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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Swimmers head to state despite struggles

Staff Writer

From a gamble that didn’t work out to surprise finishes by swimmers on other teams, Saturday was the roughest day ever for the Pecos Eagles at the Region I-4A Swimming and Diving Championships. But overall, the Eagles still had a better day than any other team in the regional meet at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center in Lubbock, sending four relay teams, four individual swimmers and one diver to the Class 4A state finals in Austin.

Eagles’ coach Terri Morse gambled on switching up her relay teams on the boys’ side in order to position them better for the Class 4A state meet in two weeks, and appeared to lose out that move, as Pecos finished behind both Monahans and Fort Stockton in the finals of the 200 yard medley relay. The Eagles were then upset by the Loboes in the 200 freestyle relay and were edged out by Monahans and El Paso swimmers in several other events, but were still able to tie the Loboes for the overall team title.

It was their sixth regional boys title in the six-year history of the I-4A meet, and both the boys’ 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams will still be going to Austin, after their times turned out to be fast enough to earn one of the eight at-large berths at the Class 4A meet.

Pecos’ girls, meanwhile, knew they faced an uphill battle to win their fifth straight regional title against El Paso Chapin, and while the Eagles did do better in the finals on Saturday than they did in the preliminaries on Friday, their lone win came in the day’s first race, the medley relay. Chapin’s swimmers captured the bulk of the remaining events and the automatic berths at the state meet, but the Eagles did manage to qualify their 200 freestyle relay team for an at-large berth, along with senior Susan Moore in both of her events and junior Lindsey Shaw in the 100-yard breaststroke.

“Going into the finals, we were down by 26 points, and we lost by 14, so we brought it down” Morse said of Chapin’s 91-79 point margin over Pecos. “We didn’t give up, and didn’t give it to them. They all swam good times, but Chapin has some awesome swimmers as well.”

“Susan was called up last year, and she swam a faster time this year, so I was pleased with that. With Lindsey, I didn’t know what would happen, but I was pleased that she was picked up,” Morse said on Monday.

Pecos’ 200 medley relay team of Moore, Shaw, Teddie Salcido and Catherine Minjarez ended up setting a new regional record with a time of 1:59.72 on Saturday. The second place time of 1:46.53 by Moore, Minjarez, Ashley Horsburgh and Amie Reynolds in the 200 freestyle race was two seconds behind Chapin, but was third-best time out of the eight at-large selections.

The boys did pick up two individual wins and automatic state berths, from sophomore Matt Oglesby in the 200 yard individual medley and junior Matt Elliott in the 100-yard butterfly, with Oglesby finishing in second place. That came after freshman Dustin Windham had earned a state berth on Thursday by placing second to Andrews’ Matt Culberson in the 1-meter diving competition.

But El Paso Burges’ Bobby Gamboa came from behind to beat Elliott in the 200 freestyle, after Elliott had edged him in Friday’s preliminaries, while Monahans’ Brandon Nichols and Zac Vaughn did the same to Pecos sophomore Kyle Winkles in the finals of the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

“They were on fire today and we were just a bit off today,” said Morse who added she “probably” would have kept her top swimmers in the 400 freestyle relay, instead of moving them to the 200 medley, if she had it do to over again.

“Jay (Thomas) did just a great job with their kids,” said Morse of the Loboes’ coach, who qualified his two relays plus Nichols and Vaughn for Austin. “Our guys had good splits and some good swims, so I don’t want to take anything away from what we did. That’s what competitions are all about.”

Both Elliott and Oglesby led almost all the way in their individual wins. Elliott took the 100 fly with a 55.86 time, while Oglesby’s 57.10 was .19 seconds off an at-large berth. In the 200 medley, Oglesby won with a 2:07.16, six seconds ahead of Monahans’ Vaughn. In the call-ups for the boys, the 200 medley relay team of Elliott, Oglesby, Winkles and Matthew Florez were able to claim the eighth and final state at-large berth with their 1:46.80 time. Monahans won with a 1:45.35 time, while Fort Stockton was one second behind the Loboes, and earned the third state at-large berth.

