Top Performances at Charger Relays

New Braunfels junior Cole Tavarez soars to the win in the long jump on Thursday.

The Boerne Champion Charger Relays had perfect weather on Thursday night and it led to an outstanding track meet that highlighted athletes and teams we all know about and some that we are just starting to learn about.

A quick synopsis of a packed meet includes Beth Leachman (Boerne Champion) nearly breaking her own national record in the 3200m, Sophia Grinstead (Bracken Christian) and Michael Estrada (SA Patriots) showing out in the throwing events, Isabella Dagrosa (Reagan) and Iyanna Webb (Harlan) going head-to-head in both hurdle events, Harlan's Tate Taylor sweeping the sprint events in State-leading times and the Somerset boys staking a claim as a potential State contending team in 4A.

In the girls meet it was Reagan winning the team title with 143.83 points while Harlan accumulated 109 and O'Connor was third with 82.33. The Rattlers did most of their damage on the track as they won all three relays and they won seven total events.

Grinstead was the big winner in the throwing events as she set a pair of personal records en route to winning both the shot put and discus. She posted a mark of 45-2 in the shot put and 127-10 in the discus putting her #1 in the State in the shot and #2 in the discus at the time of this writing. Overall, the shot put had six girls throw at least 32-feet. In the discus, Harlan's Alexis Owens (119-5) and Canyon's Peyton Wilson (114-3) each had impressive results and have started the season well.

Two of the best in the State led the jumping events. Reagan's Mackenzie Dagrosa cleared 5-10 in the high jump for the second straight meet and appears ready to clear 6-0 at any moment. Webb was her usual self as she scored 39 total points and won the long jump with a mark of 19-0.25 and she bounded out to 40-6 in the triple jump for the win. The long jump also featured Alaina Fugate (New Braunfels) and freshman Isabella Pettet (Boerne) each jumping 17-11.5. It was the start of an outstanding meet for Pettet who also went 33-1 in the triple jump and finished second in the 100m with a time of 12.69.

The pole vault was the final field event and it was conducted at Boerne High School where Kayleigh Hoskins cleared 10-0 to get the win for New Braunfels. Four others cleared 9-6 in the event.

On the track, Leachman got the meet started in proper fashion with a relentless 3200m. She ran the first mile in 4:53 and followed up with the exact same split for the second mile to run 9:46.51, less than a second off her record time from a week ago. Unlike last week, it would be Leachman's only race of the meet. After Leachman, the next 15 finishers all posted personal records in the 3200m and it was O'Connor's Araceli Ford taking second in 11:30.49 and Kynley Albright of the host school finishing in 11:32.06.

After the 3200m, the Reagan girls started to show why they have dominated Region IV for years, their relays. The group of Kiana Douglas, Romina Reyes, Katie Burnett and Nnenna Opara lowered their time from last week to win the 4x200m relay in 47.59. They were pushed by Harlan's squad of Nadya Crawford, Miracle Shurelds, Jozlynn Colin and Toryn Taylor who ran 48.92. Boerne posted a time of 50.47 which puts them near the top of 4A teams in the State so far. In the 4x200m, the Rattlers faced no challengers as Burnett, Reyes, Opara and Mackenzie Dagrosa blasted a 1:41.51.

In between the two relays, Alma Lazo Cazares (O'Connor) and Savanah Moya (New Braunfels) engaged in an entertaining 800m. Lazo Cazares was able to hold off Moya down the home stretch to win in 2:16.38 while Moya crossed in 2:17.01. Lazo Cazares' teammate, Madisyn Jackson finished third in 2:22.92. Lazo Cazares would later win the 400m as win in a solid time of 58.99.

The 100mH was expected to be a good race and it lived up to the billing. Isabella Dagrosa was able to get out of the blocks quickly and win in 14.50 while Webb was right behind her in 14.88. Both are expected to be among the top hurdlers in the State this year. In the 100m, Toryn Taylor ran 12.45, just off her best time from a year ago when she just missed making the Regional finals.

Isabella Dagrosa and Webb matched up again in the 300mH. Once again, Dagrosa powered her way to victory in 43.23 but Webb stayed in the race and ran 44.87 which is well ahead of where she was a year ago at this time. Madisyn Jackson completed a tough double by posting a quality time of 46.16 after running the 800m.

In the 200m, Opara was given the chance to show what she could do in an individual event and she cruised to the win in 25.54 which means that she will have a chance to go to State in the event. Harlan freshman Addison Shumate also showed her quality in running 26.83 from a slow heat.

