year ago, the shot put, as he faulted on all three of his preliminary round throws.

“Chad scratched on all three of his attempts. He just had problems with his steps,” Fellows said. On Thursday, Evans threw 143-foot-6 in the discus, which was won by Bryan Brown of Seminole with a 162-foot effort.

The 800 meter relay team finished .06 second behind Seminole for the third regional berth, with a 1:38.02 time, despite going without either Terry or sophomore Larry Johnson. Justin Hannsz ran one of the legs, and had to be scratched from the final of the 300-meter hurdles after that due to a foot injury.

“We almost made it in the 800,” Fellows said. “We had a lot of kids hurt, but the ones out there stepped up and did the best they could.”

Pecos also picked up a couple of sixth place finishes in the running finals on Friday, from the 400-meter relay team and from Luis Licon, in the 1600 meter run.

Regional preliminaries and some field event finals along with the 3200-meter run will be held on April 29 at Ratliff Stadium, with the remaining field events and running finals the following day. While the UIL expanded the regional qualifying this year to include the top three finishers, only the top two finishers at regionals will continue to advance to the state meet next month at the University of Texas in Austin.

Youth swimmers place 2nd at Andrews meet

The Pecos Eagle junior high boys and girls swim teams both picked up second places finished on April 9 behind Pampa in the Andrews Middle School Invitational, while the Eagles’ elementary schools swimmers were second to Monahans in that same meet.

Coach Kevin Bates said Pecos made a couple of lineup changes and were missing a few swimmers for the meet, which was won by Pampa with 287 1/2 points on the girls’ side to 188 for Pecos. In the boys’ division, the Eagles scored 275 points to 291 for Pampa. The boys placed third and the girls fourth in the junior high 200 medley relay, while in the individual events for the boys, Josh Elliott picked up a first place finish in the 50-yard freestyle with a 26.41 time, and won the 50 yard butterfly with a 28.16 time. He was second in the 100 yard freestyle, and the other Pecos swimmers also picked up second place finishes at the meet, while Parker Johnson won the 1-meter diving event.

Frankie Morin was second and Gus Mendoza fifth in the 200-yard freestyle; Derek Teague was second and Brian Carrasco fourth in the 100 yard medley; Morin was second, Mendoza sixth and Edward Navarro ninth in the 50 yard backstroke; and Teague was second, Carrasco third, Johnson 10th and Joe Lewis Benavidez 12th in the 50-yard breaststroke. Other finishes for Pecos included a third by Teague, a fourth by Morin and an 18th by Benavidez was in the 100 free; a 14th by Navarro and 19th by Benavidez in the 50 free; and a fifth by Carrasco, seventh by Mendoza and ninth by Navarro in the 50 fly.

The girls’ individual finishes included a third by Lyndsay Chowning in the 200 free and the 500 free, and a fourth in the 50 fly; a fifth by Anatalia Hernandez in the 100 medley, and a seventh in the 50 fly and a ninth in the 50 backstroke; a fifth by Niki Lindemann in the 50 fly and a seventh in the 50 yard breaststroke; a sixth by Jessica Dickenson in the 100 medley and the 50 yard breaststroke, and a 12th in the 100 free; a 14th by Nessa Chavez in the 100 freestyle, a 15th in the 50 backstroke and a 17th in the 50 free; an 15th by Julie Licon in the 100 free, a 16th in the 50 back and an 18th in the 50 free.

In the elementary division, Monahans won by a 225-221 margin over Pecos on the girls’ side, while they had a 208-199 advantage in the boys’ division, though the Eagle swimmers took home more first place finishes.

Pecos’ girls won the 200 medley relay with a 2:26.25 time, just .35 second behind the winning time in the girls’ junior high division, while the boys swam a 3:02.73 to take their division title. The girls also had a sixth place finish from their ‘B’ relay team.

Individually for the girls, Conner Armstrong won the 100 yard medley with a 1:13.91 time, with Alexcia Mendoza third and Dana Conger eighth; Allyson Reynolds won the 50 freestyle with a 30.69 time, with Dakota Long eighth, Amanda James 16th, Tiffany Hunter 18th and Maggie Hernandez 20th; Armstrong was first in the 50 butterfly with a 34.13 time, while Lauren Elliott was third, Long fourth, and Conger sixth; Mendoza was second in the 100 free; Armstrong was first in the 50 yard backstroke with a 35.44 time, with Elliott second, James 13th, Hunter 14th, Conger 15th and Hernandez 17th, and Mendoza was second and Elliott third in the 50 yard breaststroke.

