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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Martinez 3rd, Eagles 4th at 3A state golf tourney

The Pecos Eagle girls’ golf team fell a little short of both their team and individual goals on Friday, at the Class 3A State Golf Tournament in Austin. But the Eagles did advance on the final day of the tournament to play with the leader group, and senior Shelly Martinez did take home a medal for the second year in a row.

The Eagles had hoped to medal as a team at state, but struggled on the first day and were unable to catch Longview Spring Hill for third in the final round of play. Meanwhile, Martinez was hoping to win the state 3A medallist title after placing third a year ago, but struggled on the first nine holes Friday and had to settle for third place again this year.

Martinez shot 76s both days for a 152 score, while as a team Pecos had 348 in both rounds of play on the Jimmy Clay Golf Course. Snyder, which ran away from the field to win the Region I-3A title, ran away from Yoakum on the second day at state to claim their third title in four years, with a 325-308-633 score, while Yoakum was second with a 328-332-660 and Longview won third, shooting a 341-349-690.

“I’m real proud of the girls,” said Eagles’ coach Tina Doan. “We wanted to come away with a medal, but fourth place in state is nothing to be ashamed of.

Martinez was in fourth place after the opening round as well, but only one shot out of second and four behind eventual tournament winner Ashley Watkins of Sealy. But the senior struggled to a 40 on the front nine before shooting a 36 on the final nine holes to place third, two strokes behind Snyder’s Chandra Alexander.

“Shelly was a little off on the front nine, going four over,” Doan said. “She hit the ball well and came back on the back nine. I know she would have loved to have had the gold, but there’s nothing wrong with a bronze medal.”

The senior said putting was her biggest problem on Friday.

“I just couldn’t get a feel for the greens and hit too hard,” she said “But it was a combination of everything.

The other Eagle golfers also had similar scores on both days of the tournament.

Stephanie Galindo shot an 87 on Thursday and an 89 on Friday for a 176 score, and was 24th overall. Eleanor Mason shot a 90 in the opening round and an 89 on Saturday for a 179 total and 29th place, while Carolina Briones shot a 95-94-189 and finished 37th, and Rica Pino had a 97-98-195 and was 41st.

“They had good scores and kept their heads up, and the know what they have to do next year if they want to come back to state,” said Doan, who will return her four other ‘A’ team golfers while losing Martinez to graduation.

“It’s good, but it’s bittersweet,” said Martinez, who beat out Alexander for medallist honors at regionals in Odessa two weeks earlier. “I’m graduating, so I won’t be able to play golf with the team any more, but I’m excited about playing for UTSA (Texas-San Antonio). I’m going to try and make the college proud, and I know I’ve made the high school proud.”

Atlanta placed fifth in the tournament, 12 strokes behind Pecos with a 658-650-708 score. They were followed by Bellville, with a 362-372-734; Devine with a 370-372-742; and Sour Lake-Hardin Jefferson, with a 367-382-749.

Monahans’ Paige Shaw also made the trip to Austin as a medallist, after placing in the Top 6 at regionals, but struggled on Friday, shooting a 98 and finishing 30th overall, with a 183 score.

Mazone grabs sixth at Class 3A discus finals

Pecos Eagle Chantell Mazone wasn’t able to improve on her winning throw at the Region I-3A Track and Field Championships, when she competed against eight others on Friday at the Class 3A state championship in Austin. But the junior was able to get off her best two throws of the day at the finish, and was able to point in her first trip to the state meet.

Mazone threw 124-foot-2 on her last attempt to earn sixth place in the girls’ discus finals. That was six feet below her winning throw two weeks earlier at regionals, but only three of the eight competitors were able to better their throws at regionals.

“I feel like I need to take a shower or get into a hot tub, because I’m hurting all over,” said Mazone, who did benefit from relatively cool temperatures Friday afternoon in Austin, compared to the normal hot and humid mid-afternoon weather that returned on Saturday. Mazone said that while she was proud of advancing to state, she was a little disappointed she couldn’t get off a better throw than at regionals.

“”I saw how everybody else was throwing in warm-ups, and said “I could get out there and do that,’ but I didn’t.”

“It was her first time, and nearly ever y one of the other girls have been her before,” said coach Donna Gent. “I think she improved on every throw.”

“More than half my family was out her to see me, from Odessa, Houston and Pecos,” said Mazone, who thanks both her family members for making the trip to Austin and her coaches for helping her advance to state.

Gladewater’s Memrie Ferguson was the only thrower to record a major increase in her distance at state. Ferguson improved by eight feet, throwing 137-foot-10 to beat out Cameron Yoe’s Charlissa Foster by four inches for the gold medal. Foster, who later won the Class 3A girls’ shot put on Saturday, threw about eight feet less than what she had at regionals, while the No. 2 seed going into the state meet, Erica Doublin, finished seventh with a 123-03 throw, 18 feet shorter than her effort at regionals.

