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for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, February 25, 2005

Eagles open track season at Stockton

Staff Writer

Pecos Eagle track coaches John Fellows and Veronica Valenzuela both will be missing some athletes this weekend at the season-opening Comanche Relays due to other events. But they’re both hoping they won’t be missing anyone else for the 2005 track season after grades come out this week.

Fellows and Valenzuela both are in their first years as varsity track coaches for the Eagles, and both were waiting until this week’s grade reports before deciding on their relay teams and where some others will be competing in the 2005 season, which opens in Fort Stockton and continues at home next Friday with the West of the Pecos Relays.

Both coaches have between 20 and 25 people out this year, and both return a couple of regional qualifiers from the 2004 season.

“I’ve got a good core group of about 10 and I got some of the basketballers out today, so we’re going to try and do something with them,” Fellows said on Monday.

His group includes 2004 state qualifier Rashad Terry and regional qualifier Chad Evans, both seniors. Terry advanced to Austin the 100 and 200 meter dash and also qualified for regionals in the high jump, while Evans won the district title in the shot put a year ago. “Rashad is going to be in the high jump and long jump, and I’m going to try and get Yao (Ricardo Morales) into the triple and high jumps,” Fellows said. “We’ve got Chad in the shot and discus, but after that it’s kind of uncharted waters, because not many others did field events last year.

“I’m going to try and make a high jumper out of (Lucas) Macha, and we’ll have Josh Payan in some long jump and triple jump,” he said, adding that Andrew Grant and Justin Hannsz were working out in the pole vault. Hannsz ran the hurdles last season and will do that again in 2005, while Grant pole vaulted for the first time last season.

Fellows said he would run some of his younger track team members in the junior varsity division at Fort Stockton, and would probably have some others in JV events next week at the West of the Pecos Relays. Valenzuela said she’d also have some of her girls in the JV division this week and next week, mainly in the field events.

“Right now it looks like I’m taking only eight girls, and that’s if everybody’s eligible,” she said of this weekend’s meet. “Most of them are in the field events. We’ve got more of them than we’ve ever had before, so some are going to have to be in the JV group.”

The girls’ returning regional qualifiers are senior Jummy Akinyode in the 200 meters and junior Jennifer Martinez in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs. Valenzuela said Akinyode would probably add another race this season, while Martinez may change one of her races.

“Jummy’s going to run the 200 and the quarter (400 meters). Last year it was a mental thing, she didn’t think she could do both. But she’s ready this year,” Valenzuela said. “Jennifer is going to run in the mile, and we’ll see how she does, and she may also run in the 800, but we’ll have to see how things look down the road. Last year she won the 3200 (at district) easily, but when she went to regionals the times were a lot faster.”

Aside from Akinyode and Martinez, the Eagles also have Jessica Florez and Chantel Mazone back in the shot put and discus events, along with Adriana Armendariz, who ran in the 100 meter dash at district last year. She said that senior Jessica Carrasco and junior Michelle Wein were also out this year, after not running track in 2004.

“I have one hurdler, in Ashley Ornelas, and as far as the running goes, I’ve got a couple of sprinters in the Hightower twins, and in the distance races I’ve got the other twins, the Lamkas,” Valenzuela said.

Friday’s competition is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. in Fort Stockton with field events and running preliminaries and the 3200-meter finals, while field events will continue Saturday morning with the remaining running finals set for Saturday afternoon.

While the high school teams travel to Fort Stockton on Friday, Pecos’ seventh and eighth grade teams will be hosting seven other schools on Friday for the season opening West of the Pecos Jr. Relays at Eagle Stadium. It will be the first meet to be held since the resurfacing of the stadium’s track, which was just completed two weeks ago.

Events will start at 3:30 p.m. and unlike recent years, when the boys field events and girls running finals have been held first, all of the field events will take place in the afternoon, while the running finals will be held Friday evening. Along with the Eagles, Monahans, Fort Stockton, Presidio, Greenwood, Kermit, Marfa and Fort Davis are the other teams scheduled to participate.

Swimmers seeking to move up at state meet

Pecos Eagles swimming coach Terri Morse said she’s be keeping her relay line-ups unchanged from regional competition this weekend, when the Eagles travel to Austin for the Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships at the Jamail Center at the University of Texas-Austin.

With no seniors on their roster after graduating five last year, Pecos’ boys aren’t expected to match their best-ever finish of 2004, when they placed fourth overall in the final standings. But the Eagles will be trying to earn a spot in Saturday’s finals, which are for the Top 8 finishers from Friday’s preliminaries. The next 8 will also swim on Saturday in the consolation finals.

Pecos’ girls also will be trying to get their swimmers into Saturday’s finals. Most of the Eagles who qualified for state this year are back from the 2004 squad, and will look to improve on their best finish last year, a 12th in the 200 yard medley relay.

The girls set a new regional record in winning the 200 medley two weeks ago in Lubbock, and go into the regionals seeded 11th, while the 200 freestyle relay, which placed second to El Paso Chapin at regionals, is the 10th seed, based on the regional time results.

“Everything’s going to be the same as it was at regionals, unless somebody gets sick or something,” Morse said. “The combinations we had at regionals were the best we can get.”