Individual finishes for the boys included a first by Carlos Navarro in the 200 freestyle, in 2:59.75; a first by Bradley Shaw in the 100 medley in 1:34.68, with Tanner Hardwick third; a first by R.J. Lozano in the 50 fly, with a 44.10 time, while Hardwick was fifth; a first by Navarro in the 100 free with a 1:22.97 time; and a first by Shaw in the 50-yard backstroke with a 41.82 time, with Hardwick placing eighth.

Eagles’ playoff hopes dim after Indians’ win

The Pecos Eagles’ fate in the District 3-3A playoff race is out of their hands now, after they were unable to come back in the seventh inning against the Seminole Indians on Saturday, while the Greenwood Rangers did come back in their final at-bat against the Presidio Blue Devils.

The Eagles made mistakes on the bases and in the field against Seminole, while the Indians’ hitters started getting to pitcher Josh Anchondo in the middle innings. That helped Seminole built up a 5-0 lead on Pecos, and while the Eagles were able to use one error by the Indians to score twice and get the tying runs on base in the seventh, reliever Michael Martinez was able to get the final out and move Seminole closer to a post-season berth.

“We had our opportunities. We just didn’t take advantage,” said Eagles’ coach Elias Payan, whose team was hurt further when Greenwood scored three times in the seventh inning at Presidio on Saturday to hand the Blue Devils their first District 3-3A loss, by a 5-3 final score. That leaves Pecos two games back in the loss column to both the Rangers and the Indians, with only three games to play.

The Eagles again were unable to score off Seminole’s Trey Curiel, just as they did in last month’s 10-0 loss to the Indians. But this time, Pecos had their scoring chances, thanks in part to some control problems suffered by the Indians’ pitcher.

Eddie Vela and Edward Valencia opened the second inning with singles and Chris Garnto walked to load the bases. But Curiel struck out Miguel Estrada and Javier Mendoza then failed to get down a suicide squeeze bunt. That left Vela trapped between third base and home, and he was tagged out, and Valencia was also caught off second base, ending the inning.

“We miss a squeeze sign like that and it turns into a double play,” Payan said. “It makes us look like we’ve never been coached. Our execution hasn’t improved as the year has gone on. We’re not young anymore. We’ve played enough games on the varsity level to know how to make plays.”

Seminole would have their own base running problems in the third inning, as Anchondo picked off Michael Farris following a one out single, and Curiel was throw out trying to stretch a double into a triple. But in the bottom of the inning Mendoza was caught stealing after a leadoff walk, and then Isaiah Rayos was thrown out at home plate trying to score from third base after he walked and Anchondo doubled to the gap in right-center field.

Then in the fourth inning the Eagles gave the Indians a pair of gift runs. Matt Castleberry scored the first, walking and coming home on Drew Phillips’ bloop single, after stealing second and going to third when catcher Chris Garnto’s throw sailed into center field.

Isaiah Rayos then made a leaping catch of a line drive by Martinez to shortstop, and doubled Phillips off first base. But Pecos nullified that defensive play moments later when Anchondo and Kenny Rayos couldn’t communicate and allowed Chris Bagely’s foul pop to drop between first base and home plate. Bagley then struck out, but the ball got away from Garnto and ended up in the Seminole equipment area next to the dugout. The umpires awarded him second base and he scored when Todd Warren hit a pop up that right fielder Jonathan Garcia and second baseman Jose Chavez miscommunicated on, allowing the ball to fall in for an RBI single.

Garnto would throw out Warren trying to steal to end the inning, but Seminole added another run in the fifth, when Blake Tuttle singled, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Curiel. The Indians then chased Anchondo in the sixth, loading the bases with none out on singles by Martinez, Bagley and Warren, then making it 4-0 on a one-out RBI single by Ross Whitfield.

“Josh gets frustrated, and lets a lot of things get to him on the mound,” Payan said of the junior, who allowed a dozen hits and fell to 1-3 on the season after returning from arthroscopic knee surgery. “He’s not the pitcher he was in the past. He’s not going to shut them down, but mentally, we have to get better and make the plays behind him.”

Vela, who beat Monahans last Tuesday in the power-failure shortened 4-2 win by the Eagles over the Loboes, came on in relief and got Farris to fly out, but then walked Curiel to force home a run, before getting Castleberry to ground to Estrada at third base, ending the inning. Martinez then came on to relieve Curiel, and allowed just one walk in the sixth inning. But he and Curiel, now at shortstop, almost got the Indians into trouble in the seventh.

