By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
Rain continued to be a problem for the Port Isabel High Tarpon track and field team last week. The meet at Donna North High School, scheduled for last Saturday, was a partial rain-out. The field events and hurdles races were all canceled for the safety of the athletes.
“We couldn’t do field events, didn’t do hurdles,” head Tarpon track coach Ryan Stanage said at Tarpon Stadium on Monday. “So we ran off what we could. The weather was pretty bad and the track was pretty wet. Can’t control the weather.”
The weather was nearly perfect on Monday and pretty good on Tuesday before turning cloudy and a little drizzly this Wednesday. Preliminaries for various events for the Meet of Champions will be held at Raymondville this Friday, the 27th. The forecast calls for a high probability of rain on Thursday and, hopefully, more reasonable conditions on Friday and Saturday. The finals will be run on Saturday in Weslaco.
There was no JV meet last week so Coach Stanage was able to try out some new people at the varsity level. “We didn’t have a JV meet so we took a few more kids this past week. I wanted to experiment with some kids … to see what they could do. And I had a couple kids come out who hadn’t been out and that was good to see. They did some good things.”
One of the “new kids” was freshman Fernie Lopez, who expects to run the two hurdle events once he gets up to speed. “In 7th and 8th grade I ran hurdles. I haven’t been really coming to practice, because I’m in golf also, and I try to practice at least once a week with them.”
Lopez is also looking to be competitive in the triple-jump, in which he also has previous experience. “I did it one year in junior high. I did alright. It took me about a week to get it down. Basically it has to be perfect to get a good jump.”
What about field events, Coach Stanage? “We’ve got a long way to go in field events. We need to find some people who can do some stuff for us in the field events.”
Is Trey Mock ready to go yet? “I need to sit down and talk with him,” Stanage said this week. “He’s supposed to get released by the end of this week. He hasn’t been able to practice at all.” Mock will start throwing the shot and discus as soon as he’s able.
Tarpon hurdler Omar Silva was looking forward to going against the Valley’s best hurdler, Vince Castillo of Donna High School, at last week’s meet. He didn’t get the chance due to adverse conditions. “It was a little disappointing for everybody,” Stanage said. “You work all week and the fun part is going to the meet and running. Safety is first.” Castillo is expected to compete at the Meet of Champs and, if Silva can make the finals in either the 110-meter or the 300-meter hurdles, he will get another chance to test himself against the best.
After the Meet of Champs, one more meet is on the schedule for Port Isabel before the district meet, and that will be the Bearkat Relays in Raymondville next Thursday, April 2nd. The District 32-4A track and field meet will be in La Feria on April 14th and 16th.
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