By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
Seven Port Isabel Lady Tarpon athletes are off to this weekend’s UIL Regional High School Track and Field Meet in Kingsville.
The group advances to regional competition in 10 different events. Of the seven seniors, Gabby Torres, will be the busiest as she has qualified in five events; the high and long jumps, the 100-meter hurdles, and the 4×200 and 4×400-meter relay races. Simone Harry advanced in four events; the triple jump, the 400-meter dash (4th), and both relays. Natalie Garza made it in the 400-meter dash (2nd) and the 4×400. Ava Gomez qualified in the two relay races, and Alex Martinez goes in the pole vault category while Amaya Lampkin will run the first leg in the 4×200 relay.
The regional meet will be held this Friday and Saturday (May 1, 2) at Texas A&M Kingsville’s Javelina Stadium. Athletes from districts 31-4A and 32-4A competed at the area meet. Port Isabel tied 31-4A’s Ingleside for the team title with 113 points. The top four finishers in each event move on to regional competition.
“The girls ran really hard, really pushed themselves,” head Lady Tarpon track coach Julie Breedlove said Monday. “With Gabby we just kinda’ jumped her to get her to where we wanted her and try to save her legs a little bit. It was a pretty warm day.”
Torres’ best height in the high jump was 5 feet and 2 inches, while boasting a mark of 17 feet and 4 ½ inches in the long jump, earning her first place standings in both events. She finished third place in the 100-meter hurdles and helped with a second-place finishing in the 4×200 relay. Notably, Torres was a state qualifier in the high jump last season.
“We don’t want the kids peaking too early and then start coming down,” Breedlove told the Press at Monday’s practice.
The 4×400 mile relay team got first place with a personal record 4:06.39. “Not only have they been wanting to win that race, but just to knock those seconds off and get a PR,” Breedlove said. “And every week we’ve been able to do that.” The 4×200-meter relay team came in second with a time of 1:46.88.
Daniela Murchison hit double gold again with a 43-09 effort in the shot put and a 129-08 ½ toss in the discus. At regionals she will be trying for her fourth straight appearance in the state meet, and she is the two-time defending state champion in the shot put in Class 3A (now 4A). “Daniela went out and did her thing,” Breedlove noted.
Alex Martinez was second in the pole vault with a personal best of 10 feet and 6 inches. “It feels great, 10 feet. I’m glad I finally beat my personal best. My goal is to do my best. The other girls (regional qualifiers) have done 13 feet and I hope I am top two, but if I (get my) PR I’m happy with that.”
The top two finishers in each event at the regional meet will advance to the state meet in Austin on May 14-15.
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