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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Tuesday, April 21, 1998

Ranger, Pecos counting on Abila's arm

PECOS, Apr. 21 -- Ranger Junior College hopes Jason Abila
can bolster their pitching staff next season.

Pecos Eagles coach Bubba Williams' concerns are more

Ranger assistant coach Brent Leffingwell signed Abila to a
baseball scholarship Monday night at the Pecos High School
Field House. "We're glad to have Jason with us," said
Leffingwell, a former Andrews Mustangs' pitcher. "We've got
a really good baseball team, we're just a little short of
pitchers, and Jason should be able to step in as No. 1, 2 or
3 next year."

Abila has been the Eagles' No. 1 pitcher the past three
years, and this afternoon, he'll take the mound in Big
Spring against the Steers with Pecos' playoff hopes on the

The Eagles, 3-5 in District 4-4A and 11-8 overall, need a
win over Big Spring, 5-3 and 12-10, to keep both the Steers
and Lake View Chiefs from clinching the final two District
4-4A playoff berths. Pecos then needs a win Friday against
Fort Stockton and a loss by either Big Spring against
Andrews or losses today and Friday by Lake View against
Andrews and Sweetwater to force a playoff for second and/or
third place early next week.

"I think this is going to help Jason and pump him up for
tomorrow," Williams said following Abila's signing Monday

The Eagles will be in good shape if Abila comes up with
another performance like the one earlier this month against
the Steers. He tossed a two-hitter, struck out 14 and hit
two home runs, as the Eagles posted an 8-1 victory. But that
came after Pecos had dropped their first three district
games, allowing 46 runs, most of them unearned, in the

They almost did it again on Saturday against Lake View,
allowing four unearned runs off seven errors and blowing a
5-2 lead to Lake View in the seventh inning. But the Chiefs
were just as generous with their mistakes, the last, a wild
pitch that set up Oscar Luna's game-winning hit in the
bottom of the seventh for a 6-5 victory.

For Big Spring, meanwhile, the eight runs Pecos got was
their low total this month. They've given up 47 runs in
their last four games, but in the last two, have pulled out
wins, 12-11 over Sweetwater and 11-10 this past Saturday
against Fort Stockton.

Two two out errors by the Panthers gave Big Spring six
unearned runs in the fourth, as they broke a 5-5 tie. Jeff
Denton held off the Panthers at the end to make a winner of
James Darling. Denton took the loss in Abila's earlier win,
while Steers' coach Bobby Doe also used freshman Clint
Bamert, who pitched well against the Eagles in a 4-2
pre-district loss in the Snyder Tournament back in March.

Eagles send doubles team to regionals

PECOS, Apr. 21 -- The pre-tournament seedings didn't come
out as planned on the boys' side of the District 4-4A
tournament this past weekend, which was both good and bad
news for the Pecos Eagles.

Mark Marquez and Jeff Lam, who were seeded fourth going into
the tournament, wound up winning second place and advancing
to the Region I-4A Tournament next week in San Angelo. The
juniors had to win a playback match over Fort Stockton's
John Wayne Bailey and Justin Yarbrough to do so, taking the
No. 3 seeds 7-5, 6-4, after a 6-2, 6-3 win over second
seeded Will Foster and T. Nguyen of Andrews in the third
place match.

"I told them if you keep a consistent mental approach,
you'll win," said Eagles' coach Bernadette Ornelas. "After
the others started losing their cool, that's when we started
making shots."

Lam and Marquez drew a first round bye, then scored a 6-2,
6-3 win over a team from Fort Stockton before losing in the
semifinals to No. 1 seeds and eventual division champs,
David Howard and Brandon Hix from Sweetwater.

Meanwhile, in boys' singles it was the Eagles who were the
ones upset, as No. 2 seed Jonathan Fuentes was beaten by Big
Spring's Devon Swofford, 6-1, 6-2, in the second round of
the tournament. The unseeded Swofford would go on to win a
playback over Andrews' Andrew Farrar to earn the second
regional berth, behind teammate Hsiao-Hsuan Li.