The same four swimmers in the 200 freestyle relay finished .09 seconds behind Monahans on Saturday, after beating them by four-tenths of a second in the prelims on Friday. Pecos’ 1:35.31 time was good enough for the seventh-place at large berth at the state meet.

“I’m happy the boys medley relay got picked up, since we came in third,” Morse said. “I knew if we didn’t get first, we had a better chance of getting picked up in the medley, because the top times in our region are competitive with the times in the rest of the state.” For the girls’ individual at-large qualifiers, Moore had to swim the 50 free against defending state champion Lara Jackson and finished with a 25.92 time to Jackson’s 24.18, which was just enough for the last at-large spot. In the 100 free, Moore was edged by .12 second by Jackson’s teammate, Amanda Navarez, and her 56.75 time again was just enough to qualify for Austin.

Shaw knocked two seconds off her preliminary time in Saturday’s finals to pick up the final at-large berth in the 100-yard breaststroke. She finished with a 1:14.42 time, two seconds in back of regional champ Jessica Hughey of Big Spring. That was also one spot up from her finish on Friday, while Reynolds cut three seconds off her time and moved from sixth place in the preliminaries to winning the third place medal on Saturday, with a 1:15.93 effort.

Several other Pecos swimmers picked up second place awards, but their final times weren’t good enough to earn an at-large spot. That included Elliott’s 1:53.28 in the 200 freestyle, which was a little over two seconds off the final at-large spot, though nearly three second better than his preliminary time.

Winkles, who pulled an upset last year to win the 100 yard freestyle at regionals as a freshman, finished with a 51.36 time, which was a third of a second better than on Friday. But Nichols cut over a second off his time to win the race by .11 second, and Winkles’ time was a little over a second off the final at-large call-up. In the 100 backstroke, Winkles time went up by .42 second from Friday, while Vaughn knocked 2 1/2 seconds off his time to win the race. His 58.90 time was .89 off of an at-large berth.

For the girls, Shaw was second to El Paso Ysleta’s Yadira Arrellano in the 200 medley, with a 2:23.96 time, six seconds behind Arellano and .39 seconds off the final state at-large berth. Minjarez swam a 1:04.02 time to Jackson’s 56.88 to place second in the 100-yard butterfly, which was .59 seconds out of an at-large berth.

The girls’ 400 freestyle relay team of Reynolds, Salcido, Shaw and Horsburgh picked up a third place medal, while Salicdo had Pecos’ other individual medal on the day, placing third in the finals of the 500 freestyle. She also was fourth and Ashley Mendoza seventh in the 200 freestyle; while Minjarez was fourth and Horsburgh sixth in the 100 backstroke; Horsburgh was fifth in the 100 freestyle; and Reynolds was fourth and Mendoza sixth in the 500 free.

In the diving on Thursday, Andrews’ Culberson won with 438.55 points, while Windham scored 312.55, beating out the Mustangs’ Danny Mora by 22 points for a state berth in the 1-meter event, which has two automatic berths for each region.

The only other finals qualifier for the boys individually was Alonzo Garcia, who placed eighth in the 500 freestyle. Garcia, Florez, Windham and Luke Serrano qualified in the finals of the 400 freestyle relay, and also placed eighth.

El Paso Burges’ girls were a distant third to the Eagles in the final point standings. The Mustangs finished with 33 points, one ahead of Big Spring, while Abilene Wylie was fifth with 28 points. Trailing Pecos and Monahans on the boys’ side were Andrews, with 39 points, Chapin with 38 and Big Spring and Fort Stockton, both with 32 points.

Aside from the Eagles’ at-large spots and Fort Stockton’s berth in the 200 medley relay, the only other Region I-4A swimmer to earn an at-large berth was the Panthers’ Dustin Freeman, in the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke.