Martinez opened by plunking pinch-hitter Donnie Myles with a 3-2 pitch, and then gave up a single to Garnto. He got a break after that, when Garnto was hung up between first and second on a bloop to right by Estrada. Even though the ball fell in, Farris was able to force him out at second base. But the two remaining runners advanced on a passed ball by Castleberry, and Pecos finally scored when Curiel booted Mendoza’s grounder to shortstop for an error, allowing Myles to score.

Chavez then blooped an RBI single down the left field line to make it 5-2, and after Curiel threw out Mendoza at third on an Isaiah Rayos grounder, Mendoza hit Anchondo with a pitch, loading the bases. That brought up Garcia, but the Indians pitcher got him to pop to Tittle at second base to end the game.

With a 4-5 district record, Pecos is two games in back of 6-3 Seminole, and 1 1/2 behind 5-3 Greenwood, who’ll host the Eagles this coming Saturday, a day after Pecos faces Presidio.

“We just have to win out from here,” said Payan, whose team will still need help from either Fort Stockton, Monahans or Lamesa in beating Greenwood, even if the Eagles sweep next weekend’s games and the final regular season contest, at Lamesa.

Seminole 0 0 0 2 1 2 0 -- 5 13 1 Pecos 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 -- 2 6 2 Curiel, Martinez (6) and Castleberry. Anchondo, Vela (6) and Garnto. W - Curiel. L - Anchondo. E - Seminole, Curiel. Pecos, Garnto, K. Rayos. DP - Seminole 2, Pecos 1. LOB - Seminole 7, Pecos 8. 2B - Seminole, Castleberry, Curiel. Pecos, Anchondo. SB - Seminole, Castleberry, Tuttle. CS - Seminole, Warren. Pecos, Vela, Mendoza. HBP - Myles, Anchondo by Martinez. PB - Seminole, Castleberry 2. Pecos, Garnto.

PHS swimmers earn all-state recognition

Six members of the Pecos Eagle girls swimming team and five members of the Eagle boys swim team were honored for their participation at the Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships in February by being named to the All-State Swimming Team for 2004-05.

Freshman Dustin Windham was Pecos’ lone first team selection this year, after placing seventh in the finals of the state diving competition on Feb. 26 in Austin, while junior Matt Elliott and sophomore Matt Oglesby were second team selections after winning their events at the Region I-4A meet in Lubbock to advance to the state finals.

Windham placed second at both district and regionals to Andrews’ Matt Culberson in 1-meter diving. Culberson ended up second at state while Windham moved up from eighth to seventh during the two-day diving competition.

Elliott was a second team pick in the 100-yard butterfly, where he ended up finishing 13th in the state finals, while Oglesby was named to the second team in the 200-yard individual medley, where he also placed 13th in Austin. He also was an honorable mention in the 100-yard butterfly, after placing second to Elliott at regionals.

Elliott and Oglesby were also members of the Eagles’ three relays on the boys side that were named to the second team, along with sophomore Kyle Winkles and freshman Matthew Florez. The four advanced to state with at-large berths in the 200-yard medley and 200 yard freestyle relays, placing 11th at state in both events. The four also received honorable mention in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

On the girls’ side, the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams also were second team all-state selections. Seniors Susan Moore, Catherine Minjarez, Ashley Horsburgh and Amie Reynolds made up the 200 freestyle team, while Moore, Minjarez, senior Teddie Salcido and junior Lindsey Shaw were the members of the 200-medley relay. The medley relay won its race at regionals and placed 12th at state, while the 200 freestyle team earned an at-large berth to the state meet and finished 14th.

Reynolds, Salcido, Shaw and Horsburgh earned honorable mention all-state in the 400 freestyle relay, while Minjarez, Moore, Salcido and Shaw were honorable mention in their individual events - Minjarez in the 100-yard butterfly, Moore in the 50 freestyle, Salcido in the 500 free and Shaw in the 200 medley and the 100 breaststroke.

Moore placed 12th at state in the 50 free while Shaw was 15th at state in the 100-yard breaststroke. Moore also had a 15th place finish in Austin in the 100-yard freestyle after placing second in that and the 50 free at regionals while Salcido, Minjarez, and Shaw were also second in their individual events at the regional meet in Lubbock.

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