Mazone had worked with boys’ coach Robbie Ortega on her form during the run-up to the state meet, and went over several times to talk to Ortega and Gent in-between her six throws.

“Nerves may have gotten to her a little bit at the state, but I’m proud of her,” Ortega said. “She’s got one more year, and this will make her hungry for next year.

“I’m going to come back next year and win it,” said Mazone, who fell an inch short at regionals of also advancing to state in the shot put. “Mark that down I’m going to win the gold medal in the shot put and discus.”

No District 3-3A athlete took home a gold medal from the Class 3A state meet, though Monahans’ Chris Collins came close. The senior was edged in the final 25 yards by Lufkin Hudson’s Miles O’Neill in the finals of the 800-meter run and placed second with a 1:56.73 time, .38 seconds behind O’Neill.

Teammate Chelsea Cartwright also won a medal, placing third in the finals of the 110 meter high hurdles, while Fort Stockton seniors J.J. Hickman and David Palma also picked up third place awards, in the 300 meter hurdles and 3200 meter run, with Palma finishing less than two seconds in back of winner Aaron Brannon of Bridge City. Fort Stockton’s 1600 meter relay team for the boys also finished less than two seconds behind first place Hempstead in a tight finish, while winding up fourth, while Monahans’ girls placed sixth in the 400 meter relay and eighth in the 800 meter relay, and Steven Richardson was seventh in the boys’ shot put.

Fort Stockton’s 20 points was good enough for ninth place in the Class 3A standings, while Monahans was 21st with Collins’ second place finish and eight points. Monahans’ girls also had eight points and finished 22nd, while Mazone’s point had Pecos tied for 53rd place. Cuero won the boys 3A title with 69 points, and Dallas Madison scored 56 points to win the girls title.

Bears’ Lozano gets fifth, Hernandez sixth at state

The Balmorhea Bears were able to get points out of both their competitors at the Class A state track and field championships in Austin this past weekend, with Alexis Lozano placing fifth in the state shot put finals and Michael Hernandez finishing sixth in the 3200 meter run at Michael A. Myers Stadium on the UT-Austin campus.

“They finished about where I expected them to finish up,” said coach Adolfo Garcia. “Both of them did their best, ad I couldn’t ask anything more.”

Hernandez ran Friday morning and had a 10:13.85 time in the two-mile race, while Lozano threw 49-feet-2 on Saturday afternoon to take fifth in the shot put competition, which was won by David Browne of Roscoe. Browne, who won the District 3-3A shot put title a year ago while competing for Seminole, threw 55-foot-10 1/2 to beat out Iola’s Rex McDougal by five inches.

“It’s just tough to throw against them when they throw that far,” said Lozano, who was a foot shorter than his second-place throw at the Region I-3A meet in Levelland two weeks earlier. Lozano got off his best throw in the first round of attempts, while scratching on his first two efforts in the final round.

“I was just trying to get it out there, all or nothing,” he said. “Fifth place is better than nothing.”

Hernandez cut five seconds off his winning time at the Region I-4A meet, but after staying close to the leaders in the first half of the 3200, he fell back in the final laps. “In the sixth lap my ankle started hurting a little bit, but I was trying to do my best to keep up with them,” said the senior, who returned just prior to district from a torn foot tending suffered in January. “It slowed down my pace.

Top seed Cory Higgins of Clyde-Eula won the race with a 9:44.64 time, seven seconds ahead of David Stephenson of Priddy, while Abel Ramos of Plains, who Hernandez upset to win the Region I-A title, ran a 9:58.33 to take third.

While Hernandez ran in the morning section on Friday, while only field events were taking place, Lozano’s throws came during the middle of the Class A and Class 3A running finals, along with several other field events at the north end of the stadium.

“I knew there would be a lot people,” he said of the crowd. “I’ve never been to an event with that many people.”

“The weather was good and I enjoyed it, and with the fans I was not even nervous,” Hernandez said. “I ran my fastest time and a personal best, so that’s great.”

Garcia said both Hernandez and Lozano, along with his son A.J. Garcia, who missed out on a trip to state at regionals, would continue to compete in track this summer.

“They’re going to go to a meet in Albuquerque and compete, so that college coaches can get a look at them,” the Bears’ coach said.

Balmorhea’s three points tied them with Rankin for 51st place in the standings. Rotan won the boys’ division in Class A with 42 points while Hubbard took the girls title with 82 points. Out of the Bears’ district, Comstock placed 13th in the girls division with 14 points.

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