SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - This week's
notes will be a little different from previous weeks. I am going to be
previewing the 5A and 6A Regional meets while touching on some of the other meets
that included athletes from around the area. It was a good week for track meets
as it appears that most of the meets avoided any weather issues but instead had
very favorable weather that led to some outstanding performances.
The Best Thing I Saw
I was able to cover the District 27-28 4A and District 25-26 5A Area meets at Canyon High School last Wednesday. I have covered a lot of top NEISD and NISD schools this year so it was nice to see how some of the top teams from just outside San Antonio had progressed from the beginning of the season. The first thing that caught my attention was that the meet directors had the 100m and 100/110m hurdles turn around and run with the wind. This is always a pet peeve of mine when I go to meets and see all the sprinters have to run against the wind and never get a great time. It is not that difficult to turn those races around and I was happy to see it. For more information on running with or against the wind please check out the following website: Wind Calculator (maximmoinat.github.io).
The second thing I saw that immediately moved to the top of my list when thinking about the best thing I saw was the 400m wheelchair division race. I have watched quite a few of these races over the past few years and I have never seen a close race. On Wednesday night, that all changed when I watched the best race of the meet competed by Ephraim Tonn-Bourg of Boerne Champion and Christian Ramirez of Seguin. Tonn-Bourg had earlier won the 100m WC race over Ramirez and he once again took an early lead with a superior start. However, Ramirez closed on Tonn-Bourg on the backstretch and took the lead coming into the home stretch. Just when I thought Tonn-Bourg was out of it he kicked it into a higher gear and nipped Ramirez at the line, 1:0.27 to 1:02.31. It was an amazing race that featured a back-and-forth, mano y mano performance that excited the crowd.
Crowning State Champions
This past week saw the TCAL and Texas Homeschool State Championships competed with a number of local athletes earning gold medals. The San Antonio Town East Christian boys team celebrated eight TCAL titles with Reuben Fox winning the 100m, long jump and triple jump, Owen Cadena won the discus and shot put, Steven Castrejon won the 200m and they also won the 4x100m and 4x200m relays. In the girls TCAL championships Town East Christian had one winner, Isabela Rizo in the 1600m.
Cynthia Thompson and Sharla Maples of Seguin Lifegate Christian each won multiple TCAL titles over the weekend. Thompson won the 100m, high jump and long jump while Maples was the discus and shot put champion. Grace Belyeu and Fernanda Osuna of San Antonio Trinity Christian won the 800m and 1600m, respectively.
In the Home School State Championships, the San Antonio Patriots won nine total gold medals while DDS had a brother-sister combo win each win gold. Leading the way for the Patriots were Caleb Norman winning the 100m and 200m, Farrin Mangelson winning the 1600m and 3200m and Michael Estrada winning the shot put and discus. The boys won the 4x100m relay while the girls won both the 4x100m and 4x200m relays. Darian Abbott and Shylah Abbott of DDS each won the 300m hurdles and Darian also added a title in the high jump.
Small School Kudos
The District 25-26 3A Area was a hot-bed of top performances for San Antonio athletes. I wanted to mention a few before moving on to the big schools. Randolph's Taylor Nunez continues to roll through the competition. She won the 100m (11.73), 200m (25.16), long jump (18-9.5) and anchored the winning 4x100m relay team. Her teammate, Sophia Bendet, swept the 800m (2:16.10) and 1600m (5:24.04). In addition, the Ro-Hawks won all three relays putting them in prime position to try to repeat as State champion in a few weeks.
In the boys meet, Isai Moran of Great Heats Northern Oaks pulled off the difficult feat of winning the 800m (2:01.57), 1600m (4:34.33) and 3200m (9:58.03). It will be interesting to see if he tries to run all three at the Regional meet Aiden Martinez of Great Hearts Monte Vista has been consistently excellent in the hurdles this year and he won both last week taking the 110m hurdles in 14.56 and the 300m hurdles in 40.76. Marion's Michaell Purcell posted a nice win in the discus with a throw of 150-5. Finally, Randolph won all three relays and they are ranked #1 in the Region in all three.
San Antonio Stacey is one of the few 2A schools in the area and they have four distance runners moving on to the Regional meet in Kingsville this weekend. Rudy Morales qualified in the 800m and Salvatore Lione made it in the 1600m and 3200m for the boys while Mia Flores moved on in the 800m and Angelina Lione will run the 1600m and 3200m.
I will not be doing a 4A Regional preview but did give a recap of the District 27-28 4A meet last week that features many of the top 4A athletes from the San Antonio area. I will be recapping their Regional meet that takes place at Texas A&M-Kingsville along with the 2A meet.
I am on Twitter @ShaneMeling or you can email me at email@example.com with any new school records.
