WESLACO THE SITE FOR CHANCE FOR REGIONALS

The area track meet comes off Thursday at Weslaco, with districts 31 and 32 squaring off for a shot at attending the regional meet in San Antonio April 28-29.

A number of local athletes should be able to punch their tickets to the next stage, with hurdlers and distance kids looking like the best bets. Vela’s pair of Renee Garcia and Gabby Solis came 1-2 in the district event while Econ’s Bony Rios and Edgar Vazquez will be favored to move on.

North’s fine distance group will be in the boys’ running for certain, and there are a number of girls’ prospects in the races from 800 to 3200, led by North standout Beth Ramos.

If one is looking for a wild card in the sprints, EHS’s Alex Lopez is a good one, after rolling to 11.22 to win second at district. Pete Segura of Econ has a shot in the 200 while Kyle Marroquin of Econ, an unorthodox but very effective quarter miler, could make the grade at Weslaco.

As for the relays, the Vela boys (4x2) and Econ boys (4x4) won the district meet but each will have to trim a few seconds off their time is they hope to advance against the strong contingent from 32.

Yesenia Valdez, a strong-legged stud from EHS, has taken the sprint scene by storm in 2017, and after a gold in the 100 at district will see how she fares versus speedy kids from Weslaco, Hanna, and Harlingen South.

Gold medal winner Jaida Muhammad, if she is recovered from a recent injury, will be one of the leaders in the area quarter and the Lady Sabes are hoping to get their relays in the sprint and 4x2 on to San Antonio.

In field events, count Gaston Cortina of North (throws) and Rylan Olguin of Vela (pole vault) as virtual locks, while Gus Vazquez of Econ (triple) and schoolmate Monique Rodriguez (three golds in the jumps at district) are also prominent faves heading into area.

NOTES: In other sports news, former Vela track and football standout Ronnie Benavidez made the papers up in San Antonio. He appeared in a picture in Sunday’s Express-News, shown playing in UTSA’s spring football game.