Susan Moore, Teddie Salcido, Lindsey Shaw and Catherine Minjarez will swim the 200 medley relay, while Moore, Minjarez, Ashley Horsburgh and Amie Reynolds will be in the 200 freestyle relay. Moore also will swim the 500 and 100 freestyle races, while Shaw was the Eagles’ other regional qualifier, in the 100-yard breaststroke.

The boys will have the same four swimmers in both the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays, in junior Matt Elliott, sophomores Kyle Winkles and Matt Oglesby and freshman Matthew Florez. Elliott and Oglesby also qualified in individual events by winning the 100 yard butterfly and 200 individual medley, and Pecos will also have one diver competing in Austin, after freshman Dustin Windham placed second at regionals.

The medley relay team made it to Austin despite finishing third at regionals, but based on the times posted at regionals, actually have the least ground to make up to qualify for the Top 8 finals. They’re seeded 15th, but are within a second of regional champ Monahans, who are seeded sixth. The 200 freestyle relay is also seeded 15th, one spot behind Monahans’ relay team that edged Pecos at regionals, while Elliott is seeded 12th and Oglesby 14th in their individual events.

“Everybody’s been healthy in practice. We’re just trying to stay relaxed and swim fast, and see if we can cut our times and move up in the standings,” Morse said. “I do think we have room to cut, and that we can cut our times in the relays, and our kids can also cut their times as far as the individual events they’re swimming in.”

Moore will be seeded 15th in the 100 freestyle and 16th in the 50 free. She placed second to Chapin swimmers Amanda Navarez and Lara Jackson in those events. Jackson won the 50 free at state a year ago and is seeded second in that race going into Friday’s prelims, and is the only Region I-4A swimmer seeded first in her other event, the 100 fly. Navarez just edged Moore for first in the 100 free at regionals, and is seeded 14th.

Shaw placed second to Big Spring’s Jessica Hughey at regionals, and will be seeded 16th in the 100 breaststroke at state. Hughey is the ninth-seed going into that event.

Windham will dive ninth at state, after placing second to Andrews’ Matt Culberson at both the regional meet in Lubbock and at the District 3-4A meet in Abilene in late January.

Diving will be held before the final event of the day, the 400 yard freestyle relay. The meet is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. on Friday and at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, following completion of the Class 5A Swimming and Diving Championships at the Jamail Center.

Eagle netters beginning tournament play

The Pecos Eagles tennis team picked up their first dual meet win of the spring season in their last match of the spring season on Saturday, defeating Odessa High’s junior varsity by an 8-6 final score.

The Eagles split the six matches on the boys’ side with the Bronchos, while winning five of the eight matches on the girls side.

“I only had four boys, and I had to sub in some girls, because a few of their girls didn’t show up,” said Eagles’ coach Mike Ortiz, who hopes to have 12 players available this coming weekend for tournament play in Fort Stockton.

No. 1 and 2 seeds on the boys’ side, Pedro Gomez and Francisco Ornelas, won their matches in straight sets, while Ornelas and Jerris Rayos took a split set decision in doubles over Jimmy McKinney and Zachary Bustamante. On the girls’ side, Mimi Ornelas, Crystal Ikeler, Sara Natividad and Amber Pando picked up singles wins, while Natividad and Catherine Garcia won their doubles match against the Bronchos. “There were a lot of good matches and a lot of close matches, which was pretty good for both of us,” Ortiz said. “There were some enjoyable matches.

“Now we just have tournaments left,” Ortiz said of the Eagles’ spring schedule, which runs through mid-April. “That was our last dual. This weekend, we’ll go to Fort Stockton, and then we’ll go to regionals in Levelland the first weekend in March.”

Ortiz said singles would be played on Friday and doubles on Saturday at the Fort Stockton tourney. He said along with the Eagles and Panthers, seven other teams would be entered in the two-day tournament.

Pecos (8) at Odessa High JV (6) Boys Singles Pedro Gomez defeated Sam Newman, 6-1, 6-0; Francisco Ornelas defeated Jimmy McKinney, 6-0, 6-0; Jerris Rayos lost to Alec Herrera, 6-2, 3-6, 10-6; Curtis James lost to Zachary Bustamante, 6-4, 6-2. Girls Singles Imari Ornelas defeated Kelly Ann Dunaway, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4; Sada Orona lost to Ciana Bishop, 6-0, 6-1; Crystal Ikeler defeated Shandy Heifnor, 6-4, 6-3; Sara Natividad defeated Sumee Kershner, 6-3, 6-3; Amber Pando defeated Ashley French, 6-1, 6-0; Delicia Ramirez lost to Kristin Ellis, 6-0, 6-0. Boys Doubles Gomez and James lost to Newman and Herrera, 6-4, 7-5; Ornelas and Rayos defeated McKinnney and Bustamante, 5-7, 6-4, 10-8. Girls Doubles Ornelas and Ikeler lost to Bishop and Heifnor, 4-6, 6-4, 10-3; Garcia and Natividad defeated Kershner and French, 6-3, 6-3.