Eagles getting early start on softball opener

The Pecos Eagles didn’t get to play their final softball scrimmage before the start of the 2005 season on Saturday, but did end up getting their regular season underway a day earlier than scheduled, as they traveled south to Marfa on Monday for a game moved up from its original Tuesday date.

The Eagles, who were supposed to have scrimmaged Marfa and Crane on Saturday in Pecos, were rained out, but had clear skies for their 2005 opener in Marfa, and will follow that up by competing in the Andrews Invitational Tournament beginning this Thursday.

“It rained Saturday morning and the field was wet, and it was supposed to rain all day, so we cancelled,” said Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls, who was hoping to get a look at her regular lineup for the first time on Saturday.

Pecos scrimmaged Alpine and Kermit without several starters last Tuesday, and with a couple of players in new positions. For Monday’s game with Marfa, Walls said she would move a couple of players back to their positions from last year, while trying out a couple of players in other spots.

“Amalie (Herrera) will pitch and Hillery will go back to first base,” Walls said. Hinojos pitched both scrimmage games a week ago, while Herrera was still in basketball, and Walls said while Hinojos would move back from pitcher to first base, over a third, Savannah Ewing would return there after catching last week’s scrimmages.

“I’ll have Danielle Garcia catching. She did an outstanding job in practice on Thursday,” said Walls.

The other change in the lineup will be the return of Jenny Palomino in the outfield. Bianca Baeza and Cassandra Terrazas remain as the other outfield starters, while Jessica Florez and Kelsey Flores remain at shortstop and second base.

Walls said for the tournament in Andrews, the Eagles would begin play against El Paso Parkland on Thursday. Under the tournament bracket, she said Pecos would probably face Andrews, El Paso Eastwood or Lubbock Monterey later in tournament play.

Eagles fall to Panthers after late rally

The Pecos Eagles came close to pulling off a major comeback in their final road game of the season Friday night in Fort Stockton, but ended up suffering their fifth straight defeat to go into their final game of the year, at home on Tuesday against Monahans.

The Eagles who trailed by 18 points after three quarters to just two points in the next 5 1/2 minutes of the game and had a chance to tie or take the lead with just over two minutes remaining. But a shot attempt by Ricardo Morales was blocked by the Panthers, who went down and scored, and then pulled away from the Eagles at the foul line in the final seconds, winning by a 67-58 score.

“We were down as much as 21, and then with 2 1/2 minutes to play we cut it to two,” said Eagles’ coach Art Welborn, who added that Morales appeared to get fouled on the block, but no call was made, while the Eagles were whistled for a foul a few moments later while pressing Fort Stockton’s Tyler Yancy.

“There were two questionable calls by the same official,” Welborn said. “He (Morales) got fouled bigger than Dallas.”

Pecos trailed 49-31 going into the fourth period before finally finding the range from outside. “Saul (Pina) had three or four 3s in the fourth quarter, and Lupito (Bustamantes) hit a three,” Welborn said. “We finally started hitting some shots and getting some turnovers.”

Pina ended up with four 3-pointers on the night and finished with a team-high 15 points. Bustamantes played most of the game in foul trouble and finished with nine, which was the next-high total for the Eagles. Meanwhile, Yancy spent much of the night going to the line for Fort Stockton.

“Their No. 22 was 8-for-8 from the foul line in the third quarter,” Welborn said, and Yancy ended up 13-for-13 from the line and finished with 18 points, while Colby Terrazas had 15 for Fort Stockton.

“They did a good job with their free throws, and as far as the game went we missed about five lay-ups that would have made a big difference for us,” Welborn said.

