Track & field athletes across the East Valley have been competing in UIL district meets this week, aiming to place high and advance to the next phase of the season.
The top four qualifiers at each district meet will advance to compete in the area meet, which will pit District 32 against District 31 athletes in their respective classification.
Districts 32-5A and 32-4A finished their meets Thursday, and District 32-6A completed Day 1 of action.
Edcouch-Elsa (174 points) won the girls District 32-5A team title, followed by Brownsville Veterans Memorial (116) and Donna High (114). Mercedes, Brownsville Pace, Weslaco East, Brownsville Porter and Brownsville Lopez rounded out the girls standings.
The Mercedes Tigers (132) were the boys district champions. Donna High and Edcouch-Elsa finished in a tie for second with 100 points, and Brownsville Pace (89) was fourth.
Brownsville Lopez, Weslaco East, Brownsville Veterans Memorial and Brownsville Porter closed out the boys standings.
“Coming in today, we knew it was going to be really tight at the end,” Pace Vikings coach Carlos Tefertiller said. “I told the boys, ‘As long as you go into today and you give it all you’ve got, I’m going to be happy and you’re going to be happy, too.’ They came out and ran the best they’ve ran all year, so I’m really proud of them and they did a great job. … We think that we can improve these times and do even better at the area meet.”
Tefertiller felt the Vikings’ relays were particularly solid at the district meet. Pace finished second in the 400, 800 and 1,600-meter relays. Nathan Herrera’s gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles and silver in the 300 hurdles were other standout races for Pace.
The Pace girls had a strong outing in the hurdles, too. Genesis Augustus and Alexia Ruiz took first and second in the 100 hurdles. Ruiz also qualified for area in the 300 hurdles by taking third.
Freshman phenom Naia Gracia had another stellar day on the track to aid the Lady Chargers’ second-place finish. Gracia won the 3,200-meter run and was second in 800 and 1,600-meter runs. BVM’s relays also were successful, taking gold in the 800-meter relay and silver in the 400-meter relay. Kimberly Lopez took second in discus and third in shot put for the Lady Chargers.
Brownsville Veterans’ Alex Ampadu won the boys high jump and Lopez’s Kassandra Aguirre won the girls long jump to bring individual District 32-5A titles to the East Valley.
The La Feria Lions and Lionettes shined particularly bright at the District 32-4A meet at Bill Pate Stadium in Hidalgo. The Lions accumulated 168 points to win the boys team title, followed by Port Isabel (119), Hidalgo (111), Grulla (106), Raymondville (67) and Rio Hondo (40). The Lionettes tallied 210 points to clinch the girls championship, with Raymondville (104), Grulla (91), Rio Hondo (89), Port Isabel (68) and Hidalgo (38) following.
The 3,200-meter run was completed Wednesday and was dominated by La Feria. Joshua Marquez, Evan Torres and Ryan Vela took the top three spots for the Lions. Liana Navarro, Mia Trevino and Lindsey Cantu swept the medals for the Lionettes.
On Thursday, the Lionettes won the 400, 800 and 1,600 relays in their stellar performance. Navarro finished first in the 800 and 1,600. Leandra Fernandez won the 400 dash. Marquez took gold in the boys 1,600, and Julian Dominguez won the 800 for the Lions
District 32-4A field event finals took place Wednesday. Catarina Chavez of Raymondville won the girls discus and Rio Hondo’s Alyssa Silguero took gold in the shot put. Silguero also qualified for area in the discus as the third-place finisher.
Port Isabel’s William Camacho took gold in the long jump and triple jump. Bryen Robles from Raymondville was the winner in the boys high jump. La Feria’s Keira Castillo won the girls long jump, and Port Isabel’s Madison Ramos clinched gold in the high jump. La Feria’s Hailee Lozano won the girls pole vault.
Camacho was a standout for the Tarpons, adding district titles in the boys 100 and 200. Castillo added a gold medal in the girls 200.
Miranda Hernandez had a strong meet to lead the Raymondville Lady Bearkats. She won the girls 100 as well as the 100 and 300 hurdles. Hernandez also qualified for area in the long and high jumps. Raymondville’s ZaRaiVion Armendarez was the boys 400 winner.
The District 32-6A meet kicked off at Boggus Stadium with the field events, 3,200-meter run and running prelims. The meet will finish Saturday with the finals portion of the running events.
Harlingen South thrower Julian Hill was a standout on Day 1, winning gold in both the shot put and discus. Alejandra Garcia of Los Fresnos won the girls shot put and also qualified for area in the discus throw. Los Fresnos’ Penny Alanis claimed the top spot in the girls high jump.
Harlingen High performed well in the boys and girls jumps. Jose Garcia and Eric Quilantan took first and second in the long jump, and Quilantan won the triple jump. Harlingen High’s Caden Feekes won the high jump. Cassandra Rodriguez won the girls triple jump and took second in the long jump, and Lady Cardinals teammate Sabrina Todd finished third in the triple to advance to area.
Harlingen South took home the girls and boys gold medals in the pole vault. Daniela Maximo won the girls event, and Lady Hawks teammate McKinsey Abrego also advanced in fourth place. Rhandall Lopez finished first in the boys competition.
Harlingen High’s Geovany Cisneros has been one of the top boys distance runners in the state this season and maintained that status by winning the boys 3,200-meter run.