By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
It was another banner day for Port Isabel Lady Tarpon track and field athletes Daniela Murchison and Gabby Torres at last week’s Meet of Champions in Weslaco.
Murchison and Torres both took double gold in their respective events, setting meet and Valley records while they were at it.
Competing in the shot put and the discus, Murchison had the longest throw in both events. Her best throw with the shot was 46 feet 1 ½ inches and she managed 134 feet 6 inches in the discus. Torres got first place in the long jump with a leap of 18 feet even and also won the high jump by clearing 5 feet 7 inches.
It was a new personal best for Murchison in the shot put and she set the meet and Valley records as well with the distance. Torres’ 18-foot long jump was also a new personal record and she set personal, meet, and Valley records with her high jump.
“Daniela set the meet and Valley record with her shot put throw of 46-01 ½ and that was really a neat thing to see,” head P.I. girls’ track coach Julie Breedlove said Monday. “She came out relaxed and focused and ready to go. She gave up the Texas Relays for this, and it was something she had really wanted to do; and she went out and did what Daniela does.”
The record-setting toss came on her third of three attempts after hitting 44 and 45 feet on her first two throws. “My mind set was to break the record and I did,” Murchison said at Tarpon Stadium Monday. “I’m feeling really great. I think that’s (the weather) what kinda’ threw me off in the beginning (of the season). On Saturday, the weather was really good, and that helped a lot.” Murchison’s best effort in the discus was only an inch short of her personal best in that event.
Murchison broke her own Valley shot put record of 45-11, which she set last year as a junior. Her gold medal-winning throw at Weslaco was more than 6 ½ feet farther than the second-place throw, and her first-place toss in the discus was seven feet better than the next-best effort.
Torres came into the Meet of Champions tied for the Valley Best in the high jump at 5 feet 4 inches. On Saturday she was the only jumper to clear 5-05 to clinch the gold medal, but she wasn’t done. “So she decided to go to 5-06 ¼ to beat the meet record,” Coach Breedlove said this week. “She cleared that and beat the Valley record. Then she cleared 5-07 to set the record again and we finally got over that little hump.”
In a large field that included a number of Class 5A and 6A teams, the Lady Tarpons tied for second in the final team standings with 64 points. Weslaco took the team title with 85 points and La Joya Palmview also had 64 points.
“It was pretty much every school in the Valley, 6A’s, private schools, and all the District 32-4A schools,” Breedlove said. “It was neat to see the girls … go up against those big schools. They run better when they run against those schools because they have to work a little bit harder.”
Torres also made her presence known in the 100-meter hurdles when she placed 4th with a time 16.30 seconds. Earlier this year she turned a 15.81-second clocking in that race, which shows as the third-best time in the Valley this season.
Here are the recorded finishes by Lady Tarpon athletes in other events;
Individual Running Events:
100-meter dash, J’yah Cook, 7th-13.02 (1st; Cierra Pena, Harl. South, 12.15). 200-meter dash; Amaya Lampkin, 12th-27.80 (C. Pena, 25.40). 400-meter dash; Natalie Garza, 9th-1:03.08 (Valerie Tobias, Edin. IDEA Quest, 1:00.02). 800-meter run; N. Garza, 13th-2:32.68 (Adriana Cruz, RGC, 2:19.99). 300-meter hurdles; Ava Gomez, 9th-50.62 (Gaby Garza, St. Jo’s, 45.18).
Cook’s time in the 100-meters was a personal best.
4×100-meter sprint; Port Isabel (J. Saldivar, Victoria Macias, Amaya Lampkin, J’yah Cook), 15th-54.21 (Weslaco, 49.49). 4×200-meter sprint; P.I. (Simone Harry, Ava Gomez, Gabby Torres, A. Lampkin), 5th-1:48.80 (Weslaco, 1:46.31). 4×400-meters; P.I., 2nd-4:07.55 (Weslaco, 4:01.06)
P.I.’s time in the 4×200 relay is currently sixth-fastest in the Valley, and the Lady Tarpons’ time in the 4×400 race is fourth-fastest.
Triple jump; Simone Harry, 12th-32-04.00, Ava Gomez, 13th-31-11.25.
The Ladies are competing today (April 2nd), in the Bearkat Relays in Raymondville. That’s the last meet before the District 32-4A meet in La Feria in two weeks on April 15th and 16th.
Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.