Weather threatens Midland play for Pecos

Weather was threatening to push back the start of the Pecos Eagles’ 2005 baseball season on Thursday, as well as delaying the start of the second tournament of the year for Pecos’ softball team, as both squads were scheduled to play games in Midland this weekend.

The girls, who opened their 2005 season last week, were scheduled to face Fort Stockton at 5 p.m. on Thursday in their first game at the West Texas Classic Softball Tournament, one of five games over three days the Eagles were to play at the MUGS softball complex in Midland. Meanwhile, over on the north side of town Pecos’ boys were scheduled to face Monahans at 3:45 p.m. in the opening game of the West Texas Classic Baseball Tournament at Christensen Stadium.

The rain and colder temperatures that arrived in the area Wednesday night already caused a one-day delay in the college baseball tournament scheduled at the Scharbauer Center in Midland, though as of press time there hadn’t been any changes made to the high school tournament’s start.

“They’ve tweaked with the bracket a little, but we’re still scheduled for the same times,” said Eagles’ coach Elias Payan.

The tournament will use three different fields in Midland, but all the games on Thursday and Saturday were scheduled for Christensen. Some of Friday’s games will be at Greenwood High School, but win or lose on Thursday, Pecos will play at Simon Field in Midland on Friday. All six of the Eagles’ district rivals are entered in the 12-team tournament.

The winner of the Pecos-Monahans game will play in the tournament semifinals at 8:15 p.m. on Friday, while the loser will play at 3:45 p.m. Both teams will have to wait for the outcome of two other games, matching the winners and losers from Thursday’s Fort Stockton-Lubbock Roosevelt and Greenwood-Grape Creek games, before they’ll know their Friday opponents.

Pecos’ girls already know their opponents for this weekend’s tournament, where only the match-up in the championship game is undecided. The winners will be based on their won-loss records over three days, as it was last weekend at the Andrews Invitational. Coach Tammy Walls’ team went 1-4 in Andrews, though she said, “We’ve got a lot better schedule this week,” after the Eagles played all Class 4A or 5A opponents at Andrews, along with eventual tournament champion Midland Christian.

This weekend, Lubbock Estacado and Amarillo Palo Duro are the only 4A team the Eagles will face. On Friday, Pecos is scheduled to play Palo Duro at 9 a.m. and they’ll meet Estacado at 3 p,m. on Saturday. In-between they’ll face Alpine at 1 p.m. and Merkel at 7 p.m. on Friday, while Walls said Pecos won’t play their final scheduled game, Saturday night against Greenwood.

“I talked with their coach and we agreed not to play that game,” Walls said. The teams will meet twice in a two-week period in District 3-3A play in April.

Pecos’ Garcia earns spot on 3-3A basketball team

Pecos Eagles senior Danielle Garcia was named to the All-District 3-3A basketball team last week, in voting by the district’s seven coaches.

The team was released following Seminole’s 58-25 loss to No. 1-ranked Canyon on Tuesday in the Region I-3A quarterfinals. The Maidens went through district play undefeated this season and dominated the 3-3A team selections, with six players on the first team and all-defensive squads.

Garcia was the only Pecos player named to the team, though coach Lisa Lowery said two others, sophomores Adriana Armendariz and Chantel Mazone, received honorable mention in the voting. “Chantel almost made it onto the team,” said coach Lisa Lowery, while Armendariz was an honorable mention pick as year ago as a freshman.

Garcia was the Eagles’ leading scorer for the 2004-05 season, averaging 14 points per game for Pecos, which finished 3-9 in district play and 4-22 overall for 2004-05, in Lowery’s first season as head coach for the Eagles.

Seminole was led by guard Kayla Johnson, who was named at Most Valuable Player for the district. She was joined on the first team by another senior, Kimbre Johnson, along with junior Erin Sheets and sophomore Felicia Alvarez. Junior Stacy Fitzhugh and sophomore Shannon Wickson were named to the all-defensive team.

Second place Monahans had sophomore Jacquelyn Hopkins named as Newcomer of the Year, but had only one other player, sophomore Catherine Cutbirth, named to the first team. Third place Lamesa put twice as many on the squad, with senior Chasity Marmolejo and junior Bailee Harris on the first team and junior Ramie Stewart and sophomore Katy Pierce on the all-defensive squad.

Greenwood, which placed fourth, was represented by senior Jaymie Flowers, named the defensive MVP for the district, while senior Katie Howard and junior Loran Presley were first-team selections and junior Whitney Etheridge was chosen to the all-defensive squad. Fort Stockton ,which tied Pecos for fifth place in district, also had just one representative, in junior Ruby Bernal, while Presidio, which went winless in 3-3A play, had two players chosen, in sophomores Arely Levario, who was named to the first team, and Vanessa Armendariz, who was an all-defensive selection.

The girls and boys all-district teams were chosen at a meeting on Feb. 16 by the district coaches. The boys team will be released after the final 3-3A team ends its season.

Lamesa and Greenwood lost their bi-district playoff games to Abilene Wylie and Clyde on Tuesday, while district champion Seminole was idle on Tuesday and will face Brownfield in the area round of the Class 3A playoffs on Friday.

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