Moya finished her night with another nice run. The freshman won the 1600m in 5:12.65 lowering her time from last week. Ford and Albright finished in the next two spots in 5:26.29 and 5:30.10, respectively while another freshman, Elizabeth Wade of O'Connor was fourth in 5:31.37. In the final event on the track the Reagan 4x400m relay team nearly became the first team in the area to break 4:00 but had to settle for 4:00.46 as they won easily.

The boys meet was not decided until the final event of the evening. Heading into the 4x400m relay Reagan led New Braunfels, 94-93. The Rattlers won the race in 3:25.87 as Max Modesto held off a hard-charging Alejandro Rosales of Churchill and the Unicorns had to settle for third place in the race and second in the meet. Reagan finished with 114 points while New Braunfels had 105 and Harlan finished with 88.

In the throwing events, Estrada was impressive. He nearly reached 60-feet in the shot put as he posted a mark of 58-9.25 and then he followed that up by winning the discus with a throw of 169-2. Champion's Riley Wampler has put together back-to-back weeks of excellence. He threw a personal record of 53-5.25 in the shot put and also reached 161-8 in the discus to take the silver in both events. O'Connor's Waylon McKenzie (158-7) and Reagan's Ryan Ramirez (151-3) were also over 150-feet in the discus while Harlan's Mathew Cordero just missed 50-feet in the shot put.

In the jumping events, Cole Tavarez of New Braunfels continues to post 22-foot long jump marks. He won the event by jumping 22-1 while 10 others went past 20-feet. The triple jump featured a surprise with Harlan sophomore Noah Folks winning with a leap of 43-8 over a strong field. Somerset's Jaden Faz finished second with a big personal record of 43-1 which is #1 in 4A currently. Champion's Joshua Hierholzer, a 5A State qualifier last year, took third with a mark of 43-0. In the high jump it was Taveion Ford of Harlan taking the gold with a clearance of 6-0.

In the running events, it was a slow burn until the final few events all featured some outstanding racing and finishes. Champion's Charles Houck opened the meet with a comfortable win in the 3200m crossing the line in 9:58.87. Boerne's Jackson Temple came in second in 10:08.87. In the 4x100m relay, Harlan won from the first heat as G'Ivori Graham, Anthony Durojaiye, Marquise Riggins and Tate Taylor rolled to a time of 42.42. In the second heat, New Braunfels edged Somerset, Boerne Champion and Reagan as all four teams finished between 42.82 and 43.18.

In the 800m, Rosales pushed the pace hard right from the start going through the 400 in about 54 seconds. He came back with a solid second lap and posted a time of 1:55.60 to win. Boerne sophomore Barrett Crofut finished in 2:01.68 and could be one of the top 4A half-milers in the Region this year.

O'Connor's Jake Grullon had a good meet for the Panthers. After earning points in the long and triple jumps, he won the 110mH in 15.16. Canyon sophomore Luke Bell came in second in the high hurdles and later won the 300mH in 41.27.

After anchoring the winning 4x100m relay team, Tate Taylor really started rolling in the 100m. He accelerated past the field and crossed the finish line in 10.61 and then he repeated the performance in the 200m with a great time of 21.61. Both times are currently the top mark in the State. His closest pursuer was Reagan's William Calk who posted a big personal record in the 100m breaking 11 seconds for the first time. Boerne freshman William Freeman finished second in the 200m with a time of 23.06.

Somerset made waves by winning the 4x200m relay over a bunch of quality 6A teams. The squad of Angello Ortiz, Logan Salazar, Gavin Martinez and Faz finished in 1:30.21 ahead of runner-up Reagan who ran 1:30.93. Somerset's time is less than a second slower than the winning Region IV-4A time from last year.

The 400m may have been the best race of the meet. Modesto went out hard for Reagan and then held on for dear life as Jakob Gilbreth of New Braunfels tried to run him down over the final 200m. Modesto crossed the line in 49.85 with Gilbreth breathing down his neck in 49.87. Churchill's Ilan De Luna ran an impressive 51.19 all by himself in an earlier heat.

The 1600m proved to be another fantastic race. Reagan's Gavin Chapa and Boerne Champion's Luis Tovar waited all day long to go head-to-head in their only races of the meet. Chapa took the lead right from the start but he had Tovar nipping at his heels until about 500m remained and Chapa was able to pull away for the win. Chapa finished in 4:18.30 while Tovar fell back a little but still ran a 4:24.07. Crofut was third in 4:36.01. Chapa's time is #1 in the State currently.

Next week, my plan is to attend the Northside meet at Gustafson Stadium on Thursday.