The loss left Pecos with a 4-23 record on the season, 1-10 in District 3-3A play, while Fort Stockton improved to 4-7 in district and 11-14 on the season. Tuesday’s game against Monahans will decide which team avoids the district cellar for the 2004-05 season, as the Loboes also are 1-10 after losing at home to Presidio on Friday, 70-57. Pecos rallied from a double-digit deficit last month in Monahans to get their only district victory, by a 54-40 final score, taking advantage of Monahans’ 2-for-20 shooting from the foul line. Monahans’ lone win in district this season came against Fort Stockton. PECOS (58)

Juardo 0 2-4 2; Morales 3 1-4 7; Pina 5 0-0 14; Guajardo 1 0-0 2; Licon 2 0-0 5; Anchondo 1 3-4 5; Estrada 3 1-1 8; Bustamantes 3 2-2 9; Macha 2 2-2 6. Totals 27 11-17 58.

FORT STOCKTON (67) Rainwater 0 1-2 1; Martinez 1 0-0 2; Hickman 5 0-0 10; Sotelo 0 0-0 0; Pacheco 1 0-0 2; Yancey 2 13-13 18; Terrazas 5 5-6 15; Garvin 4 2-4 10; Garcia 2 0-2 4; Gonzales 3 1-2 7. Totals 22 22-29 67. Pecos 8 11 12 27 -- 58 Ft. Stockton 10 22 17 18 -- 67 Three-point goals: Pecos 7 (Pina 4, Licon, Estrada, Bustamantes), Fort Stockton 1 (Yancy). Fouled out: None. Total fouls: Pecos 22, Fort Stockton 15.

Pecos girls 3rd, boys 16th in Big Spring golf

The Pecos Eagles girls golf team picked up a third place finish over the weekend at the Big Spring Invitational, while Pecos’ boys finished 16th in their division of the 36-hole tournament.

The girls shot a 706 to finish behind Monahans (670) and Andrews (683) in the field of 17 teams. Junior Shelly Martinez shot a 161 to place third in the medalist race, behind the Loboes’ Allison Jordan and the Mustangs’ Kelsey Gray, while Eleanor Mason shot a 170, Jennie Canon had a 171, Rica Pino a 205 and Stephanie Galindo a 207.

“My 2-3 golfers (Mason and Canon) did a lot better. They stepped and competed,” said Eagles’ coach Tina Doan. “We’ve just got to work on my 4-5 golfers to get them down into the 90s so they can help us.”

“The girls worked hard and fought the weather, which was not real good in Big Spring on Saturday. They played in the rain and wind and it was cold, but they competed and got third place,” Doan said.

The boys were in a field of 22 teams and finished behind two of their District 3-3A rivals, Monahans and Lamesa, and ahead of two others, Fort Stockton and Greenwood. Pecos finished with a 735 score in a tournament won by Midland Lee with a 608 total. Monahans shot a 660 to place seventh and Lamesa was in ninth place, seven strokes behind.

Individually, senior Michael Nichols shot a 155 to finish among the Top 10 in the medalist race, and best among any of the district 3-3A golfers entered. “Mikey finished ninth and got all-tournament, and his 77 was the third best score of the day on Saturday,” said Eagles’ coach Kim Anderson, who said the round was even more impressive due to the bad weather conditions.

“That wind was around 40 miles per hour Saturday, and the drizzle was turning to sleet when it was hitting the windows of the golf carts,” Anderson said.

Joseph Tarin was next for the Eagles after Nichols with a 167 score, and was followed by Jake Weinacht with a 184 and Jesse Prieto with a 239.

Anderson said the Eagles only took four golfers to the tournament, because his regular No. 4 golfer, Zack Morton, was at a stock show. “Jesse Prieto nearly broke 100 on Saturday, so he’s coming around,” he said.

Fort Stockton shot a 763 and Greenwood had a 773 for the other 3-3A boys’ scores. Lamesa and Greenwood also had girls teams entered at Big Spring, with the tornadoes shooting a 797 to finish eighth and the Rangerettes a 979 to place 14th overall.

Pecos’ varsity girls are off this week, but Doan said she would be taking her junior varsity golfers to a one-day tournament on Thursday in Andrews. Pecos’ boys, meanwhile, will be taking both their varsity and JV teams to Fort Stockton for a two-day tournament on Friday and Saturday.

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