Lady Tarpons look forward to better conditions

Special to the PRESS

Once again the weather has forced the Port Isabel High boys and girls track teams indoors after last Friday’s meet at Rio Hondo was canceled because of bad weather.

The Lady Tarpons have been working out in Tarpon Gym all this week and adjustments must be made. “Our sprinters can transfer from this,” head Lady Tarpons coach Julie Breedlove said this week. “It’s a little harder for our (400 and 800 meter runners) and our mile and two mile to get it.”

The forecast was for warmer temperatures and much less rain for this Thursday and Friday.

At this time of the season the various meets serve to help coaches place runners in the right relay races and allow individual athletes to work on their particular events. The cancelation of last Friday’s Bobcat Relays in Rio Hondo took away an important opportunity to takes steps toward those ends.

“We’re probably going to go one more meet, moving people around, see how things go,” Coach Breedlove said Wednesday in warm, dry, but restrictive Tarpon Gym.

One Lady Tarpon athlete who is impatient to get back in the great outdoors is multiple high and long jump gold medalist Gabby Torres. “We’re just trying to stay in shape,” she said Wednesday morning. Torres took double gold, for the second time this season, for first-place finishes in those two events at the Tarpon Relays two weeks ago. She is tied for Valley-Best in the high jump at five feet four inches and has the Valley’s second-best long jump at 17-10.5.

Torres also has the Valley’s third-fastest time in the 100-meter hurdles at 15.81 seconds. She started learning the hurdles less than a year ago. “I started in the summer. I love running them. I like it as an individual event.”

Torres has missed a lot of practice time in the two jumping events due to weather and says the real test is actual competition. “It’s easier to jump when you have competition. Practice helps but it’s better to actually have competition.”

Torres has competed in all three relay events but says she may not be a part of the 4×100-meter sprint relay by the time of the district meet next month. “It depends on the meet. I think, at district I’m going to run the 4×200, 4×400, and the 100 (meter) hurdles.”

Athletes who compete in field and running events can compete in two of one and three of the other at the district meet.

Sprinter and middle-distance runner Natalie Garza is also anxious to get back out to Tarpon Stadium for practice. She does the 400 and 800-meter runs and also the 4×400-meter relay. “I like the 400-meter run the best just because I’m really good at it.”

At last month’s Tarpon Relays Garza ran the first leg of the 4×400 and the foursome came home first with a time of 4:18.97. She was second in both the 400-meter (1:02.68) and 800-meter runs (2:29.90) at that meet.

The team is off this week and the next meet will be at Donna North High School in Donna on Saturday, March 21. Two meets, both at Raymondville, including the Meet of Champs, remain ahead on the schedule before the District 32-4A meet at La Feria on April 14 and 16.

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