Mya Robinson, Taft, 100 hurdles, 14.72 at Area 29-30 6A
Alyssa Jones, Smithson Valley, long jump, 19-6.5 at Area 25-26 5A
Samuel Abati, Reagan, pole vault, 16-4.75 at Area 27-28 6A
Rafe Clendenin, Brandeis, discus, 188-2 at Area 27-28 6A
Smithson Valley boys, 4x100 relay, 41.57 at Area 25-26 5A (Jahirey Calais, Freddie Dubose, Elijah Hudson, AJ Breault)
James Voss, Brandeis, 110 hurdles, 14.05 at Area 27-28 6A
Gabriel Wray, Wimberley, triple jump, 48-1.75 at Area 27-28 4A
Gabriel Wray, Wimberley, long jump, 23-7.5 at Area 27-28 4A
Fredericksburg girls, 4x100 relay, 48.74 at Area 27-28 4A (Rylinn Oliver, Cameran Whiting, Peyton Celotto, Elizabeth Erlandson)
Cal Taylor, Davenport, 800, 2:00.03 at Area 27-28 4A
Hipolito Salazar, Southwest, discus, 172-0 at Area 27-28 5A
Alexis Owens, Harlan, shot put, 39-2.25 at Area 29-30 6A
Alexis Owens, Harlan, discus, 128-7 at District 29-6A
Iyanna Webb, Harlan, 100 hurdles, 14.65 at Area 29-30 6A
Iyanna Webb, Harlan, long jump, 19-3.5 at District 29-6A
Gabriella Mata, Harlan, 800, 2:20.67 at District 29-6A
Harlan girls, 4x100 relay, 48.43 at District 29-6A (Ava Salas, Toryn Taylor, Jade Barnes, Patricia Hermoso)
Harlan girls, 4x400 relay, 3:55.18 at District 29-6A (Ashley Neve, Patricia Hermoso, Myleiah Guy, Iyanna Webb)
Previewing the Region IV 6A Boys
The 6A boys title appears to be headed to Reagan, but the overall team score currently projected is only 68 points which means that little things could have big consequences on the meet. I have Westlake, Manor and Round Rock as the next three contenders for the crown. The Rattlers will want to have the title decided before the 4x400m relay because Manor and Round Rock each have excellent teams. In this section, I am going to highlight athletes from the area who I see as favorites to win an event or contenders to win or finish second to advance to the State meet.
200m - Opara, Nicolas Ross of Warren and Armon Couch are all contenders with Ross having the best chance. He is seeded third with a top time of 21.68.
400m - It would be a great story if Elijah Hernandez of Sotomayor could make it to State in the program's first year. He fits in the contender list but will need to do some work.
1600m - Brandeis' Hayden Scott has the best time coming in, but it is hard to make him a clear-cut favorite with Vandegrift's Kevin Sanchez in the same race. Those two should finish 1-2 if nothing crazy happens.
3200m - Scott is the only local that I can put in the contender category. He has not been pushed in 2-mile this year so he could be ready to go low.
110mH - The top four are all from San Antonio. Brennan's Kyree Wilson and Taft's Malik White have both broken 14 seconds while James Voss of Brandeis and William Davis of Steele are knocking on the door.
300mH - Liam Lecavalier of Reagan has the joint top time of 38.41 but this should be an amazing final with the top seven all within about a half second of each other. Wilson, Davis and Jacob Redding of New Braunfels are all in the mix.
4x100mR - Reagan fits squarely in as a contender with the #2 time coming in while Roosevelt and Judson could each surprise with a good performance.
4x200mR - Judson is a clear favorite with a top time more than a second ahead of the rest. Steele and Reagan will be duking it out for second place.
4x400mR - Reagan is the top local team, but I don't know if I can put them in the contender list with Manor and Round Rock the clear favorites.
Long Jump - After Ashton Torns of Westlake, there are six boys who have jumped between 23-1.75 and 23.6-75. Reagan's Jayden Bagley, Cole Tavarez of New Braunfels and Lokey Aguero-Munoz of Brandeis all fall into that category.
Shot Put - East Central's Michael Pinones is the man to beat with a season best of 65-3.5.
Discus - Rafe Clendenin of Brandeis is the top seed, but he will be challenged by two others who have thrown over 180 feet. Makai Williams of Steele and Pinones could each challenge for a top-two spot.
Triple Jump - I am confident that one local will go to State in the event, but it is anyone's guess as to whether it is Exavion Harris of San Marcos, Aguero-Munoz, Dontae Carter of Steele or Ty Hawkins of Johnson.
High Jump - Armando Acevedo of Brennan is the 'clear' choice after clearing 7-0 and 6-10 the last two weeks. Joshua Minton of New Braunfels and Kenneth Lott of Steele should compete for the second spot.
Pole Vault - Samuel Abati of Reagan jumps keeps going up and up and up and is the favorite to win after clearing 16-4.75 last week. Thomas Bucks of Johnson and Sutton Davis of Clemens should contend for second place.
Previewing the Region IV 6A Girls
I almost feel more confident in the Reagan girls winning a fifth straight Region title than I did a couple of weeks ago in picking them to win District 28-6A. They have top-level individuals, namely Isabella Dagrosa and Mackenzie Dagrosa, and excellent relays that should give them an almost comfortable victory. Judson is my choice as the team runners-up while Harlingen will give a good fight but will come up short with no points in the relays and finish third.