"Jonathan had some problems. He was using one of his
teammate's racquets because the one he usually uses was
broken," said Ornelas, who added that Swofford "has a very
solid shot. He works out with the No. 1 kid (Li) every day,
and that helps him."

The Eagles' other singles player, Tye Graham, won his
opening match over Benny Coronado of Fort Stockton, 6-1,
6-0, before losing to Li in the quarterfinals by the same

On the girls' side, Tiffany Jarrett and Nichi Dannelly both
fell in their opening matches. Dannelly dropped a 6-2, 6-1
decision to Farrah Schooler of Fort Stockton, while Jarrett
lost to No. 4 seed Melissa Wood of Andrews, 6-0, 6-0.

Sweetwater's Sarah Pennington won first and Big Spring's
Monica Villarreal was second in the girls' division.

In doubles, Teresa Minjarez and Vaneesa Miranda got a first
round win, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 over Garcia and DelaO of Fort
Stockton, then fell to the No. 4 seeds, Sweetwater's Renee
Smola and Amber Gage, 6-0, 6-1. Pecos' other doubles' team,
Rachel Pharoah and Erin Dominguez, dropped their opener to
Lake View's Jennifer Darby and Mindy Harrell, 6-2, 6-1.

The Eagles also had three players in the freshman division
of the tournament. Sarah Metler lost to Sweetwater's Crystal
Smith, 6-2, 6-4; while Priscilla Levario was beaten by Amy
Gardner of Andrews, 6-0, 6-3, in girls' singles play. In
boys singles, Anthony Casillas lost to Fort Stockton's Lando
Yanez, 6-1, 6-1.

Ornelas said Lam and Marquez will compete in the Region I-4A
tournament next Monday and Tuesday at Bentwood Country Club
in San Angelo. The top two finishers in each division there
will advance to the state finals in Austin.

Bears' squads 2nd, 5th at district meet

PECOS, Apr. 21 -- The Balmorhea Bears took second in the
boys division and fifth in the girls division this past
Friday at the District 16-A track and field meet in
Grandfalls, sending five individuals and one relay team on
to Regional competition.

The boys scored 134 points to place second behind
Grandfalls, which won the meet with 199 points. Grandfalls
also took the girls' division with 198 points to 115 for
Imperial, with the Bears finishing up with 45 points.

More than half of that came from Amanda Lozano, who earned
regional berths in three events. She won the 400 meter dash
with a 1:04.65 time, and placed second in the 100 meters,
with a 13.60 time, and in the 200, with a 29.95 time.

Of the boys' four individuals, senior Debiasie Mendoza and
sophomore Manny Mendoza were multiple qualifiers. Debiasie
Mendoza wound up with regional berths in four events and won
three gold medals. He took the long jump, with a 20-feet-10½
leap, and the triple jump, going 40-4, then came back and
won the 400 meter dash with a 54.39 time and placed second
in the 200 meters, going 23.98.

Manny Mendoza earned his regional berths with a pair of
first place finishes in the distance races. He took the 1600
meters with a 5:09.19 time, and won the 3200 in 10:47.51.

Two other seniors, Kevin Castillo and Zane Rhyne, also
earned trips to regionals. Castillo was second in the
discus, with a 117-1 throw, while Rhyne was second to
Mendoza in the 400, with a 54-51 time. They were also part
of Balmorhea's first place 1600 meter relay team, which ran
a 3:41.42 to earn a trip to the Region II-A meet in Abilene
on May 1-2.

Meetings set for men's, co-ed softball leagues

PECOS, Apr. 21 -- The Pecos Softball Association will hold
meetings for its men's and co-ed leagues on Wednesday and
Thursday at the men's softball field in Maxey Park.

