Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Junior high girls claim top spot against 5A swimmers
The Pecos Junior High girls swim team finished first out of 14 teams competing at the Odessa Spring Invitational Junior High meet on March 3, while the Eagle boys were fourth at the meet, which featured mostly junior high teams from the Midland, Odessa and Lubbock areas.
Pecos’ girls scored 234 points and won by 30 over Lubbock Irons Junior High and by 32 over Lubbock Slaton. Irons scored a big win in the boys division with 347 points to 198 for Lubbock Evans, while Pecos’ 105 points was 23 ahead of the only other sub-5A school at the meet, Pampa.
The girls earned wins in both of the meet’s relay events, the 200 medley and 200 freestyle. Eighth graders Conner Armstrong and Alyson Reynolds and seventh graders Lauren Elliott and Alexcia Mendoza took the medley with a 2:07.79 time, and the same four won the 200 freestyle with a 1:56.45 time.
Individually, Pecos got wins from Elliott in the 200 freestyle with a 2:15.23 time, from Armstrong in the 100 free, with a 60.46 time; from Reynolds in the 500 free, with a time of 5:46.50, and from another eighth grader, Amanda James, who won the 1-meter diving competition with a 133.20 score.
Elliott was second to Reynolds in the 500 free; Armstrong finished second and Elliott was fourth in the 50-yard freestyle, and Armstrong was second, with Maggie Hernandez 25th, for the Eagles in the 50-yard backstroke. Reynolds was third and Mendoza placed fifth both in the 100 individual medley and the 50-yard butterfly, and Mendoza was third, with Tory Machuca 25th, in the 50-yard breaststroke. Other finishes for Pecos included a 35th by Machuca in the 50 free; an 18th by Hernandez in the 50 fly; and a 14th by James and a 37th by Machuca in the 100 free.
The boys had one first place finish at the meet, from eighth grader Tanner Hardwick, who took the 1-meter diving competition with a score of 172.30. Pecos also got a sixth place finish from seventh grader Allen Medina in that event.
Both were also part of the Eagles’ 200 medley relay team, along with eighth grader Carlos Nevarro and seventh grader Clay Teague, which took fifth place, and on the 200 freestyle relay team, which was sixth. Nevarro had the best finish for Pecos in the swimming events, taking second in the 50-yard breaststroke with a 38.16 time, and also had a sixth in the 100 individual medley and a 13th in the 100 fly. Hardwick had a fourth in the 100-yard butterfly and a sixth in the 200 free, and other finishes for the Eagles included a 17th by Teague in the 50-yard breaststroke; a 21st by Teague and a 26th by Medina in the 50 free; and an 18th in the 50-yard backstroke and a 29th by Abraham Lujan in the 100 free.
Marfa makes Pecos girls pay for mistakes
The Pecos Eagles’ softball team may be happy to go back on the road, after playing their second home game of the season, and first in 2 1/2 weeks on Friday, against the Marfa Shorthorns.
The Eagles, who had to rally from an 8-2 deficit in their first home game, against Kermit in mid-February, struggled again in the early innings against Marfa, this time falling behind by an 8-0 score, a lead Shorthorns pitcher Brittany Serrano made stand up, as she cut short a couple of late Pecos comeback tries and earned an 8-3 victory.
“We knew Marfa had a good pitcher, and we knew they were improved,” said Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls, whose team had won eight straight games and were 14-3-2 overall before Friday’s loss. “Maybe we needed to be humbled a little bit.”
Marfa used a series of hits off starter Amalie Herrera and reliever Gabby Garcia, along with a series of poor defensive plays by the Eagles to build their eight-run lead. Their first run came in the top of the first with two outs, on a single by Leah McWilliams, a wild pitch by Herrera and an RBI single by Jennifer McGuire.
In the second, they would score four more times for a 5-0 lead. Desi Williams reached on a throwing error by Garcia at shortstop to start things off, Nicole Kelly then walked and Serrano single to center with one away to load the bases, on a play where outfielder Bianca Baeza had a shot at forcing Kelly at second base, but threw the ball to home plate.
Courtney White then hit a comebacker to Herrera, but her throw home was high and over the head of catcher Claire Weinacht. Williams scored, and Kelly came in on a fielder’s choice grounder by Bianca Martinez before McWilliams hit a ball through the legs of Brittany Palomino at second base. One run scored and a second came in when Jenny Palomino overthrew Weinacht.
“They just hit Amalie hard the first couple of innings, and we didn’t play good defense behind her,” Walls said. “Then it was catch-up the rest of the game, which was a little hard to do with their pitcher.”
