El Paso is on fire!
Last week, we saw a rash of 1:55 and under 800m times in the UIL 6A district and now the 5A guys got their shot at tearing up the track.
The UIL District 2-5A meet had one of the top distance runners in the state over the last two plus years with Hank's Michael Abeyta. He has owned the district and the area on his way to the state meet since he stepped foot in the hallways of Hanks High School.
This year, Abeyta would fine challenges like never before in the district. One of the most improved runners in Texas just happens to be on his own team and he has proven to be more than just a good district foe. Roger Rivera has transformed himself from a good runner into one of El Paso's best and one of Texas' best.
UIL Reclassification also happened to put one of the best distance teams in the country into the 1-5A district. This year, Eastwood brought their line up of distance stars to the district making it even more challenging for all.
Abeyta was able to take the district 800m title once again and his teammate Rivera was able to take the 3200m win in a very narrow decision over Elias Perez from Eastwood.
That left just one more district race to be competed for the district championship. That race would be the 1600m and it was a showdown between the 800m champ and the two time defending 1600m district champion and Rivera and Perez, the two 3200m competitors who battled down to the last strides.
The 1600m would not disappoint as it was a battle between the district's top three distance runners.
Abeyta would take the lead in the race from the start. He would set a solid pace going through the fist 200m in about 30 seconds. He would continue through the first 400m splitting 64. Running hard from the start is Abeyta's usual style, but he is accustomed to being alone. This time, he had both Rivera and Perez right on his heels.
Abeyta continued to lead the second lap, but the pace slowed down as they split was 2:12 (68). Rivera would decide to press things and get back on a pace as he pushed it with a 65 third lap split. Both Rivera and Perez would run to the front of the race on the third lap. They would carry that lead on the last lap. But, Abeyta would stick close and the race came down to the last 100m.
Abetya would close in a 62 last lap and 31 second in the final 200m to nip Perez at the finish line for the win.
These three guys will duel it out once again for sure before the season is complete.