The men's league meeting is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, while
the co-ed meeting will be held at the same time and place on

For further information, call either Lupe Herrera or Keith
Windham at 447-9652.

PHS swimmers earn academic honors

Staff Writer
PECOS, Apr. 21 -- Five Pecos High School swimmers were
recognized by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches
Association and named as Academic All-Americans for swimming.

"This is the most that we have had from Pecos," said
swimming coach Terri Morse. "It's a big honor and we're very
proud of our swimmers."

This honor is awarded to those graduating seniors in the
United States who have achieved national time standards in
at least two swimming events. In addition they must have a
minimum 3.75 Grade Point Average (G.P.A.).

The five senior swimmers recognized were Megan Freeman,
Dionnie Munoz, Jamie Corson, Kenneth Friar and Al Tillman.

Freeman has a 4.41 grade point average and achieved national
time standards in 100 breaststroke, 50 and 100 freestyle,
and 100 butterfly. She is the daughter of Jeannie and Ronny

Munoz accumulated a 4.3 G.P.A., achieving national time
standards in 50, 100, and 500 freestyles, and 100 butterfly.
She is the daughter of Socorro and Benjamin Munoz.

Corson has a 4.1 G.P.A., having met national swimming
standards in the 500 freestyle and 200 I.M. She is the
daughter of Helen Fobbs.

Friar has a 3.9 G.P.A., ad met national time standards in
the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles, 200 I.M. and 100 butterfly.
He is the son of Ellen Friar.

Tillman has posted an overall G.P.A. of 3.77. He met
national swimming standards in 100 breaststroke, 100
butterfly and 200 I.M. He is the son of Louise and Robert

All five of these national selections are four year members
of the Pecos High School swimming team, which won three
District 4 girls titles and two boys championships over the
past four seasons.

Kenyans continue Marathon run

AP Sports Writer
BOSTON, Apr. 21 -- Cosmas Ndeti, who has the confidence of a
three-time Boston Marathon winner, predicted that he would
win this year's race. He dropped out at the 16-mile mark
with stomach pain.

Joseph Chebet pushed the pace for 26 miles, but didn't have
enough left for a final sprint. Last year's champion, Lameck
Aguta, is recovering from a beating in Nairobi and could not
defend his title.

No matter, because there is always another Kenyan to pick up
the country's marathon mantle.

``I think Americans should come to Kenya to see how we
train, to learn our tactics,'' said Moses Tanui, whose
Boston Marathon victory on Monday was his homeland's eighth
consecutive victory here. ``When we train, we don't mix it
with anything else. We just train and relax.''

Tanui outsprinted Chebet over the final 300 yards to win in
2 hours, 7 minutes and 34 seconds. Ethiopia's Fatuma Roba
captured the women's race for the second straight year,
finishing in 2:23:21.

Both times were the third-fastest in the event's 102-year
history. It was also the fastest marathon by more than a
minute for Tanui, who won here in 1996 and overcame
bronchitis to finish fifth last year.

Tanui is one of four different Kenyans to win the race since
Ibrahim Hussein established a national stranglehold with his
second win in 1991. Only the United States, which won nine
straight from 1916-25, has won more consecutive Boston

``Boston is a special race. It's a big race. We have all our
top runners here,'' Tanui said during the week while
dedicating his effort to the recuperating Aguta.

``It's our thinking. We have the advantage of high altitude.
We eat the right foods. And we also have a lot of

By choice, Tanui was not among a pack of 11 that led the
race early, falling as much as 48 seconds behind. He was
12th at the halfway point, ninth at 15.5 miles and fifth at
Heartbreak Hill's 20-mile mark before going after the
leaders with four miles left.

Tanui was side-by-side with Chebet and South African Gert
Thys in Brookline's Coolidge Corner, the 24-mile mark,
before Thys fell from the lead pack. The 32-year-old Kenyan
began his sprint less than 300 yards from the finish to beat
Chebet by three seconds and earn the $80,000 first prize.

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