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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Eagles switch relay line-ups for state finals

Staff Writer

Improving on their times will be the key for the Pecos Eagles in improving on their finishes from a year ago at the Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday and Saturday at the Jamail Aquatic Center on the University of Texas campus in Austin.

Pecos' boys will be trying to take a step up from a year ago, when they finished fifth in the Class 4A standings, which tied for their best-ever finish in Austin. The girls place 16th last year and will also be trying to move up, though based on the regional times they'll have a tougher road to reaching the finals on Saturday.

The team left for Austin at 8:30 a.m. today, and preliminaries will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, with the finals set for a 10 a.m. start on Saturday. Eagles' coach Terri Morse said she made a couple of changes to the girls and boys relay teams, in an effort to give Pecos faster combinations in those events.

"Susan (Moore) is going to be on the 400," Morse said about Friday's preliminaries. Moore was eligible to swim in three relays because she only qualified in one individual event, winning the 100-yard freestyle at regionals two weeks ago.

Pecos' girls will go into the prelims of the 400 yard freestyle relay seeded last among the 16 qualifying teams. They're seeded 10th in the 200 medley relay and 13th in the 200 free relay, with the Top 8 teams advancing to Saturday's finals while the next eight will swim in the consolation finals.

"If we don't do as well as we need to, I may put Jessica (Minjarez) in the race for the finals," Morse said. Minjarez, one of two seniors on the girls' team, swam in the 400 at regional while Moore swam in the 200 freestyle and medley races.

On the boys' side Morse said she would be swapping swimmers in two of the relays, in an attempt to give the Eagles a better shot at winning the 200 medley relay, which has been Pecos' best event at state over the years.

""Max (Key) will be swimming in the medley relay, and I'll move Daniel (Quintana) to the 400. Max will be swimming the 50 yard freestyle leg," Morse said.

Key goes into the finals of the 50 free seeded third with a 22.22 time, just .14 seconds behind No. 1 seed Blake Gore of Texarkana High School, while the medley relay's regional time of 1:42.92 put them in fourth place among the seeds, with Texarkana seeded first with a 1:41.26 time. Pecos' 400 freestyle relay team goes into the state meet seeded seventh, while the 200 freestyle relay team goes in as fifth seed overall.

"We're going to have to cut our times, no doubt about it," Morse said. "It's going to be a faster meet this year and I don't doubt that the other kids down there are going to cut their times."

Morse said in the final workouts before the trip to Austin, "They've looked pretty good. Most of them are telling me they're feeling pretty good in the water, and nobody's injured and nobody's sick, so hopefully they'll be all right."

Aside from the relay teams and Key in the 50 freestyle, the Eagles' other state qualifiers include for the boys Key in the 100 yard breaststroke; Will Oglesby in the 100 yard backstroke and the 500 free; K.W. Winkles in the 200 individual medley and the 100 yard breaststroke; Matt Elliott in the 100 yard butterfly, Kyle Winkles in the 100 free and Michael Juarez in the 1-meter diving competition, which will hold the first part of its finals on Friday, during the swimming prelims.

The girls' other state qualifies besides Moore in the 100 free includes Catherine Minjarez in the 200 medley and 100 fly, and Teddie Salcido in the 200 and 500 yard freestyle races.

Eagles get short workout before scrimmage at OHS

A bunch of Pecos Eagles will go from dribbling balls on Tuesday to throwing them today, when the Eagles travel to Odessa High to scrimmage the Broncos, the team they'll open the 2004 baseball season against at home next Tuesday.

Most of coach Elias Payan's returning players from last year's Class 3A area round qualifier were in basketball until Wednesday. Pecos closed out its basketball season on Tuesday night, and Payan said the players got in their first baseball workout yesterday afternoon.

"I don't want to jinx us, but yesterday, for a first practice, went pretty well," Payan said. "We had to cram a lot of things in there just to get ready for today, but we'll practice Friday, Saturday and next Monday before the (Tuesday) game."

Among those working out for the first time include the Eagles' two returning pitchers from a year ago, Jose Reyes and Josh Anchondo. For today, Payan said, "I'll probably start off with Josh, but there's going to be a pitch count of probably no more than 25 pitches. After that I'll go with Jose, Eddie Vela, Edward Valencia and anyone else. I may even use (freshman) Isaiah Rayos."

"We're just going to go down there and let the young ones know what high school baseball is," he added. "We've had to do a lot more teaching this year than in the past, because we have such a young team this year."

Payan said Reyes and Anchondo would also see time at shortstop, while Anchondo may also end up playing at first and third base and Reyes may see time at second base, depending on who's on the mound. Two others just out from basketball, Oscar Parada and Victor Reyes, will be in the outfield along with Vela, while Valencia will play at third base, and Jonathan Garcia and Robert Nunez will be on the right side of the infield.

At catcher, Payan said he's looked at another freshman in workouts, Chris Garnto, along with Adrian Barreno and Jaime Muela. "Chris is sick, so we'll just look at Adrian and Jaime today," he added.

Today's scrimmage will start at 4 p.m. in Odessa, while Payan said Pecos' junior varsity and freshman Eagles would be 30 miles to the south in Crane, to scrimmage the Golden Cranes' available varsity and JV players.

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