Garcia and Herrera swapped spots on the infield in the third, and Marfa was retired in order. But in the fourth they scored three more times. Serrano singled and White walked with one away. This time, Martinez hit a comebacker to the mound, but Serrano was safe at third when Kristen Ikeler dropped Garcia’s throw. McWilliams then scored a run with a ground out and McGuire cleared the bases with a single that went through the legs of outfielder Cassandra Terrazas for a two-base error and an 8-0 lead.
“What bothers me is we had seniors making some of those mistakes. Those are things that shouldn’t be happening,” Walls said. “I think in some case we’re making bad judgments, and our people need to be making good decisions.”
Pecos’ defense settled down and improved after that, but Serrano didn’t give the Eagles a chance to stage another homefield comeback. Pecos got on the scoreboard in their half of the fourth when Brittany Palomino walked, was sacrificed to second by Herrera and scored on Weinacht’s triple to left field. The other two runs came in the sixth, when Herrera and Garcia singled with one out and Herrera then beat Martinez’s throw home from second base on a Weinacht grounder. Baeza singled one out later, but Serrano then got Jasmine Rayos to bounce out to Leah Leos at third base to end the inning.
Other than Martinez’s bad decision on Weinacht’s grounder, the Shorthorns played errorless ball to back up Serrano, who had just one strikeout on the night. Marfa ended the game with McWilliams doubling Aileen Rayos off first base on a Brittany Palomino fly ball, after a one out single by the freshman.
Palomino was among a handful of varsity underclassmen who also played in the junior varsity contest on Friday, which was held first in order to allow her, Baeza, Jenny Palomino, Rayos and Garcia a chance to get back from participating in Friday’s West Texas Relays in Odessa. Pecos won by a 3-1 score, in a game that was the first for junior shortstop Diana Parada, who moved from Pecos to Midland 2 1/2 years ago. Walls said Parada, who began the season as a starter for the Midland Lee Rebels, would become eligible for the varsity when Pecos plays their next home game, and the second of their nine District 2-3A contests, on March 23 against Fort Stockton.
Before then, the Eagles will have two more games away from home; their final pre-district game this Friday at Greenwood, and their 2-3A opener a week from Tuesday at defending district champion Monahans.
Shifts cost Eagles W. Texas Relay points
Logistics again was a limiting factor for the Pecos Eagle track teams this past weekend, at the West Texas Relays in Odessa.
Spring break and sharing athletes with other sports left the Eagles shorthanded in a couple of events on both the boys and girls’ sides, though the girls were still able to come away with a fifth place finish and 75 1/2 points from their second meet of the year, while the boys ended up 13th with eight points in the Division II standings.
Coach Donna Gent was without a couple of runners on Saturday for the finals, which forced her to change up some of her relays and scratch one runner, sophomore Brittany Palomino, from the 100-meter dash finals, after she qualified on Saturday. Both she and her sister, senior Jenny Palomino, were also members of the 400-meter relay team, but were unavailable on Saturday due to a spring break vacation trip.
“Our sprint (400) relay had the third base time in the prelims (52.55), but with them gone, I moved my two other runners (Jasmine Rayos and Bianca Baeza) over to the 4-by-400 relay.”
Rayos and Baeza were also members of the 800-meter relay team that placed third in Friday’s prelims and ended up second on Saturday with a 1:52.71, three-tenths of a second off their Friday finish. The 1600 meter relay team qualified on Friday with the seventh best time despite their missing runners, and on Saturday cut 13 seconds off their preliminary time to finish third, with a 4:21.29 time.
Pecos had finished 2 1/2 points in back of Monahans and three behind first place Andrews at the season-opening West of the Pecos Relays, but the missing runners and some lower finishes in other events left the Eagles 20 1/2 points behind Monahans, which placed second at the meet with 94 points. Odessa High’s junior varsity won with 106 2/3 points, while Seminole, with 77 1/2, and Greenwood, with 76 1/3 points, were just ahead of the Eagles.
The Eagles and Loboes split the gold medals in the six field events on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Two of Pecos’ three wins came from senior Chantell Mazone, who easily took first in the discus and shot put on the opening day of the meet, while sophomore Jamine Rayos picked up the Eagles’ other first, winning the triple jump on Saturday.
Mazone threw 127-feet-10 in the discus, while winning the shot put with a 36-feet-6 3/4 throw. “That’s her second best throw overall in the discus,” Gent said. “She threw 129 feet at regionals last year.”
