By Larry Gage
Special to the PRESS
Mac Strunk already seems to be hitting his stride this track season. The senior sprinter for the Port Isabel High track team won gold in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes at the Albert Tijerina Relays at Raymondville last Friday, February 21.
Strunk’s time in the 100-meters was 11.22 seconds and he tripped the automatic timer at 22.83 in the 200-meters.
The 100-meter dash is new for Strunk this season and he did not run that event in his first season as a Tarpon athlete a year ago. He ran both the 100 and 200 for the first time at the Tarpon Invitational two weeks ago. He was a close third in the 100 at Tarpon Stadium and took the gold medal in the 200.
It’s early in the season and it’s a weeks-long process to put together as complete a team as possible in time for the district meet in April. The Tarpons finished the Raymondville meet in a tie for seventh place with Santa Rosa in the team standings, both teams with 32 points.
Harlingen South was first with 187 points. La Feria was next with 105.5 points, and San Benito (74), Raymondville (53.5), and Donna (50) rounded out the top five. Lyford was sixth with 48 points.
Another change in Strunk’s schedule of events this year is that he will not, at least this is the plan for now, be running the sprint relay races, as he did very nicely last season.
“I just wanted to change it up,” he said. “It’s what the colleges want to see me doing, and I think I have a better chance at going to state (in the 100, 200) than I would in the relays. I like the 200 because my speed builds up more.”
Strunk emphasizes the importance of getting a good start in the sprint races.
“I’m just working on them every day to get better. You want to push out, drive out, and get a good first eight steps in.”
Tarpon athletes also earned points in the following events: Adrian Nino; 100-meters, 5th-11.65, and 200-meters, 4th-24.09. High jump; Christian Ferrone, 4th at 5-06.00. 4 x 400-meter relay; P.I. 6th-3:53.93 (A. Nino, Ch. Ferrone, Devin Oritz, Alex Gonzales).
Four more meets remain on the schedule before the District 32-4A meet in Port Isabel on Thursday and Friday, April 2 and April 3. The Falcon Relays will be run this Friday, February 28, at Los Fresnos.