By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
The Port Isabel Lady Tarpons track and field team put on a dominating performance in last week’s District 32-3A meet in Port Isabel and ran away with the team title. It was the third straight team championship for the Lady Tarpons.
Head coach Sylvia Torres’ squad collected a total of 262 points in the 17 events. La Feria was second with 191.5 points. Hidalgo took third in the final standings with 64.5 points, Rio Hondo came in fourth with 63 points, and Progreso totaled 16 points for fifth place.
Port Isabel swept the field events on Monday (April 8) and had a pair of double gold medal winners as Daniela Murchison and Gabby Torres each won two events. Murchison won both the shot put and discus competitions with distances of 41 ft. 1 in. and 146-09 respectively. The latter was a new district meet and school record, breaking the previous mark held by former Lady Tarpon and current assistant coach Johvonne Howard. Torres took the high jump and long jump events with leaps of five feet even in the former and 16-8.5 in the latter.
“I really just pushed myself and went for the gold,” Torres said on Thursday.
“My warm-ups were super-good,” Murchison said. “I broke the record on my second throw in the finals.”
The Ladies also got a sweep of the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 400-meter dashes. The 100 was won by Taylor Torres (13.21 sec.), the 200 by Helena Loya (27.27), and Alexandria Martinez took the 400 in 1:03.22.
The other individual double-gold medal performance of the day was turned in by Ione Rodriguez. Rodriguez won the 1600-meter run in the time of 5:42.49 and her clocking of 12:47.96 was nearly 12 full seconds better than the second-place finisher in the 3200 meters.
“I wanted to get a good lead and keep the pace and break away from the group,” Rodriguez said after the 1600 race. “On the second lap I started to extend the lead.”
Lady Tarpon foursomes were victorious in two of the three relay events. In the 4×100-meter sprint relay race the team of Taylor Torres, Gabby Torres, Wynona Garza, and Helena Loya took first place with a time of 51.96 seconds, and it was the team of Alexandria Martinez, Ashley Zarate, Gabby Torres, and Loya coming in first in the 4×400-meter relay in 4:21.70.
Garza, Xerenna Maldonado, Alyssa Samaniego, and Gabby Torres teamed up to take third in the 4×200 relay with a time of 1:54.12.
Other individual gold medallists were Ashley Garcia in the 100-meter hurdles with a winning time of 16.99 seconds, and Helena Loya, triple jump, 34-06.00. Garcia was second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 53.54 seconds.
The following athletes also earned points with top six finishes in the running events; Wynona Garza, third, 100-meter dash, 13.27 sec.; Xerenna Maldonado, second, 200-meter dash, 28.04 sec.; Miranda Vogel, sixth, 800-meter run, 2:43.68; Casey Flores, fifth, 1600 meters, 6:05.40; Alexis Gutierrez, third, 300-meter hurdles, 17.71 sec., also Kristina Aguilera, fourth, 18.64 sec.
These Lady Tarpons recorded top six finishes in the field events; Xerenna Maldonado, third, high jump, 4-09.00; Michelle Martinez, second, pole vault, 8-00.00; Helena Loya, second, long jump, 16-05.5; Alexis Gutierrez, fifth, triple jump, 30-05.00; Kelcie Swink, third, shot put, 33-10.00, and Glenda Loza, fourth, 33-01.5; Tiffany Ochoa, third, discus, 110-03, and Kelcie Swink, fifth, 105-09.
“I’m ecstatic for the kids,” Coach Torres said after the last event. “They worked hard all year long. It’s never been done here at P.I. before…three titles in a row. I even had two kids with injuries and they just ran with all their guts and all their hearts.”
The top two finishers in each event advance to regional competition. The regional meet will be held in Kingsville the weekend of April 26-27.