Mazone, who placed sixth at state a year ago, won the discus by 28 feet of Monahans’ Bethany Willmon and took the shot by just over three feet. She’s currently 15 feet ahead of the nearest competitor in the discus among West Texas Class 3A girls and just behind Lamesa’s Shanequia Hawkins for best area throw so far this season in the shot put.
Rayos took the triple jump with a 33-foot effort, but failed to point in the long jump after winning that in Pecos, while Baeza, who won the triple jump and was third in the long jump a week earlier, was sixth in the long jump on Friday and didn’t point on Saturday.
Gent said the two competed in the long just after running the 400 meter relay, “so their legs weren’t just right,” she said. “Brittany Palomino never got her mark down. She was always behind her mark when she jumped and didn’t do as well as she should.”
The Eagles’ other points on Saturday came from second and third place finishes in the 300-meter hurdles by Allyson Salcido and Olivia Castilleja. Salcido had a 50.12 time to place .11 behind Seminole’s Leah Greenfield, while Castilleja ran a 50.41. Gent said a bad start in the prelims on Friday cost Salcido a chance at qualifying for the finals in that event.
The Eagles other points on Friday came from a sixth place finish by Heather Lamka in the 3200 meter run, and a fifth from Gabby Garcia in the pole vault.
Coach Robbie Ortega’s boys were missing a couple of runners and field event people, due to both baseball and the Region I-3A powerlifting meet in Levelland on Saturday. But they did get their first field event points of the season that morning, with a fifth in the discus by freshman Robert Herrera, while senior Larry Johnson took third in the 400-meter dash.
“Robert was able to make the finals in the shot put. He threw 39-8 and placed seventh, and today he made the finals in the discus and threw 123-8,” Ortega said. “He was real consistent and all his throws were over 120 feet, except for one.”
Johnson ran a 51.36 to take third, after placing third the previous week in Pecos in the 800 meter run. Fort Stockton’s Adrian Navarez ran a 49.02 to win the 400 on Saturday.
German Rodriguez, who didn’t compete on Saturday, and Jesse Juarez were the only other Pecos runners to qualify for the finals, in the 800 and 1600-meter runs. “Hector (Garcia) didn’t run as well in the 300 (hurdles), but we were so far behind schedule, I think he over warmed-up,” Ortega said.
“Our mile relay ran better. We cut off four almost seconds, though we’re still about four seconds off making the finals, but we’re improving,” he said. “Overall, I’m pleased with all of them, and I think we’ll be OK by the time district comes around.
Monahans won the Division II boys title with 118 1/2 points to 94 for Midland Christian. Abilene Wylie edged Fort Stockton for third place, by a 70-69 point margin.
Both Pecos track teams are off this week, and will return to action on March 23 at the Wildcat Relays in Wink. That meet will replace the Sandhills Relays on the Eagles’ 2007 schedule. The Sandhills were cancelled this year due to the installation of a new track and Field Turf surface at the Monahans High School field.
Eagles let Tigers walk off with win
Late inning hitting was a concern for Pecos Eagles baseball coach Eric Garcia, going into this past weekend’s Snyder Tournament. That’s less of a worry now, but the Eagles coach will be looking at ways to improve his team’s late inning pitching, after control problems in the seventh inning cost Pecos a chance to win the third place game over the host Tigers.
The Eagles rallied to tie or take the late in the late innings of three of their four games at the tournament, while seeing the time limit cost them one last chance at bat in their other tournament game, against the Abilene Wylie Bulldogs. Pecos had rallied from a 5-0 deficit to take a 6-5 lead in that game, then fell behind 11-5 before cutting the deficit to 11-9 when time ran out after the bottom of the sixth inning.
That put the Eagles into Saturday’s third place game against Snyder, and after the team traded one-run leads in the early going, the Eagles used two out singles by Timo Reyes and John Paul Salcido in the top of the seventh to grab a 4-2 lead. But pitcher Robert Nunez would then walk Brooks Gafford, given up a single to Jaime Arnold and threw high to first on a sacrifice bunt by Jesse Conner, loading the bases. Garcia then brought Isaiah Rayos on to pitch, and he missed the strike zone with his first nine pitches, scoring two runs to tie the game, before walking Riley Davis on a 3-2 pitch to give Snyder a 5-4 victory.
“We’ve got to figure out a way to finish,” said Garcia, whose team was back in action on Monday afternoon, with a 1 p.m. game in Big Spring against the Steers. “Robert pitched a great game, but I feel like in that last inning he pitched not to lose instead of to win, and that’s when teams come back to beat you.”
