By Larry Gage
Special to the PRESS
The Port Isabel Lady Tarpons track athletes continue their efforts to put together a complete team in time for next month’s district meet. They may have been lost in the crowd at last week’s Falcon Relays in Los Fresnos, but the field was loaded with big school teams from across the lower Valley.
Port Isabel’s head girls’ track and field coach Julie Breedlove summed it up at practice this week at Tarpon Stadium.
“I thought we had a pretty good meet,” Breedlove said. “We took two seconds off our 4 x 200 (meter relay) and several seconds off our 4 x 400.”
In the 4 x 100-meter relay event, the Port Isabel foursome of Madison Ramos, Talajai Reed, Carolina Romero and Lora Galvan turned in the 14th-best time of the day at 4:36.03. In the 4 x 200 Madison Ramos, Danaka Camacho, Mandy Perkins and Lora Galvan raced to the 10th-fastest time in that event with an automatically-timed 1:55.13. And in the 4 x 100, Karina Aguilera, Madison Ramos, Emily Lagos and Allyson Reyes combined to time in at 55.54 seconds, and that was good for 15th-fastest on the day.
Allyson Reyes ran the first leg on the 4 x 200 relay team and she shared her thoughts.
“We changed the order and we cut down our time by two seconds,” Reyes said.
Second leg runner, Danaka Camacho, said “I normally run fourth leg, so it was a change for me. My handoff wasn’t the best but we’ll work on it.”
Lora Galvan runs the third leg on the 4 x 200.
“The person you hand off to has to take off at the same speed, and you have to make the handoff in the exchange zone,” Galvan said. “They changed it this year- it’s longer now.”
Talajai “TJ” Reed is new to the program, recently transferring to Port Isabel High School from Austin del Valle. She ran the fourth leg on the 4 x 200 at Los Fresnos.
“Week by week, we’re getting more kids as they come out,” Breedlove said. “Our basketball kids are here now, and we’ve got almost all of our kids back from last year.”
Camacho competed in the long jump at Los Fresnos for the first time this season and took third in the event with a leap of 15-06.50. Her jumping coach, Kyle DeMoss, was unavailable until last week, as he was involved in the playoffs as head coach of the girls’ basketball team.
“She didn’t even jump her best jump and she got third place,” DeMoss said this week.
Camacho won gold in the long jump at last year’s district meet in Hidalgo when she jumped 15-07.25.
The Lady Tarpons tallied 7 points on the day, which tied them with rival district member La Feria for 13th place. Hidalgo, also representing District 32-4A, was 11th in the final team standings with 17 points. The top ten teams were all from 5A and 6A schools. Edinburg Economedes finished first with 120 points, and Edinburg Vela was next with 104 points. Los Fresnos (78), San Benito (61), and Harlingen South (44) rounded out the top five.
The Lady Tarpons will compete at Rio Hondo’s Bobcat Relays this Friday, March 6. Two meets remain on the schedule after that before the district meet in Port Isabel next month.
“We’re trying to shave seconds every week,” Breedlove said Monday. “That’s what we do. I think we’re on track right now (to defend district title). Hopefully the weather will hold up and we’ll get some good practices in.”