100m - The top local is Madisun Sparks of Johnson who has been running faster recently, but she will need a great start to challenge the top runners.
200m - Faith Franklin of Harlingen is the favorite, but Skyla Lovett of Stevens, Alexis Jessie of Judson, Ariana Sutton of Clemens and Iyanna Dixon of Sotomayor could each punch their ticket to State.
400m - Sutton is the clear #2 runner and has made it to State in the event each of the past two years, but she will be challenged by Caila Lyons of Brennan and MacKenzie Dagrosa.
300mH - Isabella Dagrosa is once again the favorite while Webb is a challenger. Webb is seeded third but will have to have a big race to move up to second.
4x100mR - Judson is the favorite with a season best time of nearly a second faster than anyone else. Reagan is in line to advance to the State meet as well.
4x200mR - Judson will make it 2-for-2 in the sprint relays. Reegan is the #2 contender, but they will need to run their best to advance.
4x400mR - Reagan should win the event without too much hassle. Harlan and Johnson are in the challengers' group but are over four seconds behind the second seeded team.
Long Jump - There are six girls who have jumped over 18-feet. Isabella Dagrosa is the top seed with a 19-2 mark while Webb, Alyssa Rodriguez Brandeis of Brandeis, Jessie and Justice Boston of Steele are all in contention for a top spot.
Discus - It will be difficult for any local to challenge for a top spot.
Triple Jump - Webb and Jessie have both jumped over 41-feet this year and are the co-favorites. Boston, Rodriguez and Londyn Hall of Madison are next up on the list.
Previewing Region IV 5A Boys
The boys 5A title could end up being an amazing battle between three teams: Boerne Champion, Flour Bluff and Smithson Valley. The Chargers have been the best overall team all season long but the Regional title usually comes down to who has the best of the best individuals and relays. Right now, it looks like the Rangers are slight favorites, but they will be relying heavily upon their 400m runners. Flour Bluff has three strong relay teams and good jumpers while Champion will score in the most events.
800m - Anthony Zapata of Southwest Legacy has not been challenged much this year and I think he is the clear favorite. Canyon's Nathan Aguilar and Champion's Luis Tovar could be heard from in the race.
1600m - It looks like Zapata and Jefferson's Henok Hagos will be competing for that second spot with a few others.
3200m - Hagos is the only local that will be a contender. He is the #2 seed and it will be interesting to see if he can hang with Ayden Granados of McAllen Memorial.
300mH - It does not look like a local will be competing for a spot at State this year. Lewis has the best chance to pull off the upset.
4x100mR - Seguin and Smithson Valley have gone back and forth as the best team in the Region this year and it will come down to who has the best handoffs.
4x200mR - Seguin has a good chance to get both of their sprint relay teams to State. Champion will be fighting for points and could move up.
4x400mR - Smithson Valley is a big favorite to win, and Champion is just as big of a favorite to get second place. These two should easily advance.
Triple Jump - Brace has been the top triple jumper locally, but he might be a slight notch below the top trio in the Region.
High Jump - Blomqvist has been getting better and better as the season has gone on and he is the #3 seed with a chance to make the State meet. Michael Terry of Alamo Heights has an outside chance.
Previewing the Region IV 5A Girls
District 26-5A has been dominant all season long and it looks like five of the top seven teams will come from the district with Boerne Champion and Smithson Valley competing for the title. There are only two races where an athlete or relay from the district is not the favorite. Each team should score more points than the team champions in the other three meets previewed here. I have SV as the slight favorite, but Champion won the District title by 10 points and then the Rangers won the Area title by 10 points so it should be fun to watch the two teams this weekend.
400m - Smithson Valley's Jazmyn Singh and Rector are 1-2 on the list. Singh has never lost to Rector, but the races have been getting closer in recent weeks.
3200m - This will not be close with Leachman running away from everyone. Melody and Marissa Espinoza should compete for the #2 spot.
300mH - Champion's Kendall Fallon will be fighting it out with Hankins and Zimmerman for the second slot going to State.
4x100mR - The top four teams all hail from District 26-5A with Champion, Wagner, Seguin and Pieper all able to win the race.
4x200mR - Smithson Valley is the clear favorite and Champion should get second, but Pieper and Seguin are a close third and fourth in the seeding.
4x400mR - Smithson Valley is a heavy favorite and will likely need this to win the team title. Champion is in contention for second place.
Shot Put and Discus - There are no local contenders in either throwing event.
Triple Jump - Conley is the top seed and has had an excellent season and I would be surprised if she does not win.
High Jump - Caroline Peterson of Pieper was the 4A State Champion last year and is the top seed in the Region this year. Seguin's Leah Brown and Canyon's Kendall Gain could slide into the second slot.
Pole Vault - Smithson Valley's Ella Pickron is one of the top contenders and is one of two girls to clear 12-feet this year.
I will be covering the Region IV 5A and 6A meets at Heroes Stadium on Friday and Saturday. The plan is to livestream the track events.