Rayos had been able to make a 4-2 lead in the last inning stand up two days earlier against Dumas despite some defensive lapses behind him, but walked Brett Bollinger and winning pitcher Lane Day and threw another ball to Davis before getting his first strike.
“Isaiah’s usually good at throwing strikes, but I put him in a tough situation, and he just had trouble finding his control,” Garcia said. The Eagles were also hurt when Timo Reyes dropped a foul fly ball on a 3-2 pitch to Davis in left field. His throw home would beat Conner, who tagged up at third, but the play was dead when the ball was ruled foul, and Davis got another chance at the plate.
The bad ending spoiled a strong pitching performance by Nunez, who limited Snyder to just two runs over six innings after struggling some in his earlier appearances this season.
“I was real pleased with the way he pitched,” the Eagles’ coach said. “That’s the best game he’s pitched all year, and if he can do that, it gives us a lot of options as far as how our pitching goes.”
Nunez also started Pecos’ seventh inning rally with a high-chop single over the head of Ryan Mitchell at third base with one away. Mitchell then booted Rocky Lozoya’s sacrifice bunt attempt, and after he was forced at second on a Vincent Palomino grounder on the first pitch from reliever Lance Day, Reyes dropped a single into short right field to score pinch runner Daniel Reyes. Palomino was able to make it to third base when outfielder Ricky Sanchez bobbled the ball and scored when Salcido lined a single to left off Day.
A strong wind blowing in from the south kept several fly balls from going very far. That helped Pecos overall, as Nunez was able to record nine of his 18 outs on fly balls. But the wind was a problem in the first inning, as Arnold’s fly to right fell in front of Palomino for a double, and Conner then blooped a fly ball single into left in front of Timo Reyes. Britt Bollinger got a better shot off Nunez, but his deep fly was held in by the wind and caught by Reyes, as Arnold scored for a 1-0 lead.
Nunez then struck out Day and Davis to end the threat, and survived a single and two errors with two outs in the second before Pecos tied the game in the third. A one-out error by Bollinger at shortstop on a Palomino grounder was followed by a Reyes single and a walk to Salcido to load the bases. Palomino then scored on a wild pitch by starter Dustin Murdock, but Reyes would be thrown out at home trying to score on a ground out to third by Jose Chavez.
The Eagles would grab a 2-1 lead in their next at-bat, as Kenny Rayos and Chris Garnto were able to line doubles past a diving Arnold in centerfield. But Snyder was able to tie the game in the fifth on another Bollinger sacrifice fly, this time after a leadoff walk to Arnold and a single by Conner. Nunez again retired Day and Davis to get out of trouble, and retired the Tigers in order in the sixth, before Pecos’ control problems cost the Eagles the lead and the game in the seventh.
The Eagles opened up tournament play with a 5-5 tie against Borger on Thursday morning, rallying for five runs in the fifth after falling behind by a 5-0 score, then scored twice in their final at-bat later in the day to defeat Dumas, 4-2. Rayos went the distance and got the win, his second of the season when Nunez singled in the bottom of the sixth and scored on an Arturo Gonzales wild pitch to break a 2-2 tie. Palomino would then reach on an error, move up on a Timo Reyes single and score on a double-steal for a 4-2 lead.
Dumas would load the bases in the top of the seventh on an Ismael Ramirez single with one out and a two out error on a Andrew Rodriguez grounder by Kenny Rayos and a passed ball third strike by Garnto, before Isaiah Rayos was able to end the game with a ground out to Chavez at shortstop.
Against Wylie, a two-run homer by Corey Davis in the fourth inning off Geno Leos put Wylie ahead to stay, and the Bulldogs would score three more times with two outs after Pecos scored six runs in the top of the inning. Garnto and Timo Reyes had RBI doubles to start and finish the rally, while Lozoya had a two-run single and Palomino had an RBI triple off pitcher Landon Lindley. Reyes and Chavez would have RBI singles and Kenny Rayos an RBI double to chase Lindley in the sixth, but Pecos ended up leaving the tying runs stranded on base.
Wylie, which was undefeated going into the tournament, suffered their first loss in the finals, as Lubbock Christian took the title with a 6-3 victory. Lubbock Christian had defeated Snyder on Friday by a 6-4 score. The 1-2-1 weekend gave the Eagles a 4-4-2 record going into their Monday afternoon game at Big Spring, which comes in off 4-3 and 5-1 losses to Levelland on Saturday. Pecos then makes their third trip of the season to Crane on Friday, this time to take on the Sonora Broncos in their final game before their District 2-3A and 2007 home opener against Fort Stockton, on March 23.
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