By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
March 19, 2015
The Port Isabel High Lady Tarpons track and field team will be competing at a meet at Donna North High School this Saturday. It will be their first meet since their own Tarpon Relays almost a month ago.
The weather has been less than ideal this season. Seemingly more often than not they have had to practice inside at Tarpon Gym because of uncooperative weather. And the most recent scheduled meet, the Bobcat Relays in Rio Hondo, had to be canceled due to undesirable conditions.
The girls practiced on the outdoor track at Tarpon Stadium this week and coaches and athletes alike all agreed that it’s great to be in the great outdoors again. It’s hard work though, because now they can all go through their normal workouts again.
“They look good,” head Lady Tarpons coach Julie Breedlove said Monday. “Today was a tough day for the sprinters, the middle distance runners, our distance kids. They all came out and did really well.”
“Normally Mondays we reserve for the hardest of the running days. Then Tuesday we back off, then Wednesday is a little harder than Tuesday, and Thursday is a little bit easier.”
Among the track athletes who have put in the time and effort since they have been able to work outdoors again are the girls on the sprint relay teams, the 4×100-meter and the 4×200-meter races. The Press managed to catch up to some of these speed burners, which is much easier when they’re standing still, to try and find out a few things about the art of running really fast while carrying a metal baton.
“I alternate with the first leg and the last leg,” junior Amaya Lampkin said Tuesday. “I prefer the last leg because I’m not that great at quick starts.”
Simone Harry move around in the order; “I run first or last. I’m interchangeable.” Lampkin and Harry also run the 200-meter dash and were fourth and fifth most recently at the Tarpon Relays.
The PI foursome was second in the 4×200-meters at the Sams Relays in Brownsville last month in the time of 1:51:55 and, on a cold and rainy day at the Tarpon Relays, they came home third in 1:53.12.
“I usually run the third leg,” senior Gabby Torres said this week. “I think I like the 4×200 more than the 4×100 because I have more time to pick up my speed and run as fast as I can.”
Torres talked about the exchange of the baton from one runner to the next; “When I’m receiving the baton I just really watch whoever’s coming in, see how fast she’s running, try to match my speed with her’s, grab it and go.”
Coach Breedlove reports that the 4×100-meter relay team is still not set but one sprinter who definitely will be running that event is freshman J’yah Cook. “I’ve been doing the anchor (final) leg,” Cook said Tuesday. “My favorite event is the 4×100 but my best is the 100-meter dash.” Cook’s best time in the 100-meter dash is 13.04 in a preliminary heat race at the Sam’s Relays and she was fourth in that race at that meet and also at the Tarpon Relays, both with a 13.18 clocking. Cook also competes in the triple jump.
“The sprint relay, really I don’t know – it’s kind of a mix-match,” Breedlove said. “The 4×200 and 4×400 are set with four to five girls. The four and five that we have set to go (those two races) have been running it. It’s just a matter of putting together the right combination.”
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